Tomorrow’s Industrial Metaverse: built on today’s technologies

The real and digital worlds are converging more and more every day – both in our professional and personal lives. Yet the idea of an Industrial Metaverse still sounds like science fiction: a virtual world in which we can interact in real time with photo-realistic, physics-based digital twins of our real world.

A digital representation of our world that does not only look like the real thing but also behaves exactly like it, because the digital twin integrates all data of the physical object across its entire life cycle. Sure, there is no full-fledged Industrial Metaverse yet. But we are already using many of the technologies that will define the Industrial Metaverse in the future. These include 5G, artificial intelligence, edge technologies and especially digital twins. On a short journey around the world, from Berlin to London to Nanjing, you can already visit places that give us a glimpse of the future today.

Nanjing: A Digital Native Factory

In Nanjing, Siemens has built a digital native plant. Even before the first concrete was poured, the plant’s performance was simulated with a digital twin. This helped to avoid small and big planning errors, which in the past would cost a lot of money and – often much worse – a lot of time.

For example, the planning team was able to spot a painting machine without proper ventilation during a virtual inspection. In the real world this would have a caused a lot of hassle. Yet all it took was a few drag and drops during the design phase to put it in a more suitable spot.

In daily operations, the digital twin is now used to optimize the plant through a constant feedback loop between ongoing production and simulation. The benefits of this digital factory are measurable: Manufacturing capacity increased by 200% and productivity by 20%.

London: Prescient Artificial Intelligence

In London, Siemens is guaranteeing technical availability of up to 100% for the Thameslink rail line – with the power of artificial intelligence.

Every week, 9 million performance data of the entire fleet are evaluated. As a result, the intelligent trains can anticipate, almost intuitively, whether and when maintenance measures are necessary – and then independently initiate the corresponding work orders. Digital intelligence thus drastically reduces train cancellations and delays and helps to improve customer satisfaction.

Berlin: Virtual City Development for Siemensstadt²

In Berlin, Siemens is using digital twin technology to create a city district which will be both 100% CO2-neutral and 100% barrier-free. It is called Siemensstadt „Square”.

Together with Bentley Systems Siemens started out by creating a holistic digital twin. This twin not only uses data on the shapes of the buildings and the street layout; but also, this twin will use data on power usage and transport in real time. As people start to use it and call it their home, the district can optimize itself and become more efficient and livable every day.  

Taking Digitalization to the Next Level

For over a decade now, Siemens’ digital twin technology has been helping customers across all industries to boost their productivity. Today, Siemens offers the industry’s most comprehensive, physics-based digital twin. It not only looks like the real thing, it also behaves like the real thing: it represents the exact functions and behaviors from the system in the real world. How does a product behave, if we shake it, heat it up or if we run our software on it? The twin will tell you. It’s not an animation, it’s a true simulation of the real world.

 

Next up: taking the combination of the real and digital world to a new level. Siemens and NVIDIA are partnering to enable the Industrial Metaverse. As a first step in this collaboration, the companies plan to connect Siemens Xcelerator, the open digital business platform, and NVIDIA Omniverse™, to create photo realistic, physics-based digital twins. This will give customers a highly immersive experience and allow them to make decisions in real time and with greater confidence with more people involved than ever before – bringing us ever more closer to the Industrial Metaverse.