Let’s start at the beginning:
A great supply chain is like a symphony, orchestrating a flow of goods from a digitally simulated product to a manufactured good being delivered on-time into the hands of the customer. While this flow is melodic in the physical world it continues to be choppy in the digital world. That is why SAP embarked on an ambitious journey to bridge the gap between the digital and the physical world. This bridge will open doors to new possibilities, such as monitoring the product performance in its natural environment, disrupt how products are manufactured, provide real-time feedback to engineers to enable them to do faster root cause analysis on any perceived issues, detect issues before they occur and closing the loop with engineering so that companies can continuously deliver a perfect product experience.
SAP’s journey started with the acquisition of Fedem Technology AS, a Norwegian technology company specializing in engineering and dynamic simulations of structures and mechanical systems, And now we are expanding this offering through a strategic partnership with ANSYS’s pervasive simulation capabilities.
SAP Predictive Engineering Insights enabled by ANSYS is the first solution based on this partnership and represents a significant leap forward in SAP’s digital twin strategy.
So, what exactly is a physics-based digital twin and what makes it unique?
In a high-fidelity or physics-based digital twin of an asset, the physical behavior is mirrored by a digital flow. This allows operators of those assets to better understand the actual physical behavior in the digital world. With these new solutions, assets can be digitized using multiphysics simulations to produce a virtual state, replicating the real, physical environment and behavior of the asset as closely as possible to the reality. The digital twin relies on information from two sources:
- Physical sensors located at critical points on the asset
- Physics-based engineering simulation models
The entanglement of the digital and physical asset will enable companies to capture value throughout the entire product lifecycle. By harnessing the massive amounts of diverse data created during simulation and the sensor data gathered from the assets, insights can be unlocked to improve future development and spur innovation in product development and operations. For example, the new solution will help equipment operators and service providers to predict and improve asset performance and reliability with deep engineering insights.
What are the effects on business processes and what is the value proposition?
With this partnership ANSYS’s pervasive simulation, capabilities for digital twins will be embedded into SAP’s market-leading digital supply chain, manufacturing, and asset management portfolio. Modeling the physical environment and behavior of an asset throughout its life in the digital world is useful for predicting problems before they arise. Operators for examples will be able to replace time-based maintenance of industrial assets with predictive and prescriptive maintenance.. The long-term vision of this new solution is to enable digital inspections reducing necessary physical inspections.
With this new partnership SAP’s Digital Twin offering is taken one step further, as it ties together engineering models, manufacturing details, and operational insights including financial information from S/4HANA. The combination of these insights across the lifecycle of a product is unique in the industry and a strategic differentiator. For more information, check out SAP Predictive Engineering Insights on sap.com/pei and the related announcement of the partnership with ANSYS. This blog just scratches the surface of physics-based digital twins. Stay tuned for even more insights in subsequent blogs.