Digital twins: Accelerating the digital transformation in the rail sector
The paper signals the EU’s visionof a “digital Europe” including an EU Digital Single Market. The overall vision being to achieve both growth and climate neutrality goals.
The author mentions how UNIFE’s2020 paper ‘Rail fit for digital age” referred to digital twins as “technology[that] clearly displays how digitalisation is essential to strengthening the sustainability-related assets of rail – energy efficiency, circularity and capacity.” In addition how the EC has explicitly stressed on the importance of digital twins in the framework of the Green Deal.
Why it’s relevant to Nextspace
Benefits highlighted that Nextspace Partners can refer to include the fact that digital twins:
- Promise to improve design, visually enhance collaboration and increase both asset reliability and performance
- Interact with big data, AI and blockchain
- Span the entire lifecycle of an asset or system
- Can assist with the prediction of asset failure
- Help predict changes occurring in project execution
- Help identify risks brought by non-conformant construction
- Avoid cost increases and delays
- Can be much broader than the core rail-related systems and subsystems, extending into construction and civil work, infrastructure planning and real estate management
The article also points to digital twin application with various subsystems, commenced by Shift2Rail and to be continued by Shift2Rail’s successor, Horizon Europe, Europe’sRail Joint Undertaking.
“In the ERRAC’s recently released ‘Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA)’, one of the proposed transforming projects is ‘RailwayDigital Twin, Simulation and Virtualisation’. Applied to several areas with high impacts on business performance, the transforming project would tackle all modules of relevant subsystems – i.e., vehicle, infrastructure, power supply, signalling – with their interfaces and interactions. The objective will be to truly develop a framework ‘railway digital twin’, based on Shift2Rail outputs, which would cover the entire railway sector and system.”