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Digital Twin Bridges Plant Design to Operations

 Mimic HYSYS Link, the first offering to come from the alliance between Emerson and AspenTech, is a new integration technology that will make it more practical and efficient for organizations to create digital twins for use across a plant’s entire lifecycle. With the new capabilities and expertise achieved through this joint development, process industry organizations can now use data from the standard digital twin created during plant design engineering to create a real-time digital twin for training operators and optimizing production. This development lowers two of the most significant barriers to digital twin utilization: total cost of ownership and maintainability.

“Emerson is natively integrating its Mimic simulation software with Aspen HYSYS Simulation Software,” explained Mart Berutti, vice president, process simulation, Emerson Automation Solutions. Connecting with Mimic adds real-time process optimization and training, and makes building and maintaining an operations digital twin much easier for thousands of organizations already using Aspen HYSYS software.

"As our customers face the digital transformation of their plants and their assets, they need tools and technology to support this change," said Berutti. "Integrating the use of digital-twin technology is an essential first step on this journey. Over the years, we have invested strategically, and we have been busy in software development to integrate leading technologies into a new offering and new capability to our customers."

A digital twin is of a digital representation of physical-world assets. "First, the automation platform, such as DeltaV or others, is represented as an exact, complete replica of the control system configuration," said Berutti. "To cover a wide range of process and industry needs, we need a flexible and complete digital-twin strategy. It's why we integrated Mimic with the industry-leading process modeling and high-fidelity, dynamic simulation platform available in Aspen HYSYS."

Organizations can maximize the digital value of their investments by creating a complete digital twin once during plant design, then using it across the lifecycle of operations, said Jim Nyquist, group president for Emerson’s Systems & Solutions business. “This makes digital transformation via digital twin more real and practical for the process industries,” he said.

The digital twin is a foundational technology of Emerson's Plantweb digital ecosystem, a scalable portfolio of solutions that enable digital transformation for organizations looking to utilize energy and materials resources more efficiently to lower costs and increase output.

The Mimic HYSYS Link software includes automated configuration tools that enable bulk data transfer between Emerson and AspenTech systems, reducing integration time and engineering hours. Built-in readiness for virtualization and cloud technologies in Mimic software make it easier for users to maintain up-to-date engineering and training environments and avoid the large capital expense of creating duplicate physical hardware systems. Organizations can continuously update their digital twins for greater decision integrity and thereby use real-time dynamic models to test performance improvements safely in a cloud-based simulation before deploying at the actual plant.

One of the prime barriers to digital transformation—including adopting a digital twin—is how to scale the technologies for an operating unit, a site and enterprises. Mimic’s selective fidelity process modeling allows organizations to choose the design detail of the digital twin’s simulation scaled to their organization’s budget and potential return on investment. Operations that have a foundation of HYSYS models can expand the model base to include more of the operation.

The simulation software works natively with Emerson’s DeltaV distributed control system or connects into third-party control systems, giving organizations added efficiencies when using DeltaV or the ability to model different areas of their operations that may use different control systems using only one simulation interface.