The use of digital solutions is changing the industry. It reforms the way data is stored, how analysis is made, and conclusions are drawn. A growing number of today's products would never have existed without digital development and manufacturing methods. Some products are too complicated to understand without these methods. Some too small, and some too large. This is a story of the latter case.
The environment has become a hot topic in the wake of the ongoing climate change. New renewable energy sources are explored, and old ones are scaled-up to meet the demand for green energy. Often leading to the use of larger turbines, this scale-up has a direct effect on the size of a plant. At one manufacturer, this revealed a serious issue.
Their product had been growing in size for decades. They had now reached a point where its weight made it impossible to make durability predictions using traditional test methods. The plant was affecting its test environment too much. When realizing this, they also realized something else. The problem wasn't limited to the new plant. For years they had trusted results from similar test setups without questioning the accuracy. They had been stuck in a predictivity gap - the gap between what we think we predict and what we actually predict.
The situation isn't uncommon and present in most organizations. As products and processes evolve, it's important to review the methods used for development. Ensuring the quality of the development activities will be well worth the effort!
In the end, the company solved the issue. They reviewed their current solution and found a new one based on simulation. They also improved the use of data from operational plants. Combining the two, they got a reliable solution fit for its purpose.
Achieving predictivity is a necessity in modern product development. To reach it, you'll have to move beyond traditional methods. It doesn't matter if your product is complicated, small, or large. Always review your workflows, question your results, and please...Mind the Gap!
Want to learn more about the digital twin? Check out the Digital Twin Workshop!