Dryers Have Digital 'Twin'
Electronic twin of a physical machine measures and follows every behavior of the physical machine and every key component.
Novatec is debuting the DigiTwin, a virtual electronic twin of a physical machine that measures and follows every behavior of the physical machine and every key component—not just from the machine controller PLC, but also from the multiple component sensors located throughout the machine. It provides a real time linkage between the physical and digital worlds. By pulling all this data together in real time using sensors and machine control data and pulling this through rich analytics, machine behavior can be modeled, understood, improved and optimized. Far more than PLC data tracking—DigiTwin is said to be the ultimate component and machine-monitoring system that monitors, tracks and predicts the performance of all components, processes and portions of the machine.
At its booth Novatec is showing side-by-side a physical dryer with the digital model of that same machine next to it. Novatec compares DigiTwin to a virtual x-ray or MRI for the dryer. It takes the covers off, just like an X-Ray or MRI looks under the skin of a human.
With DigiTwin on the Novatec dryer, there is a constant 24/7 x-ray of all the vital processes within the machine—not just the PLC machine controller reporting high temperature or dewpoint changes, but all the sensors on the various components as well, allowing processors to constantly monitor the machine and its sub-components. With more than 20 sensors strategically placed throughout the dryer, the system constantly measures component performances and can detect changes long before the machine control even knows about it.
When DigiTwin senses changes it alerts operators to an upcoming condition that can be scheduled to be corrected before it alarms the machine brain or throws the production process off. There isn’t a single component system that is unmonitored, Novatec says. Moreover, when DigiTwin detects a problem, it identifies which component is starting to malfunction so that your maintenance staff spends virtually no diagnosis time and keeps the machine up and running as much as possible.
DigiTwin sends immediate texts to maintenance staff pinpointing the problem. They can open the app on their tablet and immediately see the virtual image of the very same physical machine in their factory. Components displaying potential future problems will be flashing yellow so that the service tech knows exactly where to go and what to do---saving hours and hours of troubleshooting and diagnosis. This makes the processor “smarter” too, says Novatec; they understand which components are displaying issues under which process and electrical conditions so that those components can be upgraded and improved to continuously improve equipment.
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