Autodesk has launched its new digital twin AEC platform Tandem™ this week, noting that the CAD giant recognizes construction industry professionals adopting new digitization methods to reign in project inefficiencies, lack of coordination, and wasted time and money in the construction of building and infrastructure projects in AECO.
Tandem has launched as a public beta and offers a digital twin solution to help AEC professionals and their customers—the owners, investors, and developers of the built environment. The goal here is to help them make a big step change in the performance, management, and operations of their projects. Digital twins—a relatively new term in AEC—offers the industry a new technology paradigm so that building owners get the most out of their investments.
Last year, Autodesk became a Founding Member of the Digital Twin Consortium, an organization collaborating on digital twin best practices and standards, and a member of the Open Design Alliance, a nonprofit technology consortium that provides support and access to design file formats. These efforts are part of helping Autodesk’s AEC customers enjoy an optimal experience throughout a project’s lifecycle, including at handover.
Full Digital Lifecycles
With Autodesk Tandem as their digital twin platform, building owners can start digital and stay digital all the way through design, construction onward to post-occupancy and operations. Digital twin systems transform complex data into business intelligence, taking in data from numerous sources that include BIM geometry files, BIM data, product and equipment data, equipment sensor data and operations reports, and much more.
Tandem harnesses the building information model (BIM) created and utilized throughout the project lifecycle, which is key to creating a true digital twin asset. At the end of the construction of a project, the design and construction teams can deliver a comprehensive digital handover to the building owner.
Disorganized Data Means Lost Opportunities
That’s the vision, but the reality for much of the industry is different. Without a digital twin at handover, mounds of disorganized data in varying formats end up buried in electronic folders, rendering useless a treasure trove of valuable data insight. For an owner, that’s lost opportunity and money that cannot be recovered. Autodesk Tandem unlocks the treasure by freeing, organizing, and standardizing data from design and construction, creating a simple and intuitive digital replica of all the components, systems, and spaces in a facility.
Owners are asking Marin Pastar for this type of information several times a week. Pastar, a valued contributor to the development of Tandem beta, is Global Technology Leader of Vertical Information Modeling at Jacobs, a leading design, construction, and consulting firm, where he evangelizes the power of technology to break down silos and maximize efficiency. With approximately 80 percent of a facility’s total lifecycle cost realized during operations, Pastar says AEC professionals have an enormous opportunity to add value by helping owners reduce costs through tools like digital twins.
“Our ability to affect and reduce total cost of ownership drops drastically the farther we progress from design to construction to completion,” said Pastar. “If we consider what an owner will need at handover from the start, we can ensure proper management of assets based on their business goals and processes. We have an obligation to maximize our clients’ investment.”
Connecting Systems, Reducing Risk, Saving Money
Chief Technologist Brian Melton of Black & Veatch, a globally renowned engineering and construction company, is collaborating closely with Autodesk on the direction of Tandem’s development.
“We see Autodesk Tandem interfacing with data systems like Computerized Maintenance and Management Systems (CMMS) and supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems. This provides owners and operators access to all information through a connected experience that allows them to proactively reduce risk and increase resiliency,” said Melton. “Owners can start asking: Where are all the assets that currently have open maintenance work orders? What are the chances of this asset failing in the next five years? Is safety equipment near work areas? More connected systems and predictive insights that are visually aggregated using modern BIM/design data will be part of the handover package of the future.”
Melton sees Autodesk Tandem and digital twins as part of the broader digital transformation, where every system becomes more and more connected as data is generated. In that future, systems learn from one another, share insights, and optimize performance in real-time.
To learn more and join the beta program today, visit here.