With skepticism that the metaverse will “change everything” growing as Meta struggles to produce viable immersive virtual reality, there’s a new “next big thing” waiting in the wings: the industrial metaverse.
In this first article in a new PYMNTS series on this burgeoning use of private metaverses, we’ll look at how companies are embracing the “digital twins” of their factories and facilities and the various use cases for enterprise virtual reality and second corporate lives.
See also: Nvidia and Deloitte Beat Meta to Punch with the Enterprise VR offer
So what is an industrial metaverse and how will it be used?
There are two basic types of industrial metaverse, starting with collaborative spaces where designers from across the country or the world can collaborate on a single project in a single virtual space or where marketers can unveil, showcase or even sell products. virtual – test drive a car, for example.
Read more: Nvidia and Deloitte beat Meta to strike with enterprise VR offering
But another, and perhaps the greatest real value of the industrial metaverse is the digital twin, a recreation of a factory or other facility where designs can be tested and production issues can be observed – and adjusted. or corrected – in real time.
Nvidia Omniverse Enterprise metaverse technology is being used to build a digital twin of German rail operator Deutsche Bahn that will allow it to monitor operations across its entire network of 5,700 stations and 20,500 miles of track in real time.
The Living Metaverse
Unlike Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s much-mocked Horizon Worlds, companies ranging from Siemens and Boeing to Mercedes and BMW already have industrial metaverses up and running, Digital Engineering reported.
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Siemens Digital Native Factory in Nanjing, China, was built in the metaverse as a digital twin before a single excavator entered the ground, the company said in a statement.
This “optimized the building and detected and mitigated potential problems at an early stage,” he said. “Small and big planning errors, which in the past cost a lot of money and a lot of time, have been completely avoided. And we continue to use the power of simulation during operations.
Manufacturing capacity has increased by 200% and productivity by 20%, he said. The photorealistic digital twin allows it to create the optimal layout for construction robots, test the impact of temperature changes, and even simulate the impact of faulty parts.
“Products are extremely complex,” said Tony Hemmelgarn, president and CEO of Siemens Digital Industry Software, during a VentureBeat-led panel discussion at industrial metaverse builder Nvidia’s GTC virtual conference in September. “An automobile has hundreds of thousands of requirements attached to it, or an airplane or whatever. How do you change a requirement without knowing how it affects everything else virtually? If you can’t represent software, you can’t represent electronics, or mechanical design, or better yet manufacturing and automation and all the things that go into building that product, you really can’t simulate it.
In December, Boeing revealed that it planned to build its next major jet, the 777X, using digital twin technology to create virtual 3D representations of the aircraft and its engines, allowing engineers to simulate and test real-time designs and changes, Reuters said. Each design will be supported by a “digital thread” going deeper into the supply chain with individual airline requirements, details of the millions of parts, every design change and the thousands of pages of required certification documents attached, a- he added.
It’s “about changing the way we work across the company,” Boeing chief engineer Greg Hyslop told Reuters, adding that 70% of quality issues can be traced back to design issues. “You’ll get speed, you’ll get better quality, better communication, and better responsiveness when things go wrong.”
And hopefully avert disasters like the flaw that crashed several 737 MAX planes in 2018 and 2019, halting production for nearly two years as more potential problems were uncovered.
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