Businesses are always eager to find new ways to optimize resources, reduce costs and build sustainable businesses and often crave more data to help them make better decisions. Fortunately, the technology to collect data about your building or facility has never been more accessible than it is today. The internet of things (IoT), cloud computing, cheap data storage and cost-effective devices have provided businesses with unprecedented capability to connect physical world devices into digital world systems. Each new connection generates more data from which to analyze, learn and improve.
But new devices collecting more data does not automatically translate into practical value for the business. Data needs to be aggregated, normalized and often contextualized with other data for it to provide any meaningful insights. Also, devices, sensors and other connections need to be managed and secured. Very quickly, the shiny promise of new insights from new data is overshadowed by costly and seemingly endless integration effort.
As experts in industrial integration and automation, e-Magic understands the paradox of wanting to connect devices that generate data while also not knowing how to use that data strategically. That’s why our TwinWorX® platform connects to various systems, aggregates data and normalizes it into quality, trustworthy information that can be effectively leveraged for real insights into operational performance. As a solution, this would already provide a tonne of value, but what sets it apart as a scalable and uniquely capable platform is that it is built on the foundation of Microsoft Azure Digital Twins services.
Digital Twins are virtual models of physical things that can be viewed, controlled and analyzed digitally. Models include definitions of the asset’s attributes (properties), commands for controlling it, any components it has, its relationships to other entities and its data. The digital twins come to life and provide value when they are connected to data sources such as streaming telemetry data.
A key problem that Azure Digital Twins (ADT) solves is providing a framework for easily creating models that will accommodate both current and future use cases and also be interoperable with other twins. ADT uses an open modelling language called Digital Twins Definition Language (DTDL). DTDL represents a language that everyone can utilize to create interoperable models that understand one another. We can easily create twins that provide the insights we need today but in a way that it can be referenced for other purposes, data sources and connections going forward. A critical aspect to models is their relationship to other twins. By adopting and supporting industry specific ontologies like Real Estate Core for smart buildings and NGSI-LD for smart cities, Microsoft is enabling the common language of interoperability in the industry between and amongst digital twins.
Another powerful capability that TwinWorX® utilizes is the ability to graph twins and define how they relate to other assets. These twin relationships are stored in a knowledge graph, a type of database that is ideally suited for capturing, querying and visualizing relationships.
What makes the ADT platform so compelling is that we can also query the digital twin’s data and all related twins and their data using a SQL-like query syntax. Historical, trending, transactional, telemetry and other data types across a whole network of digital twins can be analyzed in the context of relationships and interdependencies providing new understanding and insights that would previously have required significant effort to develop.
It is these foundational capabilities that enable TwinWorX® to be extensible, scalable and interoperable. Our customers can quickly benefit from TwinWorX® smart building capabilities like 3D visualization FDD, alarming, analytics while also future proofing their investment with a solution built on Azure Digital Twins.