Numerical simulations open up possibilities in the real world

Numerical simulations open up possibilities in the real world

Numerical simulations open up possibilities in the real world

Rock : Yeah, I know. This is indeed a big question and we get asked this question a lot these days, especially because of crypto and cryptocurrency and the whole notion of proof of work and how it works. It’s very, very energy-intensive, true, but I think we can all agree that it might not be the best value or the best time spent doing this work. In the case of the industrial metaverse, we think it’s actually really useful to have those simulations in the digital world first and then put them in the real world.

According to the figures that I know, ICT (information and communication technologies) contribute about 4% to greenhouse gas emissions. Now, there are other studies that I know of that suggest up to 40% of greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced due to the digitalization effect, which we think is possible. So this is it. It is a factor of 1 to 10 in terms of leverage. So, yes, there is an element that you have to invest in and probably create a little more greenhouse gases, but the net effect is very much in favor of doing that.

Last point on this one, the bottom line today is that we need to understand the carbon footprint we leave behind. Today, that’s a rough estimate. Today we say, “Well, about 50 gigatonnes of CO2 equivalents are emitted every year.” But it’s a simulation, it’s an estimate. We really don’t know. It’s not the real number, but you have to get to the real number. So we created a low-power blockchain, which uses as much energy as two clicks on a web page. This allows you to communicate your product’s carbon footprint between different manufacturers, so that at the very end of the chain, you can actually summarize the whole carbon footprint, based on real values, so that you know, for example, how much of a carbon footprint produced by your smartphone. This is the step we have to take first, so the basis of carbon in the designs, before then moving on to reduction.

Laurel: There’s also something to be said, too, that by having the digital twins and this industrial metaverse opportunity, things like trains and cars and other large manufacturing facilities could then be made more sustainable themselves , because you are able to do it in this simulation environment. Does that sound good?

Rock : Yeah, absolutely, absolutely. We tend to think, if you will, of the green digital twin. Think of a designer today. What does a designer do? The designer usually has a schedule. You have to design this product by X. It has to cost no more than Y, and it has to serve those functional properties, in that it has to go as fast or it has to be as stiff by Z. That’s how it happens. We think there’s now a fourth dimension and that’s the green aspect, so the green digital twin where you say, “And it mustn’t be more than that many tonnes or kilograms of CO2.” This is where you now have an additional optimization element that needs to come into play. It’s a compromise, isn’t it? That’s what’s happening right now, and these calculation tools allow you to find the best compromise, as I said, before you even build these devices, buildings, factories, etc.

Laurel: We reviewed some of the benefits of digitizing Industrial IoT (Internet of Things) in the industrial metaverse: data, time to market, responsiveness to customers, as well as this ability to improve sustainability. , but what are some of the challenges? Why aren’t we all there yet?

Rock : Well, as always, there are plenty. First and foremost, of course, are the old systems. Each company has its own computer systems, its own configurations. Therefore, most of the technologies that we want to implement are of course not scalable as they should and could be. Secondly, very often there is no interface, either from the machine where you can extract the data or from the software where the data resides. This whole notion of being open and being able to access data from other apps is really a major hurdle. For me, to wrap it all up, it’s really the whole issue of interoperability.

We just launched what we call the Siemens Xcelerator, which is a digital trading platform where we promote portfolio items. So really open solutions, where you have interfaces, called application programming interfaces (APIs), that are open. They will outline where others can actually build on them, and are also very flexible so you can install them in existing brownfield environments. This is truly the greatest challenge in the industrial world.


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