The role of drives and condition monitoring in digital twins

What will the digital twin look like in the automation of the future and what role will drive technologies play in this? asked Dominik Follmann, head of the "˜Technical Infrastructure for Digital Twins' (TeDZ) project at KEB Automation, to provide a view.

Today, many companies are talking about the "˜digital twin' but a concrete definition is still very inconsistent. As a result, digital twins from different manufacturers often do not have the necessary interoperability to use them together. In its simplest form, a digital twin is a virtual model of a process, product or service. This pairing of the physical and digital worlds enables better analysis of data and improved monitoring of systems to prevent problems before they occur, minimise downtime, develop new opportunities and even plan for the future using simulation models.

In our TeDZ project, KEB is searching for possible savings potential and how these can be achieved and made available. Our aim is to provide users (and their customers) with easy access to the digital twin and on this basis generate significant added value for everyone. In the pilot project "˜Digital Energetic Twin' (DeZ), a sub-project of TeDZ, we are researching the different facets of digital twins. In particular, the focus is on the energy-related aspects, for example, an ideal energy-efficient design and the optimisation of energy consumption.

With the help of simulation models, we also intend to offer users the possibility of simulating the behaviour of a machine or plant. This could, for example, involve simulating the behaviour of a drive axis as realistically as possible during the planning phase. In this way, the energy consumption of a drive axis at certain operating points can be precisely predetermined. The models also enable users to develop and test large parts of the machine control system even before actual commissioning has occurred. This so-called "˜virtual commissioning' offers significant savings potential, such as time and cost savings during real commissioning later, as well as quality improvements and process reliability through error simulations.

The role of predictive maintenance and condition monitoring

We are also concerned with communications and appropriate definition of the semantics for dynamic data, i.e. data that can be acquired from the products at runtime. Due to their sensors and built-in intelligence, drive controllers can provide lots of useful information here, for example, for condition monitoring and predictive maintenance purposes. The aim is to provide product information such as engineering data or simulation models. This information can also be enhanced with additional data recorded during operation - as a digital representation of our products. Standardised access to all this information via an "˜administration shell' simplifies the integration of the components for customers. This brings advantages throughout the entire product lifecycle, from planning, engineering and commissioning, to servicing and replacement.

We are gaining lots of experience in dealing with the technologies mentioned. Working together on the project enables our team and its project partners to develop the technologies themselves and to test these in realistic scenarios in order to finally develop the results into market-ready solutions. The direct exchange and cooperation with other companies, as well as university and research institutions, makes it possible to "˜think outside the box' and also ensures that we have a comprehensive view during technical implementation. This provides KEB with the opportunity to reflect the results of its work back through various standardisation committees, so that the users of its products and solutions are guaranteed the broadest possible interoperability later on.

Learn more at

KEB (UK) Ltd

5 Morris Close
Park Farm Industrial Estate

+44 (0)1933 402220

More technical articles
22 hours ago
Nabtesco delivers solutions for every drive application
To continue meeting increasing demand, Nabtesco is substantially expanding its production capacities with the construction of a new factory in Hamamatsu, 250 km southwest of the its headquarters in Tokyo – which will double the annual production capacity to two million precision gearboxes by 2026.
1 day ago
Festo showing ‘Progress in Motion’ at PPMA 2022
The Festo stand at PPMA 2022 will focus on key applications for the process and packaging sector. These include innovative process valve controls, servo-controlled flow wrapping and a new solution for controlling web tension with dancing rollers.
1 day ago
IFM Electronic makes IIoT easy at PPMA 2022
At this year’s PPMA Show, IFM Electronic is focusing on its moneo IIoT platform. This has been developed specifically to provide a convenient solution to the challenge of converting the huge amount of data produced by modern plant and machines into useful information that can be used to reduce downtime, optimise efficiency and cut costs.
1 day ago
Bürkert extends capabilities with Fine Controls partnership
The key distribution partner agreement between Bürkert and Fine Controls brings OEMs or end users in process control a distributor who can supply all the parts necessary to build a complete process system, as well as offering design and specification support.
5 days ago
Individual service for signal integrity
The demands on connection technology performance are constantly increasing. By providing customised support, Phoenix Contact helps customers select connection components to ensure the highest possible signal integrity.
5 days ago
Aveva MES rises in the leader ranks of the latest Gartner report
Aveva’s Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) offering, which is deployed in the UK & Ireland by AVEVA Select partners SolutionsPT, has been recognised as a global leader in industrial software in the latest 2022 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Manufacturing Execution Systems.
6 days ago
Harwin and MSA Components sign German distribution deal
Harwin is bringing greater strength to its German supply chain through a new strategic partnership with MSA Components. The agreement allows MSA to offer all the latest products from Harwin’s extensive portfolio.
6 days ago
Siemens selected by Microsoft for RAMP Programme
Siemens Digital Industries Software has been selected to participate in the Rapid Assured Microelectronics Prototypes (RAMP) Phase II initiative.
6 days ago
Kontron receives VDC Research’s Gold Award for vendor satisfaction
Kontron has been recognised for outstanding customer satisfaction. The company has received the Gold Vendor Satisfaction Award for IoT and Embedded Hardware technology from VDC Research.
6 days ago
Mouser wins Vishay Distributor of the Year Award
Mouser Electronics has received the 2021 High Service Distributor of the Year award from Vishay Intertechnology, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of discrete semiconductors and passive electronic components.

Login / Sign up