I was thrilled last week to see the US Department of Energy’s announcement of $27 million in funding to support new applications of digital twin technology in the nuclear industry through its Generating Electricity Managed by Intelligent Nuclear Assets (GEMINA) program. It’s a key indicator of how the energy sector is increasingly embracing the better outcomes this technology can deliver across their supply chain.
As a company, GE Digital has enjoyed a great amount of success in achieving better outcomes for customers using our Digital Twin technology. Our Industrial Managed Services team has helped customers manage more than 8,000 assets in their center last year, and this helped generate $187 million of customer documented savings in 2019. The company has assisted customers with a range of digital twin applications - for jet engines in flight; submersible pumps in oil wells; turbines on power plants; and packaging palletizing machines in manufacturing. The application and content configuration can be different for every customer and use case.
We are excited that our colleagues in GE Research and GE Hitachi Nuclear will continue to innovate using predictive analytics to create ground-breaking digital twin technologies for nuclear reactors.
As part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s GEMINA program award announcement, our colleagues at GE Research were selected to help lead two projects that will transform the future of the nuclear power industry. The GE Research project is in concert with MIT and GE Hitachi, as well as other research facilities and customers, to develop Digital Twin technology for advanced nuclear reactors utilizing artificial intelligence and advanced modelling controls.
Based on our Digital Twin analytics, with customers like Exelon Generation, this technology will add to our already robust catalog of Digital Twin predictive maintenance capabilities that help power generators provide safe and affordable electricity. The Digital Twin Catalog already has Digital Twin blueprints covering 30% of potential failure modes in nuclear plants – addressing critical assets like pumps, turbines and compressors.
The team will also work on new predictive maintenance approaches and model-based fault system detection techniques that will be factored into our work with Digital Twins to address mechanical and thermal fatigue failure modes which drive operations and maintenance activities.
We're helping customers take their strategies from being defined once every five or 10 years to being defined and optimized in real time. Digital Twins are a critical tool that GE Digital is using to help customers move corrective maintenance to predictive maintenance – key outcomes for customers in all industries.