The CTC Technology Centre is developing a digital twin for a pressure vessel that simulates the behaviour of a typical industrial process. This development will enable observing the physical effects caused by changes in temperature and pressure in the vessel; a critical factor for sectors that operate with hazardous substances and which is difficult to inspect with current solutions.
The TWINCAN innovation project has an 18-month execution period and is co-financed by theEuropean Regional Development Fund through the Cantabria Operational Programme FEDER 2014- 2020 within the INNOVA 2019 line of subsidies. The research reinforces CTC’s position as a benchmark agent in industrial numerical modelling and constitutes an excellent opportunity to expand the benefits of this technology.
Applying digital twins in components (or metal processing products) is a recent innovation for the industry. Sectors such as Oil and Gas and renewable energies, primarily when they operate in an offshore environment, are the main drivers of this technology. However, it is also beginning to be used in other areas such as capital goods production, the automotive industry, the maritime industry or the food sector.
TWINCAN, which has successfully covered its early stages, can be applied to virtually any company or industry operating with high-value pressure vessels. The progressive increase of digital twins in the industry will optimise the use of resources and reduce costs. By testing and predicting the behaviour of the component in a virtual mode for specific operating scenarios, this technology will avoid further testing. This technology could generate savings of around 20% in maintenance and technical inspection costs if adapted to the specific conditions of the companies.
A hybrid numerical model (digital and real) validated through a laboratory-scale demonstrator will be the outcome of the project. If the research achieves the expected results, the most critical variables in a pressure vessel such as stresses, pressures, deformations and internal variables, among others, may be forecast. This circumstance places CTC in a strategic position to provide the industry with high added-value services in fields such as advanced engineering and predictive maintenance, both of which are in high demand in Cantabria.
TWINCAN bolsters CTC’s position as a qualified agent in developing virtual models applied to the industrial field. The participation of the Cantabrian centre in the Miraged Strategic Programme, an initiative to become a national and European benchmark in developing knowledge about digital twins for structures and mechanical components, and enter into the Cervera Network of Excellence, an exclusive network of technology centres promoted by the Centre for the Development of Industrial Technology (CDTI) to position certain strategic technology areas for the Spanish economy at the head of the continent, have represented a giant step forward in the centre’s specialisation policy.
High added-value solutions such as representing numerical models for the prediction of the remaining useful life of structures and components; modelling the most important degradation mechanisms in component operation (fatigue, fracture, wear, corrosion, etc.); or implementing advanced data analysis techniques by applying artificial intelligence are part of the solutions the Cantabrian innovation centre will provide to companies.
CTC’s research capacity is completed with a proven track record in this field during the last decade. During this period, it has offered innovative solutions related to advanced numerical modelling to over 30 entities, most of which have been SMEs.