ABB and CORYS Partner to Develop Digital Twins

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By Michael Larner | 1Q 2021 | IN-6026

Swiss industrial automation and robotics companies ABB and CORYS (a supplier of simulators employed for training staff and augmenting engineering processes) have signed a strategic partnership to combine their expertise in digital twin modeling and simulation technology in order to support firms in the energy and process manufacturing sectors. The companies will utilize ABB’s Ability 800xA Simulator, which develops digital replicas of a plant’s control system, and CORYS’s high-fidelity Indiss Plus process modeling simulator, which is used to accurately reflect process behavior during both normal and transient periods.

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Companies Are Combining Their Simulation Expertise

NEWS


Swiss industrial automation and robotics companies ABB and CORYS (a supplier of simulators employed for training staff and augmenting engineering processes) have signed a strategic partnership to combine their expertise in digital twin modeling and simulation technology in order to support firms in the energy and process manufacturing sectors. The companies will utilize ABB’s Ability 800xA Simulator, which develops digital replicas of a plant’s control system, and CORYS’s high-fidelity Indiss Plus process modeling simulator, which is used to accurately reflect process behavior during both normal and transient periods.

Process manufacturers and energy producers need to ensure their facilities are both safe and running at optimal performance. Digital twins and simulation software help firms to identify issues, evaluate options to rectify them, and then use simulators to train staff on how the changes need to be implemented.

Both Firms Are Key Suppliers to the Sectors

IMPACT


Taking advantage of their respective specialisms, the ABB-CORYS partnership will combine two vendors that are well placed to support companies looking to develop a digital twin package. CORYS is based in Grenoble and specializes in training and dynamic simulators for engineers. The company’s dynamic simulators have been deployed by Waga Energy to demonstrate that its new range of high-capacity biomethane production units meet regulations. Hanwha Total Petrochemical is working with CORYS to develop an Operator Training Simulator (OTS) for its new polypropylene plant, while Hyundai Engineering & Construction has chosen CORYS to develop an immersive 3D training simulator with the Indiss Plus solution reproducing the plant’s layout based on CAD files.

ABB's System 800xA helps clients visualize their operations, simulate new operational configurations, and support staff training. The solution has been deployed by Swedish pulp manufacturer Södra Cell to train operators on the company’s control systems and also enables Australian natural gas company QCG to have visibility of all assets and production operations across its upstream facilities by controlling the control, safety, telecommunications, CCTV, electrical, and maintenance systems. The company’s operations centers receives information from 24 field compression stations, six central processing plants, two water treatment plants, and two training LNG export facilities. In Latin America, ABB’s Ability System 800xA in conjunction with the ABB Ability MineOptimize solution is being deployed by Nexa Resources to control and automate operations at the firms’ mining and smelting process installations in Brazil and Peru.

The companies can now deliver an end-to-end solution with process manufacturers and energy firms able to create models and test scenarios to increase plant performance plus manage equipment and devise condition-based maintenance programs. Furthermore, the partnership can support test and control strategies, and manage changes throughout the operational life cycle and the training of end users.

Crawl, Walk, Run Will Serve the Firms Well

RECOMMENDATIONS


Companies have dual aims when deploying simulations: improving plant productivity via automation and ensuring worker safety. Digital twins can potentially help manufacturers and industrial firms improve the day-to-day control of their operations but also by virtue of simulating scenarios be able to make changes in a timely manner and keep projects on budget. Digital twins and simulators not only help manage projects but also their implementation with the ability to train staff on both systems and processes ahead of time, avoiding disruption risks to the day-to-day operations.

Initially, the strategic partnership’s objective is to develop and integrate CORYS’s products with ABB and target their mutual clients in the chemicals, mining, and oil and gas sectors. This makes sense because both companies should understand the operating environment and objectives of each client in turn. ABB, CORYS, and the client can take their time in devising projects. Oil and gas firms are already commencing ambitious digital twin projects, with Shell earlier this year starting a 7-year project creating a digital twin of its 600-acre Pulau Bukom facility, located in Singapore (see the ABI Insight Shell’s Ambitious Plan to Create a Digital Twin of an Entire Facility (IN-5959)). ABI Research expects that the companies will welcome the fact that two vendors are collaborating for their benefit. Creating solutions and case studies at mutual clients will enable the partnership to scale and target greenfield opportunities in due course.

For ABB, the partnership extends its digital twin portfolio to now support engineers with simulation and training in addition to its distributed control systems. The engineering data can potentially feed the ABB Ability Genix Industrial Analytics and AI Suite. The enhanced portfolio will enable ABB to compete with the likes of Siemens, Emerson, Omron, and Rockwell. ABI Research anticipates that for CORYS the partnership will increase its footprint and recognition of its expertise as a result of being utilized in greenfield opportunities by ABB.