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VR digital twins program pays off in dollars and ‘sense’


VR digital twins program pays off in dollars and ‘sense’

Implementing a VR digital twins program to operations that were previously executed with lower-tech, manual procedures is something of a leap of faith for many companies. - BicMagazine

Unlike other upgrades that can be measured by standard metrics, the direct return on investment (ROI) of digital twins is often intangible.

Adding to that, the rapid pace of technological advancement in the VR space can be difficult for industry to keep up with, making its use case even harder for managers to sell to their organizations' leaders. For example, rapidly evolving technology nearly renders VR headsets as almost outdated on the day they are purchased.

In my mind, this is one of the most critical and important spaces, because VR simulation gives us, our trainers and operators a safe place to practice, fail and get better at the skills they learned. They can see the consequences when things go wrong. Immersive Digital Twins: Transforming Training with Virtual Reality, as part of the recent IQPC Digital Twins in Oil and Gas Online conference. They also have the opportunity to learn how to do things the correct way, obviously, and they can learn how to improve at their activities.

Del Barto said, speaking in a group discussion titled

Regardless, Anthony Del Barto, learning technology manager for BP, explained that HS&E is a "huge space" for VR training and will be "a critical element for us, moving forward."

because it's about how VR is moving the needle on performance in a different way, where other training hasn't. I don't necessarily look to VR as the ROI. I really think of VR as an element of simulation.

Del Barto said he recognizes measuring VR's ROI is challenging

It's about more than money

Co-panelist Brent Kedzierski, head of learning strategy and innovation for Shell, shared a specific use of digital twins that is fully ROI-measurable.

Out on the rigs, you would typically have to fly people to the rig, then back to the training center to get tested and certified. Instead of flying them back and forth, we are able to do immersive VR that [provides] the training and meets the need without the travel. That's an easy use case - probably one of the clearest ones you'll find.

Kedzierski said

Del Barto agreed and added that measuring success is about more than dollars and cents.

Measuring ROI shows that the training is functioning. Individuals can go through training locally on their computers, so you can look to get ROI cost savings immediately just by reducing travel for individuals that had to go different places for training.

Del Barto said

Co-panelist Marcelo Fernandez, product owner for digital twin and rich media for Chevron, said he believes operational excellence is more important than ROI, especially in the beginning of a company's VR digital twin journey "as you start creating more value and scaling up, and delivering in more places to more people."

You can show the financials very quickly and you can also track and start to see how individuals are performing better as they're doing these hands-on simulated tasks. From the ROI perspective, the money is really great, but when you're thinking about safety and operational risk, and being able to demonstrate the individuals are performing the tasks in a better and more efficient way - that, in my mind, is the critical piece.

Del Barto said

In terms of the workforce, Fernandez also noted a more tangible success marker of VR and digital twins technology is that it "reduces organizations' carbon footprint."

Looking to the future, Kedzierski said large companies would be wise to encourage collaboration among themselves to benefit the entire industry, "because we're all brothers and sisters in the wider industry."

Guys and gals like us ... make the industry safer with more reliable performers - that's a good cause when we can work together for the betterment of all. Partnerships of the future will be a much larger and more sustainable route for our industry.

Kedzierski concluded

Gavin Taylor, vice president of global sales and strategy with 3t Energy Group, moderated the discussion.

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