Empower Digital Site facilitates smart site management
Digital Site is Empower’s digital service that creates a digital twin by combining a model representing an unstaffed technical space with documentation and real time status information. A virtual or digital twin is a data-based model of its physical counterpart and supports different phases of operations. The model helps its user to understand past events and the current situation and to predict the future, enabling the owner to make the right decisions on use optimization and maintenance work, for instance, from the perspective of the entire life cycle. Potential application sites of Digital Site include a telecommunications room, an electrical substation or even a power plant, among other sites.
A Digital Site model can be created as a 360° virtual tour, a 3D model or their combination. Documentation associated with the service and the monitoring of conditions and operational situation is embedded in the model in a manner that enables the user to understand which part of the space or which device the data in question is related to. Conditions and operational situation can be analyzed with data provided by Empower’s proprietary EmSDM IoT solution or measurement devices operating in a LoRaWAN network, for instance.
– We started the development of Digital Site a couple of years ago as we realized that documentation of IT spaces in particular is largely deficient or difficult to use. We considered the solution to be a 360° virtual tour, which we tested for the first time in documenting a server room located at Empower’s Harjavalta site, says Joonas Koivuniemi, Head of Operational Excellence and New Business Development at Empower.
In 2018, Digital Site was piloted in telecommunications in Helsinki and Jyväskylä. The aim of the pilot project was to determine the product’s potential and guidelines for R&D. The customer feedback indicated the product was considered useful, and we now have a clearer direction for the further development of the product. In the ICT environment, potential can be found especially in maintaining photographic documentation of technical spaces and in achieving notably better usability than with current models.
Sustainability advantages was another aspect that came up in relation to ICT infrastructure.
– The adoption of Digital Site may reduce travelling to the sites covered by the service when the planning of alteration work, for instance, can be done with the digital twin. In addition, the analysis of conditions and operational situation helps optimize the space heating solution and consequently reduces energy consumption and lengthens device life cycles. Positive environmental impacts include reduced traffic emissions, reduced need for energy for heating and reduced demand for batteries, for instance, says Koivuniemi in conclusion.