Informing Standards: evolving the business case for maintaining complex process facility digital twins

Randell McNair
Muma Business Review  •  Volume 6  •  2022  •  pp. 053-077
An industry standards organization sponsors a project to design a standard and document a means to assess the practical and economic benefits of 3D model maintenance throughout the complex process facility lifecycle. This article chronicles the elaborated action design research (eADR) approach used to evaluate the design and implementation stages of this project, reflecting on this ongoing effort to deploy a standard for management of 3D models. These 3D design models are a foundational element of the virtual representation or ‘digital twin’ of physical assets. The researcher evaluates the project artifacts created to date, focusing on the business case for the standard with various use cases where value can be derived from investment in maintaining the model beyond the design stage of capital facility development and its impact on total cost of ownership. Included in the analysis is an outline of key artifacts created as part of the researcher’s intervention and how they were created as well as a summary of the project’s artifacts and the use cases they support. Initial results of the project team’s analysis reveal how firms can reduce total cost of ownership while improving the performance and reliability of complex process facilities by maintaining the 3D design models and using them throughout the facility lifecycle.
eADR, Design Science Research, 3D model, Digital Twin Maturity Model, Industry 4.0, Operations Information Lifecycle Management, Standards, Action Design Research, total cost of ownership
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