With the rising costs of raw materials and resources a constant specter overshadowing manufacturing and engineering operations, businesses operating in these and related industries are constantly seeking methods to reduce resource usage and overall, bottom-line costs. While digital modeling and design has been in use for years, limitations in the theoretical modeling and the power of the computers creating these models themselves necessitated the use of physical prototypes and constant testing, resulting in a costly waste of materials over time. In this blog, Apex Technology will discuss how the rise of cloud computing and the virtually limitless capacity to affordably expand storage and computing power via managed cloud-computing services now allows companies access to technologies like digital twins, providing an overall savings for the operation.
What Are Digital Twins?
Using design and modeling software, Digital Twin technologies create exact virtual replicas of real-world objects, services, or processes that can then be tested and modified before they are actually released for mass use or production. What started as a manufacturing solution has made its way through the expanded adoption of AI and data-gathering via the Internet of Things, to be a technology leveraged across almost any industry. The increasing value of digital twins lies in the ability to measure and assess relevant data in existing objects or processes, and then use that data to design, test, modify and improve, and then put into practice or production new products or services that have been thoroughly vetted. While valuable, the ability to create digital twins and transition them from model to real-world products requires a tremendous amount of both digital storage and processing power. That’s where a cloud-based solution comes into play.
The Impact of Cloud Computing on Affordability
When we talk about the creation of digital twins, it’s important to understand the level of computing power that is necessary to make effective models and be able to test them sufficiently. This requires access to both great amounts of data storage space and tremendous levels of computing power in order to render and test models effectively and track all of the resulting data during the testing process. With cloud-based IT solutions such as those we offer to clients at Apex Technology, both of these needs are handled in extremely affordable ways
Easily Scale Data Storage to Your Changing Needs
For manufacturing operations and companies in the business of designing and executing complex tasks or services, there is a very essential need to be able to access flexible data storage options. During the design and testing phase, you’ll need the ability to track and organize massive amounts of data in order to provide the foundation for the necessary improvement models down the line. If you were trying to manage this on your own, you’d constantly have to buy and manage hard drives and maintain knowledgeable IT staff. This can get extremely expensive for a business due to the costs of hardware and personnel. However, outsourcing your data management to a cloud-based service, you’re given access to storage solutions that are extremely affordable and that can be scaled quickly to your needs. Cloud-based data storage centers house massive servers capable of handling more computing power than their collective clients might ever need access to at any single moment. Since clients are only paying for what they use, costs are kept low for customers, and service plans generally include the ability to pay for increased storage needs as the need arises.
Computing Power at Your Command
Building and testing models of a high enough quality to be considered a digital twin can require massive computing power to manage the incoming data stream from real-world sensors and to power the AI’s used in the process. Even the most powerful PC’s you can build from off-the-shelf parts will struggle to provide the necessary computing power. Through managed cloud-based computing solutions, you can quickly access additional computational power to support the AI processes that will help you best iterate on the project at hand.
The Best Cloud-Computing Service in Charlotte
At Apex Technology, we don’t expect our clients to maintain the necessary equipment or storage within their own buildings to support even the most basic of Digital Twins. Highly complex models built with powerful AIs and supported by a constant stream of incoming data collected by an army of sensors attached to related real-world devices or processes, digital twins can become quite expensive undertakings without access to an affordable cloud computing solution and an associated data-management solution. For Charlotte’s manufacturing and digital modeling needs, look no further than Apex Technology.