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Delivering an Advanced Vehicle Testing System in Australia

A collaboration between a South Australian automotive and defence supplier and researchers at Flinders University and DSTG Edinburgh will develop an advanced method to test a vehicle’s condition for preventative maintenance and condition monitoring.

Experts at Flinders’ College of Science and Engineering will work with DSTG (the Australian Government Defence Science & Technology Group) and the tech company to develop digital twins, which will support the design of an advanced shock absorber for the company. The technology will then be applied more widely.

The Founder and CEO of the automotive and defence supplier stated that the development is the latest initiative in an outstanding collaboration between industry, government and the tertiary sector in South Australia. He noted that the company has a strong partnership with both DSTG and Flinders on various levels and several of its staff are doing the Diploma of Digital Technologies at Tonsley with other members of the defence and other industries.

Nicholas Brealey, a Digital Logistics Specialist from DSTG’s Land Division, says many current digital twins focus predominantly on a software simulation with the only one-way transfer of data. This research creates a more comprehensive digital twin as it focuses on the two-way transfer of data and the ability of the digital twin to initiate action in the physical vehicle. It is also very beneficial in providing a real-life demonstration of a digital twin, which may help people to imagine new applications and possibilities for digital twins.

According to Giselle Rampersad, Professor of Innovation at Flinders University, digital twins offer benefits of preventative maintenance and condition monitoring across a range of domains including frigates and submarines, satellites in space, and other industrial settings such as advanced manufacturing.

Projects such as these are important in understanding the value to organisations that can be derived during the life cycle of a product from design reviews to the construction phase, remote monitoring and managing the supply chain while in use and for sustainment into the future.

Digital twin systems can apply to various vehicle components as well as an entire land vehicle and evaluate the role of human decision-making, particularly in sense and respond logistics, which relate directly to the Department of Defence’s L400 program of work.

More broadly, they may offer significant implications for applications within commercial vehicles, according to Professor Rampersad, who will work with other Flinders University experts Professor Karl Sammut, Associate Professor Russell Brinkworth, Dr Andrew Lammas and Myles Adams.

As well as DSTG research leader Brealey, the research team at the company also includes Fiorinotto, Engineering Manager Dr Robert Koehler and Ashley Johns, who has studied the digital technologies course at Flinders University at Tonsley.

The global digital twin market size was valued at US$3.1 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach US$48.2 billion by 2026. It is expected to grow at a CAGR of 58% during the forecast period. Increasing demand for digital twins in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the changing face of maintenance, and the growing adoption of digital twin solutions to cope up with the COVID-19 pandemic are the key factors driving the growth of the digital twin market.

The automotive & transportation industry accounted for the largest market share in the digital twin market in 2019. This growth can be attributed to the increasing usage of digital twins for designing, simulation, MRO (maintenance, repair, and overhaul), production, and after service.

The automotive & transportation industry will witness high growth in the post-COVID-19 period, as industry players will try to adopt digital solutions for their end-to-end operations to minimizes losses that have occurred due to the pandemic.

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