Industrial Metaverse – Impacts On The Industry

Supriyo has over 25 plus years of experience in product engineering and has led multiple software product, platform & business solutions development for various customers globally across different sectors like ISV, Automotive & Healthcare.

Supriyo Das


Metaz Digital Private Limited 

Metaverse is the 3D extension of the Internet today. Gartner defines the Metaverse as a persistent & immersive digital environment of independent, yet interconnected networks that will use yet-to-be-determined protocols for communications. It enables persistent, decentralized, collaborative, interoperable digital content that intersects with the physical world’s real-time, spatially oriented & indexed content.”

Usually, we connect Metaverse with the B2C world e.g., Gaming, EdTech, Reality Show, Online Retail/e-commerce stores, etc. However, Metaverse is not only confined to B2C but has a huge adoption in Industrial Automation, Manufacturing, Collaborative Product Development & Testing, and Product Installation & Operations.

For example, BMW, Germany has created a Digital Twin of 31 different Factories that uses real-time data to create a 3D Environment which is a living mirror of a Shop Floor using the NVIDIA Omniverse Platform. This has resulted in a 30% Boost in Production Planning Efficiency. BMW also uses this platform to train Robots to navigate the Factory. It is also used as a Collaborative Design Platform for Designers across the Globe to experiment with new line layouts.

Metaverse & Industry 4.0 are tightly coupled. Industrial IoT devices collect data from Equipment & Environment & store it in Cloud & IoT Services provides access to this data. On the other hand, we have 3D Visualization Technologies, AR/VR/MR, CAD, Blockchain & AI. These two streams combined together create an immersive environment where IoT data can be accessed in new and innovative ways. On top of this, we add remote collaboration as a feature set in this environment, where many users may access the same data at the same time and interact with each other virtually. Real-time positioning systems can add another layer to this mix and track an entity’s position in real-time. This is rendered in the 3D world so that Avatars can act as a real-time replica of the real world.

Let’s look at some of the most relevant Industrial use cases for Industrial Metaverse:

Better Product Design

With Metaverse more Intuitive Collaboration can happen between Tech & Non-Tech users for Product Design. Experts can communicate better with non-Experts which enables them to explore multiple design & manufacturing options. It helps Customers visualize, simulate & analyze physical & functional performance before they build anything. It helps them explore different ideas, see how practical the implementation could be & feel the potential benefits & get stakeholders’ inputs. It also enables the integration of multiple products from different Vendors to build the Virtual Prototype.

Product Testing & Validation

Combination of Photo Realistic Environment with Multi-Disciplinary & Multi-Physics Simulations gives possibilities to simulate virtually more operational scenarios. We can generate Synthetic Data to train & test Autonomous Systems like AGVs, Robots in Factories with more operational scenarios suitable Virtually. We can also do Massive Integration Testing Virtually which is difficult to set up otherwise.

Enhanced Digital Twin

Digital Twin are there for decades. Metaverse, combined with high speed & high bandwidth 5G Network as well as Improved Computing Horse Power & Data Storage makes Physical to Digital integration in Digital Twin persistent with a highly Immersive Experience. Multiple Digital Twins can be integrated now to build a Massive Digital Twin. For example, BMW has integrated 30 Plants with the NVIDIA Omniverse Platform. Now teams spread across the globe can create and share photorealistic 3D worlds. This makes it easy for designers, architects, engineers, and other creators to collaborate on the same 3D world in real-time.

Another great use case of Metaverse & Digital Twin is Infrastructure & Construction Industry. It helps customers to make high-impact decisions for example, building materials, Construction Methods, etc. which will affect in long term the operational cost, sustainability, etc.

Plant Operation & Efficiency Improvement

Plants can be better operated virtually. The virtual plant operators can understand the unique characteristics of Equipment, performance, and possible concerns, if any, on the virtual simulation model by presenting a duplicate of the machines. The operators can get the signals of Equipment Failure in real-time via sensors linked to the entire setup & take timely preventive actions.

Operators can now optimize the performance of machinery in real-time, monitor the coordination of all devices, make diagnostics on virtual plants, and fix defects with little productivity loss, with the real-time operation updates in Metaverse. Operators can visualize Operational Data & Workflow mapped onto Physical Devices. With Virtual commission, new devices & software could be tested in the Production Scenario without disturbing the production line.

With more detailed, physics-based designs, the margin of error for production will be much smaller improving the Production Quality.

Metaverse will also help Workers & Engineers to get trained specially for Complex machinery improving productivity.

Supply Chain

Metaverse will help in making the warehouse operations much more optimized and efficient including Warehouse Design & layout, Operational Optimization through Virtual Simulation, training the workforce to handle Sensitive & Hazardous goods, etc.

Given the critical role, Metaverse can play in Industrial Design, Manufacturing & Operations, the Industry is investing in building Platforms & Tools for Metaverse. NVIDIA Omniverse, AWS IOT Twin Maker, and Microsoft Metaverse are gaining traction in Industrial Metaverse. BMW is a great example of Metaverse adoption to integrate Global Factory Operations. I strongly feel Industrial Metaverse will have much more rapid adoption than in the B2C space.

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