Digital Themes

Digital Engineering

What is Digital Engineering?

Digital Engineering refers to the design and development of applications utilizing digital technology. Digital engineering services and solutions include digital automation, content creators, data analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), digital twin technology, and machine learning.

Digital engineering is used to develop drawings, simulations, and 3D models for the purposes of collecting data and testing designs in digital and virtual environments, enabling designers to investigate various possibilities and create more evolved innovative solutions. Simulations and 3D models are what come to mind when discussing digital engineering, but the advancing technologies go beyond that. Once the design phase is complete, the use of these technologies can then record data and navigate more advantageous solutions. 

Digital technologies continue to improve and scale, thus needing engineers with traditional engineering skills, software engineering proficiency, experience creating 3D models, and knowledge of data-science techniques. A digital engineer creates a building information model (BIM), a digital depiction of a material asset that consists of data regarding design, construction, and proposed functionality. They collect and reconstruct data to form a digital twin, maintaining the data in a structured and scalable way. A BIM supports architects and engineers in performance trials prior to construction and can enhance ongoing asset performance.

Digital engineering technologies can also include drone imagery, virtual reality, internet of things (IoT) sensors, and advanced building materials. BIM used in conjunction with these various technologies can inform a digital twin to guarantee that it correctly portrays the attributes of the tangible asset.

Advanced technologies can digitally produce and distribute data to properly envision, demonstrate, and assess all of the possible scenarios within the operational workflows, providing valuable insights and empowering quick accommodations and tailored solutions.

What are the business benefits of Digital Engineering?

  • With the increased testing capabilities of a digital twin, a business can test and anticipate possible project outcomes, thus understanding the intricacies of asset construction and reducing possible risks. 

  • Digital engineering involves collaborative ecosystems across various departments and demographics that empower innovation by identifying, generating, and quickly validating ideas, observations, and analysis.

  • Correctly portraying attributes in a virtual environment allows more room for innovation. The ability to test various solutions with little to no risk creates an environment primed for inventive solutions.

  • Digital engineering enables increased asset efficiency by helping engineers to initially design with maximum asset value at the core of the design process.

  • Advanced technology allows for rapid testing of solutions virtually, decreasing time spent on implementing insufficient solutions. 

  • Insight into potential workflow friction or delays can produce anticipatory solutions. Having a plan in place for these various points of friction enables employees and customers to proceed more confidently. 

  • Digital engineering technology can identify safety risks for construction workers, the public, and any future users early in the design process, and work to mitigate those risks before asset deployment.
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