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Article
Publication date: 27 November 2020

Christopher Santi Götz, Patrik Karlsson and Ibrahim Yitmen

The blockchain-based digital twin has been recognized as a prominent technological ecosystem featuring synergies with both established and emergent information management…

Abstract

Purpose

The blockchain-based digital twin has been recognized as a prominent technological ecosystem featuring synergies with both established and emergent information management practice. The purpose of this research is to explore the applicability, interoperability and integrability of a blockchain-based digital twin for asset life cycle management and develop a model of framework which positions the digital twin within a broader context of current management practice and technological availability.

Design/methodology/approach

A systematic literature review was performed to map use cases of digital twin, IoT, blockchain and smart contract technologies. Surveys of industry professionals and analyses were conducted focussing on the mapped use cases' life cycle–centric applicability, interoperability and integrability with current asset life cycle management practice, exploring decision support capabilities and industry insights. Lastly, a model of framework was developed based on the use case, interoperability and integrability findings.

Findings

The results support approaching digitization initiatives with blockchain-based digital twins and the positioning of the concept as both a strategic tool and a multifunctional on-field support application. Integrability enablers include progression towards BIM level 3, decentralized program hubs, modular cross-technological platform interfaces, as well as mergeable and scalable blockchains.

Practical implications

Knowledge of use cases help highlight the functionality of an integrated technological ecosystem and its connection to comprehensive sets of asset life cycle management aspects. Exploring integrability enablers contribute to the development of management practice and solution development as user expectations and technological prerequisites are interlinked.

Originality/value

The research explores asset life cycle management use cases, interoperability and integrability enablers of blockchain-based digital twins and positions the technological ecosystem within current practice and technological availability.

Details

Smart and Sustainable Built Environment, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-6099

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 15 June 2021

Omobolanle Ruth Ogunseiju, Johnson Olayiwola, Abiola Abosede Akanmu and Chukwuma Nnaji

The physically-demanding and repetitive nature of construction work often exposes workers to work-related musculoskeletal injuries. Real-time information about the…

Abstract

Purpose

The physically-demanding and repetitive nature of construction work often exposes workers to work-related musculoskeletal injuries. Real-time information about the ergonomic consequences of workers' postures can enhance their ability to control or self-manage their exposures. This study proposes a digital twin framework to improve self-management ergonomic exposures through bi-directional mapping between workers' postures and their corresponding virtual replica.

Design/methodology/approach

The viability of the proposed approach was demonstrated by implementing the digital twin framework on a simulated floor-framing task. The proposed framework uses wearable sensors to track the kinematics of workers' body segments and communicates the ergonomic risks via an augmented virtual replica within the worker's field of view. Sequence-to-sequence long short-term memory (LSTM) network is employed to adapt the virtual feedback to workers' performance.

Findings

Results show promise for reducing ergonomic risks of the construction workforce through improved awareness. The experimental study demonstrates feasibility of the proposed approach for reducing overexertion of the trunk. Performance of the LSTM network improved when trained with augmented data but at a high computational cost.

Research limitations/implications

Suggested actionable feedback is currently based on actual work postures. The study is experimental and will need to be scaled up prior to field deployment.

Originality/value

This study reveals the potentials of digital twins for personalized posture training and sets precedence for further investigations into opportunities offered by digital twins for improving health and wellbeing of the construction workforce.

Details

Smart and Sustainable Built Environment, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-6099

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Article
Publication date: 14 September 2021

Min-Ren Yan, Lin-Ya Hong and Kim Warren

This paper proposes an integrated knowledge visualization and digital twin system for supporting strategic management decisions. The concepts and applications of strategic…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper proposes an integrated knowledge visualization and digital twin system for supporting strategic management decisions. The concepts and applications of strategic architecture have been illustrated with a concrete real-world case study and decision rules of using the strategic digital twin management decision system (SDMDS) as a more visualized, adaptive and effective model for decision-making.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper integrates the concepts of mental and computer models and examines a real case's business operations by applying system dynamics modelling and digital technologies. The enterprise digital twin system with displaying real-world data and simulations for future scenarios demonstrates an improved process of strategic decision-making in the digital age.

Findings

The findings reveal that data analytics and the visualized enterprise digital twin system offer better practices for strategic management decisions in the dynamic and constantly changing business world by providing a constant and frequent adjustment on every decision that affects how the business performs over both operational and strategic timescales.

Originality/value

In the digital age and dynamic business environment, the proposed strategic architecture and managerial digital twin system converts the existing conceptual models into an advanced operational model. It can facilitate the development of knowledge visualization and become a more adaptive and effective model for supporting real-time management decision-making by dealing with the complicated dependence of constant flow of data input, output and the feedback loop across business units and boundaries.

Content available
Article
Publication date: 30 April 2021

Sepehr Alizadehsalehi and Ibrahim Yitmen

The purpose of this research is to develop a generic framework of a digital twin (DT)-based automated construction progress monitoring through reality capture to extended…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this research is to develop a generic framework of a digital twin (DT)-based automated construction progress monitoring through reality capture to extended reality (RC-to-XR).

Design/methodology/approach

IDEF0 data modeling method has been designed to establish an integration of reality capturing technologies by using BIM, DTs and XR for automated construction progress monitoring. Structural equation modeling (SEM) method has been used to test the proposed hypotheses and develop the skill model to examine the reliability, validity and contribution of the framework to understand the DRX model's effectiveness if implemented in real practice.

Findings

The research findings validate the positive impact and importance of utilizing technology integration in a logical framework such as DRX, which provides trustable, real-time, transparent and digital construction progress monitoring.

Practical implications

DRX system captures accurate, real-time and comprehensive data at construction stage, analyses data and information precisely and quickly, visualizes information and reports in a real scale environment, facilitates information flows and communication, learns from itself, historical data and accessible online data to predict future actions, provides semantic and digitalize construction information with analytical capabilities and optimizes decision-making process.

Originality/value

The research presents a framework of an automated construction progress monitoring system that integrates BIM, various reality capturing technologies, DT and XR technologies (VR, AR and MR), arraying the steps on how these technologies work collaboratively to create, capture, generate, analyze, manage and visualize construction progress data, information and reports.

Details

Smart and Sustainable Built Environment, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-6099

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 16 March 2021

Zhiheng Zhao, Ray Y. Zhong, Yong-Hong Kuo, Yelin Fu and G.Q. Huang

Physical gatherings at social events have been found as one of the main causes of COVID-19 transmission all over the world. Smartphone has been used for contact tracing by…

Abstract

Purpose

Physical gatherings at social events have been found as one of the main causes of COVID-19 transmission all over the world. Smartphone has been used for contact tracing by exchanging messages through Bluetooth signals. However, recent confirmed cases found in venues indicated that indirect transmission of the causative virus occurred, resulting from virus contamination of common objects, virus aerosolization in a confined space or spread from inadequate ventilation environment with no indication of human direct or close contact observed.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper presents a novel cyber-physical architecture for spatial temporal analytics (iGather for short). Locations with time windows are modeled as digital chromosomes in cyberspace to represent human activity instances in the physical world.

Findings

Results show that the high spatial temporal correlated but indirect tracing can be realized through the deployment of physical hardware and spatial temporal analytics including mobility and traceability analytics. iGather is tested and verified in different spatial temporal correlated cases. From a management perspective of mobilizing social capacity, the venue plays not only a promotion role in boosting the utilization rates but also a supervision-assisted role for keeping the venue in a safe and healthy situation.

Social implications

This research is of particular significance when physical distancing measures are being relaxed with situations gradually become contained. iGather is able to help the general public to ease open questions: Is a venue safe enough? Is there anyone at a gathering at risk? What should one do when someone gets infected without raising privacy issues?

Originality/value

This study contributes to the existing literature by cyber-physical spatial temporal analytics to trace COVID-19 indirect contacts through digital chromosome, a representation of digital twin technology. Also, the authors have proposed a venue-oriented management perspective to resolve privacy-preserving and unitization rate concerns.

Details

Industrial Management & Data Systems, vol. 121 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-5577

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Article
Publication date: 7 September 2020

Laura Teichert

This paper describes the unintended and unanticipated ways an iPhone as a data collection tool created distractions during observations of five-year-old twins' digital

Abstract

Purpose

This paper describes the unintended and unanticipated ways an iPhone as a data collection tool created distractions during observations of five-year-old twins' digital literacy practices while in their home.

Design/methodology/approach

Situated in sociocultural theories of learning and development and new literacy studies, the 12-month-long case study examined young children's digital literacy practices in their homes before and during their transition into kindergarten. The article focuses on the data collection of five-year-old twins in their home with their parents, a family the author called the Skywalkers. Data sources included semistructured interviews, participant observations and informal conversations.

Findings

The mother was a low-technology user and preferred her children to engage in nondigital activities. The children were permitted 10 min every other day of “digital time.” The iPhone as a data collection tool provided them with digital access they would otherwise not have. The mother knew the focus of the study was digital engagement and that the iPhone was used for data collection (i.e. photographs and videos). Although the iPhone was intended to be used in establishing rapport and taking photographs, the children frequently asked to video record their play and therefore the iPhone became a distraction.

Originality/value

Given the prevalence of smartphones in Western society, the recruitment of a family with such low-technology use was unforeseen. As digital data collection increases in qualitative research, researchers should not assume that a smartphone is always appropriate for gathering photographic data. This is particularly important when investigating digital literacy practices of families in their homes.

Details

Qualitative Research Journal, vol. 21 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1443-9883

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Article
Publication date: 8 June 2021

Xiao Chang, Xiaoliang Jia, Kuo Liu and Hao Hu

The purpose of this paper is to provide a knowledge-enabled digital twin for smart design (KDT-SD) of aircraft assembly line (AAL) to enhance the AAL efficiency…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide a knowledge-enabled digital twin for smart design (KDT-SD) of aircraft assembly line (AAL) to enhance the AAL efficiency, performance and visibility. Modern AALs usually need to have capabilities such as digital-physical interaction and self-evaluation that brings significant challenges to traditional design method for AAL. The digital twin (DT) combining with reusable knowledge, as the key technologies in this framework, is introduced to promote the design process by configuring, understanding and evaluating design scheme.

Design/methodology/approach

The proposed KDT-SD framework is designed with the introduction of DT and knowledge. First, dynamic design knowledge library (DDK-Lib) is established which could support the various activities of DT in the entire design process. Then, the knowledge-driven digital AAL modeling method is proposed. At last, knowledge-based smart evaluation is used to understand and identify the design flaws, which could further improvement of the design scheme.

Findings

By means of the KDT-SD framework proposed, it is possible to apply DT to reduce the complexity and discover design flaws in AAL design. Moreover, the knowledge equips DT with the capacities of rapid modeling and smart evaluation that improve design efficiency and quality.

Originality/value

The proposed KDT-SD framework can provide efficient design of AAL and evaluate the design performance in advance so that the feasibility of design scheme can be improved as much as possible.

Details

Assembly Automation, vol. 41 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-5154

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 24 February 2021

Petra Bosch-Sijtsema, Christina Claeson-Jonsson, Mikael Johansson and Mattias Roupe

This paper aims to focus on 11 digital technologies (i.e. building information modeling, artificial intelligence and machine learning, 3D scanning, sensors…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to focus on 11 digital technologies (i.e. building information modeling, artificial intelligence and machine learning, 3D scanning, sensors, robots/automation, digital twin, virtual reality, 3D printing, drones, cloud computing and self-driving vehicles) that are portrayed in future trend reports and hype curves. The study concentrates on the current usage and knowledge of digital technologies in the Swedish architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry to gain an insight in the possible expectations and future trajectory of these digital technologies.

Design/methodology/approach

The study applies an abductive approach which is based on three different types of methods. These methods are a literature and document study which focused on 11 digital technologies, two workshops with industry (13 participants) and an online survey (N = 84).

Findings

The paper contributes to a current state analysis of the Swedish AEC industry concerning digital technologies and discusses the trajectory of these technologies for the AEC industry. The paper identifies hype factors, in which the knowledge of a digital technology is related to its usage. From the hype factors, four zones that show different stages of digital technology usage and maturity in the industry are induced.

Originality/value

The contribution of the paper is twofold. The paper shows insight into opportunities, the current barriers, use and knowledge of digital technologies for the different actors in the AEC industry. Furthermore, the study shows that the AEC industry is behind the traditional Gartner hype curves and contributes with defining four zones for digital technologies for the Swedish AEC industry: confusion, excitement, experimentation and integration.

Details

Construction Innovation , vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-4175

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 26 July 2021

Weifei Hu, Tongzhou Zhang, Xiaoyu Deng, Zhenyu Liu and Jianrong Tan

Digital twin (DT) is an emerging technology that enables sophisticated interaction between physical objects and their virtual replicas. Although DT has recently gained…

Abstract

Digital twin (DT) is an emerging technology that enables sophisticated interaction between physical objects and their virtual replicas. Although DT has recently gained significant attraction in both industry and academia, there is no systematic understanding of DT from its development history to its different concepts and applications in disparate disciplines. The majority of DT literature focuses on the conceptual development of DT frameworks for a specific implementation area. Hence, this paper provides a state-of-the-art review of DT history, different definitions and models, and six types of key enabling technologies. The review also provides a comprehensive survey of DT applications from two perspectives: (1) applications in four product-lifecycle phases, i.e. product design, manufacturing, operation and maintenance, and recycling and (2) applications in four categorized engineering fields, including aerospace engineering, tunneling and underground engineering, wind engineering and Internet of things (IoT) applications. DT frameworks, characteristic components, key technologies and specific applications are extracted for each DT category in this paper. A comprehensive survey of the DT references reveals the following findings: (1) The majority of existing DT models only involve one-way data transfer from physical entities to virtual models and (2) There is a lack of consideration of the environmental coupling, which results in the inaccurate representation of the virtual components in existing DT models. Thus, this paper highlights the role of environmental factor in DT enabling technologies and in categorized engineering applications. In addition, the review discusses the key challenges and provides future work for constructing DTs of complex engineering systems.

Details

Journal of Intelligent Manufacturing and Special Equipment, vol. 2 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2633-6596

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Article
Publication date: 31 August 2021

Xiaoping Shen, Yeheng Zhang, Yumei Tang, Yuanfu Qin, Nan Liu and Zelong Yi

This paper, with the tobacco industry as the background, establishes an indicator system for tobacco supply chain performance evaluation using the FAHP method.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper, with the tobacco industry as the background, establishes an indicator system for tobacco supply chain performance evaluation using the FAHP method.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on the relevant data of tobacco enterprises in Guangxi, the paper calculates the performance values of tobacco companies in various cities of Guangxi, and through the analysis of each indicator and the performance values of each city, the authors find that the improvement ability has a major impact on tobacco supply chain performance. Then, the paper establishes a system dynamics model to further demonstrate the impact of information digitalization on the performance of the tobacco supply chain in Guangxi, thus providing theoretical support for building digital tobacco logistics in Guangxi.

Findings

The findings of the study show that the performance of the tobacco supply chains in various cities of Guangxi is generally at the level of “Pass–Good,” which can barely meet the requirements of tobacco supply chain operation, but there is still plenty of room for improvement.

Originality/value

The authors show that digital and IT-based empowerment can maximize the performance of Guangxi's tobacco logistics performance.

Details

Industrial Management & Data Systems, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-5577

Keywords

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