Instrumentel wins project to develop digital twin technology for the GCRE

Instrumentel is delighted to have been successful in the first phase of the £7.4m Department for Business and Trade competition ‘railway construction innovation’.  This will support teams in developing innovations for later demonstration at the Global Centre of Rail Excellence in South Wales, and will be delivered in partnership with Cranfield University and Innovate UK.

The £25k project will deliver NAUTILUS – Novel asset management twin and instrumentation system – the provision of a digital twin – and will start in May with Instrumentel working with Cranfield University.

Nautilus will allow new concept products to be tested virtually to rectify any obvious design problems before they are tested physically on the GCRE equipment, model potential future scenarios, and provide digital feedback on any ‘real-world’ design changes.

Dr Jonathan Birch, Instrumentel’s Technical Director said “We are responsible for the design of the system platform for data acquisition, warehousing, processing, digital twin models and simulations, and predictive capability. We will collaborate with Cranfield who are providing the modelling of data and digital twin approaches – what should be monitored and guidance on how.”

He continued “This project will design a novel approach to digital support for a unique research centre for railway infrastructure, at the new GCRE. The ‘digital twin’ approach will create a platform for integration of the site and its facilities, with infrastructure and vehicle tests, comparing the physical behaviour with simulated futures. Some of the tests are clearly defined, but there is significant opportunity for innovative testing, which will need digital support.”

Sam Bussey, Instrumentel’s Sales Director added “Instrumentel’s core skills cover data harvesting for hostile environments, data science and transforming data into actionable information. To put it simply – we help our customers make better decisions based on data, so this project is perfectly aligned with us.”

Professor Andrew Starr, Head of Centre for Life-Cycle Engineering and Management at Cranfield, said “This project will build on our experience with railway partners in digital asset management, particularly in the EU Shift2Rail programme. Our current work In In2Track 3 focuses on a digital twin for railway switches and crossings. We will work with major infrastructure partners, as well as supply chain providers, to plan a world class digital twin environment for GCRE and its partners.”

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