Tue. Dec 6th, 2022

Technology solutions and visualisation company RemSense Technologies Ltd (ASX:REM) aims to improve productivity, safety, and operational efficiency in the workplace.

Founded in November of last year, the company uses engineering and innovation, data collection and insights, and the Virtual Plant digital twin technology in its three-pronged approach. Steve Brown, CEO and managing director of RemSense, was interviewed by Proactive about the company’s goals, advantages, and partnerships.

The World of Information Technology

Tech and digitalization have become an integral part of our lives since the dot com boom of the 1990s. There are a wide range of technologies in use in every aspect of society, from classrooms and factories to courtrooms and roadways. Everything from doctor’s appointments to classrooms had to operate online under COVID-19, and QR codes and zoom meetings became commonplace. The advantages of this digitization were made even more apparent.

Manufacturing, mining, and other industrial businesses have embraced this rapid shift to digitization on nearly every level. Decentralized assets are common in these businesses, which may be spread across multiple states or countries. Long-distance travel, reams of data, and specialists who could interpret and present that data were all necessary in the past to keep tabs on, inspect, and assess these assets.

With a digital copy of assets that can be accessed from anywhere, the digital twin industry hopes to reduce the amount of time and money spent on travel by presenting data in a visual, actionable format. The digital twin market is expected to grow from its current value of US$3.1 billion in 2020 to US$48.2 billion in 2026, at a CAGR of 58 percent, more than twice the current growth rate of the lithium-ion battery market. Commercial applications of digital twin technology date back to 2002, but the technology was first developed and put to use by NASA in the 1960s to link space modules with physical replicas on Earth.

Industry is also looking for remote access solutions to support maintenance, safety, environmental social and governance (ESG) and management efforts. Virtual Plant technology was developed by Woodside Energy Ltd in 2018 as a technology development project. Its goal is to create a digitalized real world.

Photo-realistic scanning and digitisation of high-resolution photographic fabric, RemSense has developed the Virtual Plant technology, which integrates data and visualisation into a virtual, accessible visual environment. According to RemSense CEO Steve Brown, “Virtual Plant provides an extremely effective user interface to bring data into a business.”

“It’s so simple to see what’s going on from the image. As long as you don’t think about it or analyse it, you’ll find the answer. In a visual environment, which is how our brains are wired, the data is presented in a way that is easy to understand and easy to act upon.”

“It eliminates a lot of the room for interpretation. What we’re trying to accomplish is extremely important to us visually, and we’ve done it in a way that is extremely cost-effective as well as extremely fast to implement.” As a first step, RemSense uses a variety of sensors, cameras, LiDAR scanners and Internet-of-Things feeds to gather data from the site. The digital model is then enhanced with engineering data gleaned from blueprints, BIM models, OEM manuals, and data from point clouds.

Records of maintenance and safety inspections are also entered.

This information is then incorporated into a Virtual Plant by RemSense’s AI, which links the client company’s operational and management systems via asset ID numbers. As a result, “Virtual Plant was designed in a way that we do not need a new client to implement our safety system, or our maintenance system or our asset system or our finance system, because we don’t have any of those,” Brown continued.

When we visit a company, we’re not trying to change the way they run their business.

Using API (application programme interface) calls, we’re providing a platform that can gather data about assets and bring it together without anyone having to access those systems. This type of modular integration offers numerous advantages, including the potential for a virtually infinite number of tie-ins and add-ons, depending on the specific business requirements.

When it comes to ERP (enterprise resource planning) systems, “we’re currently in discussions with the three leading ERP (enterprise resource planning) system providers,” Brown said. This is not only us selling Virtual Plant to everyone, but it’s saying to other companies, “You’ve got this great product, but if you put this visual layer at the front, the way people use it becomes completely different and simpler.”

Entering a New Industrial Metaverse

The next step in integrating the physical and digital worlds is the metaverse. Companies like Meta (Facebook), Apple, Microsoft and Nvidia have entered the fray and are working to develop their own metaverse technology as a result of the current boom in the industry. It is expected that the global metaverse market will grow at a CAGR of 43.3 percent between 2020 and 2028, which is a very high rate of growth for a new industry.

Entertainment, military, and industrial applications have already staked out territory in the digital expanse as a subset of the metaverse. With the Industrial Metaverse, clients can meet and discuss issues as if they were on-site and face-to-face, as if they were using a virtual plant. RemSense thinks this will be a game changer in data visualisation and management. According to Brown, “the industrial metaverse will bring data to the forefront in a manner that people can easily comprehend.”

It’s also possible to put people into virtual environments within the photographic twin environment, so they can walk around the plant and meet several other people, discuss a problem, and do so with all the data at their disposal. Microsoft and Facebook (Meta) will have a major impact on the development of that environment. It’s over once that’s standardised.”

Putting ESG’s easy part to good use

Corporate social, environmental, and governance responsibilities have risen to the top of the priority list for many businesses in recent years, and are now an essential part of many business credentials and off-take agreements.

Carbon-neutral power sources and other carbon offset initiatives may be the focus of many companies, but new digitalization technologies like Virtual Plant have built-in ESG benefits. Traveling generates carbon emissions, which are increasingly being considered from an environmental standpoint by policymakers, as Brown explained.

The carbon footprint is reduced every time we don’t have to travel.”

When we announce the integration of some visual and data analytics into Virtual Plant, we’ll be able to show how much carbon is being used by plants. The ability to achieve safety, all of those cost savings, and an improved ESG without having to invest any additional money is an incredibly cheap win.” As a result of products like Virtual Plant, you’re reaping two benefits.”

Co-operations and Partnerships

With the launch of the Matterport Marketplace scheduled for the second quarter of 2022, RemSense recently expanded its partnership with Matterport Inc. to include full participation as a lead industrial partner.

Using Matterport 3D software as a foundation, the Virtual Plant system creates a unique user interface and business solutions for its clients. With Matterport’s worldwide licence agreement with RemSense, the company gains access to the international market as well as improved technical features and support.

Amazon Web Services (AWS), an Amazon subsidiary, joined RemSense’s extensive partner network of more than 100,000 organisations from more than 150 countries just last week. In a partnership with Amazon’s subsidiary, RemSense Technologies will extend its Virtual Plant product into the metaverse. In order to better integrate with ERP systems and asset management solutions, RemSense will work with AWS to develop the next version of Virtual Plant in the AWS environment.

AWS and Matterport’s full integration “both simplifies and extends the reach and capability of our industrial Virtual Plant product,” Brown said in the announcement. In our ongoing development of the industrial metaverse, we believe that working with AWS is an important step.

Resilient, global data visualisation company RemSense is in the process of establishing itself in the emerging digital transformation and metaverse industries. A firm focus on where we want to go is what we’re doing right now, according to Brown. Clearly, we know what we’re doing here.

By Adam

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