Digital Twin Reveals the Magic of Physics

May 6, 2021

Imagine being able to understand the world around us because we can see the invisible forces of nature and physics with the naked eye. We could see the wind currents through the trees and better understand why the limbs move the way they do. We could see the radiation in our microwave and better understand how our food is cooked. All those forces are very real, but are hidden from our eyes. 

Physics At Work At Caterpillar   

For decades, Caterpillar engineers have used simulation tools to see and understand the physics at work in our powerful and capable machines. Simulation allows product developers to gain insights into product and system performance, faster and more efficiently than using actual iron.  

“Digital Twin technology is a game-changer for how we engineer today’s complex, technically advanced products,” said Steve Storm, Caterpillar simulation manager. “The more we can see and understand, the better we can deliver the value our customers expect and deserve.” 

machine technology

Applying Digital Twin Technology 

Using Digital Twin technology, our developers can now visualize flow and temperature through the coolers of a Next Gen Excavator instantly while varying the fan speeds to simulate performance in different customer applications. This capability enables the optimization of machine cooling and allows monitoring of performance over the lifecycle of the machine.  

Today, a Digital Twin of the Next Generation Excavator cooling system is showing how air flow and temperature moves and as fast as it really happens. The technology that enables the magic is called a Reduced Order Model (ROM). The result? An excavator cooling system with five coolers and five fans that work in harmony to enable optimum machine performance and fuel economy.  

A Sophisticated System  

At Caterpillar, a product’s performance and cost trajectory is primarily determined by how its engine system components – fuel, air, cooling and aftertreatment – work and work together. For a world-class machine like the Next Gen Excavator, each of these components is state-of-the-art. That’s why state-of-the-art tools are used to design, integrate and validate them to ensure our customers have a defect-free experience.  

Engineering at Caterpillar

The work done by Caterpillar engineers is deeply engrained in our 96-year legacy. Their innovative and outside-the-box way of solving our customers’ most complex issues is part of our competitive advantage- and, as demonstrated by the Digital Twin, their work leads to major impact. If you’re driven to solve problems and develop industry-leading solutions, join the team today.