Embracing Immersive Virtual Engineering (IVE), Hybrid Twins, and

Product Performance in its full Lifecycle (PPL)

At its inception fifty years ago, CAE 1.0 (Computer Aided Engineering), together with CAD and CAM for Product design and manufacturing respectively, is part of PLM (Product LifecycleManagement). PLM covers overall product development and documentation, while CAE focuses on engineering analyses and simulation of validation testing.

Leveraging the exponential power of HPC (High Performance Computing) and ICT (Information and Communication Technologies), CAE 2.0 further provides a powerful digital backbone to accelerate the Product development cycle by incorporating Virtual Manufacturing and its impact on performance testing, including the details of the physics of materials, and therefore delivering a physically representative ‘Virtual Prototype’ (VP) all the way to pre-certification, real or digital.

More recently the spectacular progress of AI (Artificial Intelligence) with Machine Learning (ML) and Deep Learning (DL), together with the Cloud and IoT (Internet of Things), are transforming the innovation focus from the Product development phase (PLM) to the Product Performance (PPL) in its operational phase, i.e. during its real life without failures or recalls, targeting intelligent/ assisted/ autonomous products, and managing predictive maintenance up to retirement and decommissioning.

This present expectation for CAE 3.0 is a fundamental ‘disruptive’ transformation into Immersive Virtual Engineering (“IVE”): IVE requires an augmented digital representation of the Product no longer in its ‘nominal’ certified state, but ‘ as aged’, possibly damaged, and ‘as interacting’ in its expected operational environment in service, i.e. represented, immersed, animated and interactively piloted as its Virtual Twin (“VT”) in its Virtual Environment.

Now the new frontier of CAE 4.0 arises when the theory based approach is updated by in-service ‘real life’ data from sensors and IoT. The Virtual Twin now becomes the Hybrid Twin (“HT”), combining the ML enhanced data driven model with the theory built Virtual Prototype (“VP”), for the best of both worlds.

Essentially limited to the Product development phase, the legacy PLM paradigm is waning, while the new “PPL” (Product Performance Lifecycle) is growing. This fundamental evolution of the Product full lifecycle with its Performance follow up and the actionable Hybrid Twin is at the core of the Smart Factory and of the Industry 4.0 grand challenge and huge promises