Microsoft recently invited Nexans Digital Factory Manager Thibault Goulin and Cosmo Tech CTO Thomas Lacroix to share how Simulation Digital Twins are helping Nexans to transform their business and deliver new services and solutions for their clients. Presented in-person at the Microsoft Lab in Lyon and streamed live to an eager audience of Club Azure Insiders, the presentation explained the transformational strategy, the timeline, resources, and organization that the transformation demands, and how a single Simulation Digital Twin platform is driving change for Nexans and its customers.
Nexans has long been a leader in the electrification and cabling industries. With business interests in everything from telecommunications and data to buildings, territories, high voltage projects and transportation, Nexans has a global industrial footprint with 25,000 employees in 38 countries worldwide. Today Nexans is positioned as an electrification pure player committed to addressing the entire market – generation, transmission, distribution, and end users – and delivering carbon neutral energy accessible to all.
Today Nexans works with several key partners to help them achieve their transformational goals. Among them are Microsoft and Cosmo Tech which respectively deliver the cloud/AI and simulation digital twin technologies that Nexans needs.
Simulation Digital Twins are digital replicas of a system or an ecosystem. They can be connected to the real system by real-time Industrial IoT that gives the current state of the system, and allows knowing data from the past. Moreover, this new class of digital twins provide a holistic and dynamic view of an ecosystem over time, bringing 360° predictive and prescriptive simulation, to achieve multiple objectives across many areas, whether it’s cost reduction, resiliency, efficiency or Co2 emissions reductions.
“Cosmo Tech’s Simulation Digital Twin technology is highly scalable,” said Thomas Lacroix. “Nexans has leveraged this capacity to deploy multiple solutions and simulation engines on a common technological platform.”
Supporting the Nexans solutions is the Microsoft Azure Cloud and the Azure Cloud Managed Services. In particular, Nexans uses Azure Digital Twin (ADT) to keep the digital Twin in Sync, in real time, with the real world, Azure Data Explorer (ADX) to host prediction and prescription insights, and Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) to manage the containers and compute simulation at scale.
Natively integrated with Azure is the Cosmo Tech Simulation Digital Twin Platform. Cosmo Tech offers accelerators and developer tools that allow Nexans to model and simulate any complex industrial system, develop a large number of business applications easily, and to deploy the Simulation Digital Twin technology across several domains.
The versatility of the Cosmo Tech platform means that the same technology that powers Asset Electrical for Nexans’ customers can power a Simulation Digital Twin for Nexans’ own E3 program.
“E3 (for Economy, Environment, and Engagement) is our disruptive, company-wide performance model called E3 (for Economy, Environment, Commitment),“ explains Thibault Goulin. “Each quarter, our activities, unit by unit, are challenged through an innovative model, seeking the right balance of performance between these three elements.”
By swapping out the Asset Management model that is at the heart of Asset Electrical for another model, Nexans could simulate its supply chain and decision making to optimize its strategy for achieving carbon neutrality by 2030.
As well, Nexans has begun the process of rolling out a Simulation Digital Twin solution for Asset Manufacturing, too. Built on the same Cosmo Tech platform, this solution will help optimize Nexans’ power plant performance, reduce the cost of plant downtime, minimize a carbon footprint, and optimize CAPEX allocation. Implementation of this solution is now underway at the Nexans plant in Lens.
Nexans and Cosmo Tech have established a multi-year partnership with aid from two system integrators, Hardis and Cellenza.
In little more than six months the two companies designed, deployed, set up, and on-boarded their partners to the Simulation Digital Twin platform. The Asset Electrical solution for Nexans clients was designed and built in two quarters, and will launch on the electrification market in Q2 2022. With a common platform underlying all of the solutions, the deployment and adoption of additional Simulation Digital Twin solutions is even faster.
The E3 program at Nexans will see the company model 34 production sites of 8 different types of energy with 60,000 specificiaities and more than 120,000 supply and delivery routes. 26 power and business users will be able to take a holistic view of the Nexans business at different levels including sites, business units, business groups, and the corporation as a whole. The development road map will see Nexans integrate a real time feed to their E3 Simulation Digital Twin as they continue to move to a carbon neutral 2030.
Thanks to Cosmo Tech, Nexans can deploy multiple solutions, embedding different Simulation Engines, on a single 360° Simulation Digital Twin Platform. Different models can be applied to different challenges or adapted to quickly scale a solution for a similar use case. Natively integrated with the Microsoft Azure cloud and integrated tightly with Azure Digital Twin, it is the market leading solution for making optimal operational and strategic decisions in the most complex organizations.