Digital Twin

Digital Twin of the month: ‘Twinning’ the W16 Engine

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Digital twin: insights and designs

In our monthly spotlight on digital twin designs, we bring attention to some of the world’s more unique machines, and tell their story through images and facts.  This month, we feature the massive W16 engine, found only within the Bugatti Veyron automobile.

IBM Bugatti engine digital twin graphic

Bugatti W16 digital twin

The world’s most powerful combustion engine

The opportunity to drive a Bugatti is rare, and to own one, even rarer. That’s no reason not to be fascinated by its engineering, capacity, and expense.  The Bugatti W16 engine which required 5 years of engineering to join (two) V8 engines, was entirely designed and developed in Germany by Volkswagen Group. Each Bugatti W16, considered as the world’s most powerful internal combustion engine, is one-of-a-kind engineering masterpiece built entirely by hand.

Everyday consumers should marvel at the scale, speed, and features when they consider how the W16 far exceeds what we own and drive daily. For most of us, it can be hard to imagine the full potential hidden in the W16. To prove some comparison, consider the W16:

  • is a sixteen-cylinder piston internal combustion engine; most cars have four-cylinders
  • requires 40 quarts of oil; most cars require only 5-6 quarts
  • uses fuel pumps that can pump fuel 8x faster than a normal car
  • at top speed, consumes 47,000 litres of air per minute, what humans consume in 4 days
  • has 3 engine radiators, most cars require only one
  • has a weight of 882 lbs (400 kg), most four-cylinder car engines weigh 300 lbs (136 kg)
  • generates 1,000 degrees of heat, normal operating temperature for most engines is 195 to 220 degrees
  • waste energy, from running the engine at full-throttle, could heat 10 homes in the winter
  • running at full-throttle for 20 minutes straight, would empty the (26.4 gal) tank
  • offers only 8 mpg for city driving, most hybrid cars offer 32-35 mpg.

Digital twin’s value beyond ‘repair and replace’

With the complexity, performance, and $2M Bugatti price tag, you can see why a digital twin has incredible value to driver and designer alike. Unfortunately, most digital twin approaches are presented as a solution to predictive maintenance. It’s no longer about simply ‘repair and replace’. It’s about using Internet of Things (IoT) to build a better digital twin that knows and predicts EACH elite clientele’s experiences, behaviors, and outcomes, in the city or on the track.

To learn more of what digital twins can do for you, and your humble 4-door sedan, visit ibm.co/DigitalTwin.

Sources:

http://carsandlife.net/2013/06/bugatti-veyron-w16-engine-and-gearbox-at-hr-owen-london.html

http://www.motormorph.com/?p=1795

Watson Internet of Things - Portfolio Marketing Manager

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