Integrating Sensor Information in Asset Management

Asset managers and asset owners increasingly use digital twins, which are one-on-one replicas of assets with at least a 3D visualization and real-time information on the asset’s state. Digital twins help monitor real-time asset performance for optimizing energy use and maintenance conditions. Modern-day contracts often require contractors to create a digital twin or to monitor and verify live asset performance. Sensors help measure live states, and the use of sensors is expected to skyrocket in this decade. Sensors alone, however, provide a little context, and measurements can be hard to combine and reuse outside of a sensor’s silo. To gain maximum benefits from sensors, information needs to be accessible in a web 3.0 decentralized interoperable network. This blog post describes how to integrate Sensor Information in Asset Management.

Sensor Information in Asset Management


Decentralized interoperability requires information alignment between different networks, such as the 3D model of a building, a network of cameras, and an HVAC system with temperature sensors. As these different networks serve different main purposes, their information is unlikely to be aligned. Using information from across networks thus requires human interpretations and translations between the different languages of the networks. This leads to costs, information loss, and an increased risk of misinterpretation.

Integrating Sensor Information in Asset Management

Even after human interpretation and alignment, a challenge remains: how to elevate information to a level that can be reasoned on? For instance, for performing automated requirement verifications of real-time asset performance. The main challenges lie in resolving ambiguities that may exist in different sensor networks and different contexts in which sensors are applied.


Alignment and reasoning challenges transcend individual sensor networks and thus call for a more generic solution than individual interfaces; they require more agreement on information structure. This can be achieved by agreeing on a domain-independent sensor information structure. Such a ‘top model’ provides such a level of standardization and description that man and machine can understand it. As a result, it reduces the number of transformations needed and the complexity per transformation for connecting information networks regardless of software technicalities, sensor type, or industry. After embracing a software-neutral top model, the scalability of the resulting interoperable whole is limitless.

To be able to reason about information that follows a top model structure, more detailed information about sensor types and their capabilities has to be available. This can be achieved by creating and using an Object Type Library (OTL), which is a kind of dictionary to add detail to the top model. Software implementations can follow these expansions without the need for software modifications. Using the Laces Software Suite, an OTL can be developed and managed user-friendly and made accessible in vendor-independent internet standards for any application.

When a top model and OTL are applied, inter-organizational information exchange based on agreements (NTA 8035) and standards (ISO 15926) can be achieved. To make this possible, Semmtech incorporated a sensor top model in their Systems Engineering model (SEm®). The result is a standardized sensor information structure with optimizations for sharing and reusing sensor information.

Sensor Information in Asset Management

To apply the top model and OTL in a project context, Neanex Portal supports reusing (Laces) OTL information combined with standardized sensor connections based on the SEm® standardized sensor top model. Combined with static 3D CAD models of assets that are enhanced with static SE information, this results in a full-fledged 3D Digital Twin that is fully prepared for standardized information exchange.


Semmtech has been advising leading engineering firms and standardization bodies on information management for over ten years. We help our clients in the industries of construction, infrastructure, shipbuilding, aerospace, energy, and water to shape and reach ambitions in the fields: of IT Strategy, Integrations, Object Type Libraries, Specification Libraries, and the integrated use of Systems Engineering (SE) and Building Information Models (BIM). We offer end-to-end services from domain-specific consultancy to implementations and Linked Data publication. Please see my details below and drop me a message to get acquainted.

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Bram Bazuin Head of Fields and Capabilities at Semmtech

Bram Bazuin

Head of Fields