A year ago, on July 30, 2020, NASA launched Perseverance rover to continue studying signs of life on Mars. The equipment was sent aboard the Atlas-V rocket. Inside the rover, the Mars helicopter, Ingenuity, a technology demonstration to test powered, controlled flight on another world for the first time. How did the rocket scientists at NASA know how to build a helicopter that would fly on Mars? They first built a digital twin.

NASA first created a virtual Mars and a virtual helicopter with all the inputs and environments required. It tested, changed, and adapted using virtual systems because by the time NASA got to Mars, it would be too late to make modifications: the minimum distance from the Earth to Mars is about 54.6 million kilometers, about 350 travel days.

A proof that digital twin technology is quickly becoming a core part of engineering.

Digital twin technology has actually been a concept practiced by NASA space program since the 1960s. An example is thedeveloped a digital twin to assess and simulate conditions on board Apollo 13.

But that’s another story…

Rosana Ellis, Chief Operating Officer at PhDsoft, participates, on May 20, in the Houston Tech Rodeo, an event of technology, innovation and the culture of convergence, a concept that encompasses technological and industrial changes, the use of different media, cultural production participatory, and collective intelligence.

Based in Houston, she has been commanding the global expansion of the company that developed PhDC4D, a complete digitization of the structural integrity process for complex assets.

Ellis will speak about PhDsoft’s international expansion strategy and global operations.

In March 2014, Pesquisa FAPESP magazine, publication of the São Paulo State Research Support Foundation (FAPESP), highlighted PhDSoft in the report “Software made in Brazil”. The special report showed how Brazilian software was gaining the world.

“PhDsoft is a company about to enter the global market for suppliers of applications and technologies for the oil sector. The company’s main product, founded 14 years ago by former UFRJ [Federal University of Rio de Janeiro] professor Duperron Marangon, is C4D software, a program simulation capable of predicting structural failures in ships, oil platforms, bridges and other large constructions. The objective of the technology is to predict accidents, resulting in a significant reduction in the cost of inspection and maintenance”, said the report.

“Leading oil companies operating in Brazil, such as Petrobras, Shell, Transpetro and Subsea7, are customers of PhDsoft, which plans to open an office in Houston, Texas by September this year. ‘It will be our base for exploring the American market “, says Marangon. In addition, he is in negotiations with a government agency in the province of Nova Scotia, Canada, to start selling his products to the country.” Internationalization has always been an objective that we have pursued. Expanding our sales outside Brazil will mean a change in the level of our business’, says Marangon “.

This publication, in 2014, demonstrates PhDsoft’s pioneering spirit and leadership in the development of systems for predictive maintenance and risk analysis of critical assets, with the objective of reducing maintenance costs and improving the operational safety of machines, equipment and structures.


According to the Brazilian Association for Maintenance and Asset Management (ABRAMAN), on average, 5% of the industry’s gross revenue is spent on maintenance.

“Maintenance costs are significantly reflected in the financial results of companies.  To reduce  maintenance costs is mandatory to ensure the competitiveness of industries in the most varied segments”, explains Raimar van den Bylaardt, Director of Innovation at PhDsoft. “That’s where predictive maintenance and PhDsoft’s C4D come in,” he says.

According to the executive, predictive maintenance is one of the techniques capable of offering operational security in the industry, through the continuous monitoring of machines, equipment and structures.

“Predictive maintenance reduces the occurrence of unexpected failures and prevents a series of problems from being triggered,” he explains. “In addition, it increases the useful life of the equipment. All of this is, obviously, reflected in the financial results of the companies”, he reinforces.

Robust and proven technology, the PhDsoft digital twin C4D accurately predicts the degradation and corrosion of complex assets over time, the C4D is able to monitor, analyze and improve process performance, reduce costs and increase productivity, such as also perform risk analysis, signaling potential accidents.

“C4D is a perfect match for predictive maintenance,” says the PhDsoft executive, recalling that the solution is used in major oil exploration and production projects in Brazil and worldwide.

It is with great pleasure that we present our new website.

As an innovation leader, it’s important for PhDsoft to make information regarding our state-of-the-art software, PhDC4D and to share our knowledge and expertise in the field of  integrity and maintenance management of critical assets.

Our goal with the new website is to provide visitors, current and prospective clients, information about PhDsoft trajectory and evolution, areas of expertise, and highlighting sucess stories that the results from the commitment, creativity, and innovation of our company.

We are also updating the blog monthly with news and technological trends of interest to our partners and customers.

For any questions, suggestions, feedback or comments, please E-mail us.


Duperron Ribeiro

CEO of PhDsoft

One of the world’s largest ports and one of the most efficient container ports in North America, the Port of Houston will use PhDsoft’s C4D digital twin to improve operational performance, reduce inspection and maintenance costs, and maximize crane asset life.

The contract between PhDsoft and the Port of Houston was signed last year. C4D goes into operation at the port later this year, after the tests that started in February.

“Asset integrity management is one of the most important areas for port owners and operators. C4D allows the immediate awareness of the structure degradation through its 4D X-ray visualization, and consolidates all the information in a database of simple and fast access”, explains Duperron Ribeiro, CEO of PhDsoft.

“The database format file allows the information exchange inside the Port of Houston and with unlimited service provider companies, such as inspection companies, technical consultants, painting and maintenance companies, among others”, says Duperron.

“In addition, it helps to automate and improve inspection measurements and paint consistency, creates corrosion statistical evaluations rates, calculates painting areas and cathodic protection, creates bills of materials, repairs specifications, among other features”.

In 2012, TN Petroleo magazine, one of the leading publications in Brazil’s oil and gas sector, highlighted the launch of a new version of C4D, PhDsoft’s digital twin.

“Unique in the world, [C4D] is used to maintain the integrity of offshore oil & gas structures to prevent accidents and reduce overhead costs. This led to C4D being adopted by Petrobras, Shell, Modec, and Subsea7,” wrote the magazine.

“Now, the software also includes augmented reality to guide underwater robots that assist with inspections. This was a demand for the exploration of the pre-salt,” noted the article, which employed input from Duperron Ribeiro, CEO of PhDsoft.

“C4D is a Brazilian success story. It brings together the most modern engineering, IT, and management techniques to maximize the efficiency of the maintenance process and minimize the risks of accidents that cause major damage, pollution, and deaths,” explained Duperron. “This was what attracted Petrobras, more than 15 years ago, when I was still testing the technology as a professor at UFRJ before founding PhDsoft in 2000.”

C4D gained value during the Covid-19 pandemic
Today, almost ten years later, C4D continues to undergo constant technological updates and gained great value during the Covid-19 pandemic for significantly reducing the face-to-face inspection of the assets under its control.

An article published in January in the MIT Technology Review – Massachusetts Institute of Technology magazine – points out that digital twins are the protagonists of the technological transformation underway.

According to Guga Stocco, creator of Banco Original’s online operation and co-founder of venture capital firm Domo Invest, digital twins are considered the protagonists of smart factories in the industry.

Potential for use by individuals

“[The global consultancy] Gartner predicts that by 2021, half of the big companies and industries will use digital twins, which will translate into a 10% improvement in their efficiency,” he highlights.

“In the daily lives of individuals, digital twins have enormous potential as virtual and augmented reality evolve, 5G networks are being implemented, and VR glasses are gaining new designs, formats, and functions.”

One of the pillars of the so-called Industry 4.0, digital twins are considered by the global consultancy Gartner one of the ten most relevant trends in the IT field.

According to the consultancy, a third of global organizations will adopt artificial intelligence (AI) and Digital Twins solutions in conjunction with Internet of Things projects by 2023.

“Digital twins represent the present and the future of companies and industry because by digitally representing a process, structure or system, they form the bridge between the physical and the virtual world,” explains Duperron Ribeiro, CEO of PhDsoft.

“In this way, they are able to monitor, analyze and improve the performance of processes, reduce costs and increase productivity,” he adds.

C4D: first digital twin on the market

In 1993, PhDsoft launched the first version of C4D, a robust and proven solution that accurately predicts the degradation and corrosion of complex assets over time.

“C4D’s first client was Transpetro in 1995, which started using on its ships,” he recalls.

It was the first Predictive Digital Twin in the market. Only eight years later, the term Digital Twin was adopted. Since then, PhDsoft has led on the Predictive Digital Twin technology.