Making the Most of Data New Efforts to Better Utilize Complex Plant Models

Editor: Dominik Stephan

On Thursday, Bentley released the Open Plant Connect Edition web-connected software platform. “Connect Edition pushes models and services through the web to easily share and visualize data,” said Ken Adamson, Bentley Vice president, Building, Electrical, Plant and Structural Detailing. At brownfield sites, operators can take a series of photos of an item — for instance, a newly installed valve — and quickly create an interactive 3D model in a secure web portal.

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Anne-Marie Walters and Ankur Ashesh demonstrate Bentley's new virtual immersive visualization technology.
Anne-Marie Walters and Ankur Ashesh demonstrate Bentley's new virtual immersive visualization technology.

These models can be integrated into an existing plant model, ensuring that the model is always up to date. Another innovation in Bentley’s stand is technology for immersive photorealistic renderings of facilities to enable more streamlined design and more comprehensive operations training. According to Adamson, users can simulate nearly any detail of a plant, including nighttime lighting and climate conditions at different times of year. Adamson explains that the accessibility of data is key to Bentley’s customers. “The biggest issue is the complexity of the data. We’ve lowered these barriers significantly by using a 3D model as an index for plant information. Using that as a visual navigator into a plant seems natural to people,” he continued.

Also, he said that accurate historical-plant data are increasingly important, due to the aging workforce and the large volume of plants undergoing revamps or expansions. “Maintaining historical data enables people to become familiar with the plant very quickly,” added Adamson. Also contributing to data best practices is Bentley’s work with Siemens to establish the Process Industries Academy, an endeavor first announced at Achema. “This program will teach users about moving from a document-centric to a data-centric model,” explained Anne-Marie Walters, industry marketing director, Process & Resources at Bentley.

“The use of digital technologies can really depend on an organization’s culture and understanding of what it really means to be data-driven,” she continued. Bentley previously established a similar educational program for the rail industry, said Walters. The Process Industries Academy comprises three locations in Houston, Shanghai and Karlsruhe, and the first programs are scheduled to kick off in November.

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