With more than 1,500 delegates and channel partners, 130 visiting journalists from 28 countries, showcase of more than 50 projects and countless announcements and sessions, the larger-than-life expo by Bentley Systems, was an exhilarating experience. RAHUL KAMAT, who attended this symposium in Singapore, covers all the elements, including new announcements, technology, acquisitions and partnerships.
Set against the backdrop of the iconic Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, the recently concluded, 'The Year in Infrastructure 2017' conference organised by Bentley Systems was all about recognising the best from the infrastructure industry from across the world. In a sense, it was a moment to cherish for Bentley officials as it was in the same Marina Bay Sands that Bentley Systems won the 'Be Inspired Award' in 2010 for Innovation in Structural Engineering.
When asked 'why Singapore,' Greg Bentley, Chief Executive Officer, Bentley Systems had many reasons to offer. He exclaimed, 'How can we not take leverage of a country which is investing heavily in infrastructure researchùfrom water, to transportation, to land reclamation!' He added, 'Apart from infrastructure, real-time transport data is creating exciting opportunities in Singapore, benefitting its citizens.'
In infrastructure space, BeDigital is the new mantra. Bentley Systems can partly be credited for this, considering the sheer volumes of work they have done. With more than 700 projects, teaming up with more than 340 organisations spread over 52 countries, the company, in true sense, inspired the world to adopt digitisation. For instance, Malaysia's Mass Rapid Transit Corporation (MRTC) is one of the first in Asia leveraging cloud-based collaboration on a common data environment for its 51 km Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transit (KVMRT) system's Sungai Buloh-Serdang-Putrajaya (SSP) line. In partnership with Microsoft's Global ISV and Bentley Systems, MRTC aims to complete the project on time and within budget, benefitting from a projected 35 per cent productivity increase in the design, construction and operation of this infrastructure through seamless information sharing and collaboration powered by Microsoft Azure.
Azure-hosted Bentley Systems platform enabled MRTC to increase the precision of construction, reduce instances of design rework and improve safety standards by enabling seamless synchronisation and information exchange between external vendors. It enables all project disciplines to work dynamically using a federated model for coordinated design, despite the participation of numerous external vendors and decentralised information on this complex project.
In fact, the use of the federated platform has enabled over 1,500 users on the Common Data Environment (CDE) to collaborate on more than 45,000 documents corresponding to 750 GB of design files in carrying out confident decisions and actions in both design and construction. MRTC was able to improve the efficiency of design coordination and achieve a significant reduction of design clashes at the final design stage. This repository also provided the basis for efficient ongoing asset management for the optimal lifecycle of this critical infrastructure. Thus is just one instance we are talking about!
Another example to cite is how digital project management helped in saving nearly $18 million to Maha Metro. When INFRASTRUCTURE TODAY met a visibly happy Dr Brijesh Dixit, Managing Director, Maha Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) in Singapore, he said, 'We have achieved around 12 per cent cost savings with respect to logistics, travel and man days, and it is expected to rise to 15 per cent.' He added, 'Around 8 per cent savings in time has been achieved so far and it is expected to touch 11 per cent.' (Turn to page no 26 for an exclusive interview with Dr Brijesh Dixit) In all, the metro project headed by Dixit is likely to achieve reduction in overhead costs from 5 per cent to 3.5 per cent by the end. This goes to prove that digitisation is now becoming the new normal.
With so much of valuable information on digitisation exchanged, the event was a mind-opener of sorts. You name it and Bentley has it! A sea of people (approximately 1,500) had gathered under one roof to gain insights on digitisation and how it can swiftly and effectively manage the tedious infrastructure process. For the 130 visiting journalists, speed interviews with the Bentley officials was a blessing. IT's first one was with Gregg Herrin, Director of Product Management and Robert Makowski, VP, Software Development. They explained how India with its 600 million citizens and without a proper sewer network possesses a huge potential for the company.
Makowski cited the example of how Bentley's SewerGEMS is helping Delhi Jal Board to develop an integrated and sustainable master plan for 2031, along with carrying out hydraulic designs and tendering works. The $3.25 billion project covered an area of around 1,500 sq km. Here, said Herrin, 'Performance audits were carried out for 30 existing sewage treatment plants at 17 locations. Extensive use of pre-defined queries; integration with GIS; automated load calculations, scenarios, and alternatives; and excellent representation of design and simulation outcomes enabled the study to be completed in a timely manner.'
Both Cyndi Smith, Senior Industry Marketing Director-Utilities, Water, and Communications and Ken Adamson, VP-Building, Electrical, Plant and Structural Detailing were unanimous in their perceptions of the Indian market. According to Adamson, he sees a lot of activities in water modelling in India. Citing an example, Cyndi Smith mentioned how NJS Engineering India (NJS) used Bentley SewerCAD and SewerGEMS to assess existing facilities, evaluate design alternatives, and develop preliminary designs and cost estimates for priority projects. The software enabled NJS to redesign the sewer network with various options, such as using different piping sizes and materials, reducing the depth of laying the pipe network and addressing the soil and topography challenges. With Bentley's collaborative, interoperable software, NJS developed an online system to facilitate information mobility and integrate its team distributed over multiple locations, optimising its review and reporting capabilities.
Andrew Smith, Solution Director for Rail and Jermey Shaffer VP, Rail Transportation Solutions were vocal about their offerings for the most complicated of all sectors, the railways. Both mentioned that, in India, operating current infrastructure and constructing greenfield projects complement their areas of interests and possess huge opportunities for the company.
Andrew Smith mentioned how Bentley's OpenRail is based on velocity, variety, veracity visualisation and value. Explaining further, Shaffer said that OpenRail is based on a connected data environment, comprising the shared services of ProjectWise and AssetWise, which are configured specifically for rail systems engineering workflows. During project delivery, ProjectWise facilitates collaboration among distributed engineering teams, coordination of structured workflows and connected project visibility. AssetWise provides asset lifecycle information services for linear, network and geospatial referencing, corridor maintenance decision support, inspection workflows, and reliability and change management.
OpenRail CDE services include Components Centre for digital components, ContextShare for digital context, ComplyPro for progressive assurance and ConstructSim Systems Completions for accessing operational readiness. ComplyPro is the established market leader in rail globally for governance of collaborative assurance systems of technical and safety requirements from the concept to project handover. OpenRail extends this scope to progressive operations assurance and regulatory compliance. ConstructSim Systems Completions automates the inspections process to accelerate system progress and validate system readiness for efficient project turnover and closeout.
Meanwhile, during the speed interview, IT met the ever-smiling Raoul Karp, VP-Structural and BrIM Products and Katherine Flesh, Director of Marketing, Analytical Modelling. When it comes to India, Karp's view is in line with his colleagues. He explained how a contractor can take concrete analysis to the next level using STAAD Advanced Concrete Design. Designed by practicing engineers, Karp said, 'STAAD was purpose-built by our expert partners, S-Cube Futuretech.'
'Through STADD, a project proponent can design concrete elements, such as beams, columns and walls in an automated and interactive workflow,' Flesh added. 'It quickly produces detailed design drawings for beam line elevations, column line elevations, automatic cross section details and bar termination geometry. It creates individual beam bar bending schedules, column schedule tables and beam schedule tables.'
Explaining the STADD.Pro CONNECT Edition, Karp mentioned that it performs comprehensive analysis and design for any size or type of structure faster than before. It also simplifies BIM workflow by using a physical model in STAAD.Pro that is automatically converted into the analytical model for structural analysis.
The speed interviews concluded with an interesting meeting with Eric Law, Senior Director, Product Management. He talked about Bentley's recent collaboration with Topcon for the newly-coined term, constructioneering. Through this, cloud services communicate the engineers' work directly to construction processes in the field. The resulting digital engineering models work with 3D machine controls that guide construction machinery. Unlike the traditional workflows between design and construction in which data in the digital engineering models are often lost and inefficiently recreated, constructioneering provides seamless integration of constructible models that offer real-time updates and data exchange for improved efficiency and cost reduction.
New launches and announcements
Every year, Bentley Systems religiously announces new products or acquisitions. This year too, many were in the offing.
Greg Bentley, CEO and Keith Bentley, EVP and CTO took the visiting media and stakeholders through their various offerings such as new OpenRail, iModel 2.0 Cloud Platform, OpenBridge Modeler CONNECT Edition, AECOsim Building Designer Connect Edition and New CONNECTservices.
Apart from product announcements, the duo also announced acquisition of Action Moduler's water modelling software business, eBid Systems and partnership with Siemens, Topcon and Bureau Veritas.
Commenting on the partnership, Philippe Donche-Gay, Deputy CEO, Bureau Veritas said, 'In the context of aging infrastructure assets in the developed world, inspection plays a vital role in ensuring safety, extending the life of the asset and performance. By working with Bentley, we can now offer our clients around the world curing-edge technology for smarter inspection-based assets.'
Dr Helmuth Ludwig, Global Head, Information Technology, Siemens presented a scenario illustrating the companies' shared contribution towards digital workflows and digital cities, and provided an update on the various joint development activities initiated in 2016, as a part of their strategic alliance with Bentley Systems. Ludwig's presentation illustrated the approach Siemens takes in integrating and digitalising the entire customer value chain in general, and as a particular example, he described the advances for connected asset visibility that can be achieved with the integration of Siemens and Bentley technologies.
'The future of construction automation continues to move forward today with efforts like constructioneering. Together with Bentley, we are helping reshape the traditional surveying, engineering and construction workflows,' said Ray O'Connor, President and CEO, Topcon Positioning Systems. 'Our efforts are proving successful in several phases of project delivery, particularly in road resurfacing, but the opportunities to expand its benefits are tremendous. That's a big driver for creating the Constructioneering Academy.'
BeInspired Awards 2017
The BeInspired Awards 2017 marked the end of Bentley's four day symposium. However, my excitement level peaked when I found that my sitting arrangement was among the probable winners. Against the backdrop of all the shine and glitters, with rare wine to taste, I sensed both excitement and nervousness. With more than 400 submissions from 50 countries, the 10 independent panels of jurors had a tough task ahead. After several rounds of brainstorming, the jurors selected 51 project finalists. And, it is here that the real challenge began! In its final leg, every project finalist had to explain and showcase how they are different from their competitors to a sea of audience, and off course to jurors. But no force can stop a winner from winning. Each category witnessed a unique project winner. What made India proud was the JICA Assisted Ganga Action Plan II under the category, BIM Advancements, in environmental engineering implemented by NJS Engineers.
Using Bentley software, the engineering team from NJS was able to develop an optimal design for the new, 800 km sewer network that helped save 60 resource hours and reduced the number of large-scale drawings by 30 per cent. The new sewer network will improve the water quality of rivers and tributaries, which will ultimately enable a higher quality of life for people living in the area, as well as encourage more tourism, improve irrigation and increase employment opportunities. Speaking to IT, Rohit Dambi, GIS Specialist, NJS Consultants said, 'We missed being the winner last year, but with all new efforts and technology deployed in this project, we are proud to emerge the winner of BeInspired 2017 awards.'
BeInspired award winners for 2017:
BIM Advancements in Bridges
Long Jian Road & Bridge Co, Heihe-Blagoveshchensk Heilongjiang River (Amur River) Road Bridge Project, Heihe City, Heilongjiang Province, China
BIM Advancements in Buildings and Campuses
Morphosis, Bloomberg Center Project, New York, New York, United States
BIM Advancements in Construction
Leighton Asia, Hong Kong Boundary Crossing Facilities, Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, Hong Kong
BIM Advancements in Environmental Engineering
NJS Engineers India, JICA Assisted Ganga Action Plan II, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India
BIM Advancements in Manufacturing
Satria Technologies Sdn. Bhd., Sustainable Solutions for Control & Protection Systems, Klang, Selangor, Malaysia
BIM Advancements in Mining and Offshore Engineering
Offshore Oil Engineering Company, Field Jacket Design and Development of 'Fixed Offshore Structure Design Tool', Tianjin, China
BIM Advancements in Municipal Operations
Huadong Engineering Corporation, PowerChina, Application of BIM Strategy for Shenzhen Qianhai Municipal Infrastructure, Shenzhen City, Guangdong Province, China
BIM Advancements in Power Generation China Water Resource Pearl River Planning Surveying & Designing Co., Ltd., Wugachong Reservoir Project in Pu'an County of Guizhou Province, Pu'an County, Qianxinan Buyei and Miao Autonomous Prefecture, Guizhou Province, China BIM Advancements in Project Delivery
Mott MacDonald and the Costain, VINCI Construction Grands Projets, Bachy Soletanche Joint Venture, East Section of the Thames Tideway Tunnel, London, England, United Kingdom
BIM Advancements in Rail and Transit
Mass Rapid Transit Corporation Sdn Bhd, Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transit Project, Sungai Buloh-Serdang-Putrajaya Line, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
BIM Advancements in Reality Modeling
CEDD-AECOM, The Earth Solutions, Development of Anderson Road Quarry Site, Hong Kong
BIM Advancements in Roads
CCCC First Highway Consultants, Co, Application of BIM Strategy on the of Transformation of Meiguan Expressway to Urban Road Design Project, Shenzhen City, Guangdong Province, China
BIM Advancements in Road and Rail Asset Performance
Highways England, Network Occupancy Management System (NOMS), Strategic Road Network, England, United Kingdom
BIM Advancements in Utilities and Industrial Asset Performance
BP - Khazzan Central Information Store, Khazzan Field, Block 61, Ad Dhahirah Governorate, Oman
BIM Advancements in Utilities Transmission and Distribution Pestech International Berhad, Automation and Integration of Substation Design Project, Kratie and Kampong Cham, Cambodia BIM Advancements in Water and Wastewater Plants
Beijing Institute of Water, Tongzhou Water Works of Beijing South-to-North Water Diversion Project, Beijing, China
BIM Advancements in Water Networks
AEGEA, AEGEA Prolagos Sewerage Master Plan 2041, Regipo dos Lagos, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
(The journalist was in Singapore at the invitation of Bentley Systems)