Bentley Systems’ The Year in Infrastructure 2017 Conference the Scene of Several Product Announcements

By Sharada Prahladrao

Company and Product News

Bentley Systems used its The Year in Infrastructure 2017 Conference in Singapore as a forum for several product announcements

Bentley’s New CONNECTservices bring Comprehensive Learning, Mobility, and Collaboration Benefits to Bentley Application Subscribers
At The Year in Infrastructure 2017 Conference in Singapore, Bentley Systems announced the introduction of SELECT CONNECTservices, new Azure-based services that deliver comprehensive learning, mobility, and collaboration benefits to Bentley application subscribers. The most significant update of the SELECT program since its inception, CONNECTservices are new benefits to all subscribers of Bentley applications, whether through SELECT for perpetual licenses, Enterprise License Subscriptions (ELS), or Cloud Services Subscriptions (CSS) for term licenses. According to the announcement, SELECT CONNECTservices help user organizations to advance project delivery and accelerate “going digital.”

CONNECTservices include Adaptive Learning Services, Personal Mobility Services, and ProjectWise Connection Services:

Adaptive Learning Services
Application subscribers’ application mastery is now advanced through CONNECT Advisor, a new in-application service that provides contextual and personalized learning. Learning benefits previously provided through optional LEARN subscriptions are now available to every Bentley application subscriber. Services include Quick Starts for new user onboarding, in-application feature videos, workflow videos, on-demand courses, live virtual training, personalized learning paths and knowledge maps, and more.


Personal Mobility Services
Application subscribers benefit from unlimited access to Bentley apps, ensuring they have access to all the right project information when and where they need it – at the office, in the field, or on the site. Project team members can access project data, communicate with other team members, submit and resolve issues, and more. Bentley Mobile Apps for iOS, Android, and Windows include ProjectWise Edge Mobile, ProjectWise WorkSite, Bentley Navigator Mobile, OpenRoads Navigator Mobile, and Bentley Map Mobile.


ProjectWise Connection Services
New services allow Bentley application subscribers to access BIM content and standards to support design, analytical, reality, and construction modeling and securely share application and other information via Azure cloud services. Application subscribers are also able to manage and resolve issues, and to create, send, track, and manage transmittals, submittals, and RFIs. Teams benefit from dashboards to review project status and benchmark project performance.


Bentley Announces Microsoft Azure-based Cloud Services
Bentley Systems also announced new ProjectWise CONNECT Edition cloud services, powered by Microsoft Azure. The Azure-based services complement ProjectWise Design Integration service, the proven workhorse for work-sharing across collaborating engineering teams—which can be deployed on-premises, as a cloud service, or in any hybrid combination. By virtue of the shared Azure platform, project delivery organizations using both ProjectWise CONNECT Edition’s new “365 Services” and Microsoft Office 365 will increasingly benefit from digital workflows between their engineering work processes and enterprise productivity tools. Along with “365 Services,” Bentley’s connected data environment, shared between ProjectWise and AssetWise, now includes Components Center, ContextShare, ConstructSim Completions, and iModelHub services.

New ProjectWise CONNECT Edition cloud services for comprehensive project delivery include:

  • Deliverables Management to create, send, and receive transmittals, submittals, and RFIs;

  • Issues Resolution to submit, manage, and resolve issues;

  • Field Data Management for configurable forms-based data collection;

  • Project Performance Dashboards for insight into project progress;

  • Share to broadly and securely share general project information; and

  • Construction Management for contract, cost, change, and risk management.

  • Connected Data Environment


Services contributing to both project delivery and asset performance, benefiting users of ProjectWise and/or AssetWise, include:

  • ContextShare, to access and share engineering-ready reality meshes

  • iModelHub, to synchronize and distribute changes in BIM workflows

  • ConstructSim Completions

  • Components Center

  • “365 Services.”


For immersive visibility, Bentley also previewed Navigator Web, which enables users to access project models and engineering content directly from a browser. Highly performant with even large and complex 3D models, Navigator Web will be leveraged by all CONNECT Edition cloud services which benefit from interactive viewing, visualization, querying, or analysis of models in a standard browser interface.

ConstructSim Completions
ConstructSim Completions can help both project delivery organizations and owner operations progress and validate system readiness for efficient project closeout and turnover. According to the press release, fully integrated with ConstructSim Work Package Server, ConstructSim Completions enables organizations to eliminate manual data collection with automated check sheets and to easily monitor, control, and automate testing and inspection workflows for real-time project status and reporting. Support is also provided for mechanical completion review and commissioning, including dashboard-based status reports and mobile digital smart forms. ConstructSim Completions delivers crucial design and construction information, at the point of commissioning and just as an asset “goes live,” accelerating systems readiness, reducing risk and complexity, and delivering improved safety and over current methods.

Components Center
Components Center is an Azure cloud service of libraries which align, across disciplines and applications, the semantic content of catalogued components, potentially including vendor data, fabrication details, component requirements (for example, electrical specifications and connections), reliability characteristics, and representational views required for documentation (for example, 3D, plan, schematic). A digital component is reused across BIM workflows in design modeling, analytical modeling, construction modeling, and asset registries—from catalogued component, to engineered component, to installed component, to operated component.

365 Services”
Bentley’s connected data environment services are implemented to take full advantage of native Microsoft Azure capabilities—so that infrastructure engineering enterprises, in going digital, can leverage their ongoing Microsoft investments in tools and data—for digital workflows to comprehensively advance project delivery and asset performance. Examples to date include:

  • Microsoft Flow connector to facilitate configurable workflows with native Microsoft Office 365 interfaces, including for real-time communication, email consolidation, and other document-centric work processes;

  • Microsoft Azure Search for immediate access to project and operational information;

  • Microsoft SharePoint federation to enable documents stored in Microsoft SharePoint to be referenced through ProjectWise and AssetWise workflows; and

  • Microsoft Power BI integration, for project and operational analytics across engineering and enterprise data sources.





Bentley Systems’ New OpenRail to Advance BIM for the Full Rail and Transit Lifecycle
Bentley introduced the OpenRail solution, comprising applications and services for the comprehensive planning, engineering, project delivery, and operations of rail and transit infrastructure. OpenRail’s foundation is Bentley’s connected data environment (CDE), shared by ProjectWise collaboration services and AssetWise operations services, and which for OpenRail now brings together digital components and digital context, through digital workflows. OpenRail applications will include OpenRail ConceptStation, now available for conceptual railway planning and design; OpenRail Designer, available early in 2018, for detailed engineering and 3D design of track, overhead line, tunnels, bridges, and related civil infrastructure, and AECOsim Station Designer, for the comprehensive modeling of rail and transit stations.

Connected Data Environment
OpenRail is based on a connected data environment, comprising the shared services of ProjectWise and AssetWise, as configured specifically for rail systems engineering workflows. During project delivery, ProjectWise facilitates the collaboration among distributed engineering teams, coordination of structured workflows, and connected project visibility. For OpenRail, 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 Center for digital components, ContextShare for digital context, ComplyPro for progressive assurance, and ConstructSim 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 concept to project handover. OpenRail extends this scope to progressive operations assurance and regulatory compliance. ConstructSim Completions automates the inspections process to accelerate systems progress and validate system readiness for efficient project turnover and closeout.

Digital Components
Components Center is an Azure cloud service of libraries which align, across disciplines and applications, the semantic content of catalogued components, potentially including vendor data, fabrication details, component requirements (for example, electrical specifications and connections), reliability characteristics, and representational views required for documentation (for example, 3D, plan, schematic). A digital component is reused across BIM workflows in design modeling, analytical modeling, construction modeling, and asset registries—from catalogued component, to engineered component, to installed component, to operated component.

The OpenRail Components Center is being initialized with libraries of generic rail components with appropriate intelligence, and libraries from significant providers such as Siemens, but is intended to be maintained and extended by user organizations.

Digital Context
Reality modeling incorporates digital context in the rail infrastructure workflow. Bentley’s ContextCapture processes digital photography and/or laser scans, from UAVs or hand-held or train-mounted devices, to produce an engineering-ready “reality mesh” accurately representing the continuously surveyed conditions of a railway corridor, site, or station.

Throughout detailed design, the reality mesh, for example, can be used to consider sight lines for signal siting. Because the reality mesh can be captured continuously, construction progress can be tracked and compared to the expected progress of the detailed design. In operations, the reality mesh can be used to compare the as-operated 3D model with the as-designed model, and serve as an immersive 3D environment with hyperlinks to equipment sensors for operations visibility and emergency response training.

OpenRail ConceptStation
OpenRail ConceptStation, enabled by the combination of OpenRail’s digital components and digital context, uniquely extends BIM capabilities to rail conceptual planning and layout. Working in the 3D design environment of the geo-coordinated reality mesh as the digital context of the rail corridor, the user can access Components Center to drag and drop digital components into the design to quickly lay out rail lines, bridges, overhead lines, signals, tunnels, etc. With the context of the terrain, and the intelligence of the digital components, OpenRail ConceptStation can quickly calculate quantities of railway elements such as track, ballast, sleepers, contact and catenary wire, equipment, bridge decking, concrete, and steel, as well as the cut-and-fill earthwork required for the conceptual design, and interactively produce a preliminary cost estimate to evaluate feasibility. All the design information, components, and context in the conceptual design can be reused in a digital workflow to OpenRail Designer for detailed design of the railway infrastructure.

Digital Workflows
In digital workflows, data captured or created for one purpose is accessed by computer programs for other purposes, saving time, minimizing rework, and improving data quality over the asset lifecycle. Digital workflows can also converge the work of different disciplines for additional advancements in project delivery and asset performance. Examples enabled by digital workflows include conceptioneering, constructioneering, inspectioneering, and operationeering. Each of these workflows represent new opportunities for engineers and their work to add value beyond their traditional role in design, to include contributions to construction, inspections, and operations.

The advancement of digital workflows in OpenRail will help users to achieve faster delivery, system-wide visibility, assured compliance, and better decisions in design, construction, and operations of rail infrastructure.



Siemens Highlights Joint Development Projects with Bentley Systems
In his keynote at Bentley’s annual event for sharing thought leadership relevant to infrastructure design, construction, and operations, Helmuth Ludwig, Global Head of Information Technology for Siemens, presented a scenario illustrating the companies’ shared contributions towards digital workflows and digital cities, and provided an update on the various joint development projects underway with Bentley Systems, initiated as part of their strategic alliance that was announced in November 2016. These jointly funded and resourced development projects will result in jointly offered cloud services to advance their respective users’ strategies in going digital.

Mr. Ludwig’s presentation illustrated the approach Siemens takes to integrating and digitalizing 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. In the workflow described by Mr. Ludwig, a process plant was captured, through digital photography, in its as-operated state with Bentley’s ContextCapture software, providing immersive visual context of the plant. That 3D “production digital twin” was then linked to the IoT-enabled components in the operating plant via MindSphere, Siemens’ cloud-based, Internet of Things operating system. Using Bentley’s AssetWise, the MindSphere inputs were configured in a browser, and in the context of the 3D model, as the user navigated the “performance digital twin” to query asset health of various components—in particular a motor vibrating to failure. The “product digital twin” of a replacement motor was accessed with Siemens PLM software, and bespoke motor mounts designed and analyzed to solve the vibration problem—and then 3D-printed. The same logic can be applied to digital cities, so that through such connected asset visibility, engineering problems can not only be detected but also solved, leveraging fully digital workflows to improve asset performance.

Other digital projects are uniquely bridging Siemens and Bentley technology to address some of today’s critical infrastructure imperatives. For example, in energy management, new distributed energy resources (DER) like wind, solar, and energy storage, require electrical grids to be bi-directional, so the GIS and network design capabilities in Bentley’s OpenUtilities are being linked with Siemens PSS SINCAL for network analysis modeling to deliver an integrated DER planning and design assessment solution.

The global push for urbanization and the increasing requirements of mobility of people and goods have accelerated the demand for rail electrification via overhead and rigid contact lines. To meet this demand, the two companies are working together to industrialize the electrification process by integrating Siemens Sicat Master, for rail catenary overhead contact line modeling and analysis, with Bentley’s newly announced OpenRail Designer.

These new joint developments build on the continued collaborative work done between Siemens and Bentley converging Bentley’s BIM and reality modeling software with Siemens’ product design and production process engineering solutions, and with the integration of Siemens’ COMOS and Bentley’s OpenPlant. Additional joint projects spanning other Siemens divisions will be announced over the coming year.


Bentley Announces iModel 2.0 Cloud Platform and Its iModelHub Cloud Service
Bentley Systems introduced the its “iModel 2.0” cloud platform and its first new service, iModelHub, to accelerate “going digital” for users of its ProjectWise Design Integration services. Without requiring changes to existing BIM applications or processes, the iModelHub cloud service, invokes application-specific “iModel bridges” triggered automatically by ProjectWise:

  • Synchronizes and distributes changes made through discipline-specific BIM applications

  • Aligns semantically and physically their constituent digital components

  • Maintains immersive visibility for comprehensive and continuous design reviews across all project disciplines and participants


Change Synchronization
The ProjectWise Design Integration service manages the file-based workflows for project delivery, which correspond to contractual roles and which acknowledge the asynchronous and often disconnected nature of infrastructure project work packaging and collaboration. Adding iModelHub takes advantage of Microsoft Azure cloud services to fully enable a connected project – synchronizing all checked-in project changes, and automatically updating a composite project iModel for comprehensive and continuous design reviews, highlighting progress and risks in digital workflows across disciplines.

iModelHub reportedly journals all project changes on a timeline, and notifies project participants, based on their ProjectWise workflow configuration, about the availability of relevant changes. Participants can choose to synchronize (or not) to and from particular timeline milestones, and can visualize, summarize, analyze, and interpret the impact of ongoing changes.

To fully enable analytics across multiple projects, and for connected assets, “iModel agents” can be programmed for each analytics subject, to be notified of project-level changes by iModelHub, and to filter appropriately for efficient incremental updates to enterprise “data lakes,” assuring secure accessibility of current infrastructure engineering model data for compliance and safety.

Digital Alignment
Bentley’s widely-utilized i-model (“1.0”) containers for BIM deliverables makes their native structures usefully self-describing in their own right, but that approach was not intended for aggregation and understanding across disciplines. iModel (“2.0”) advancement relies upon the iModelHub cloud service, and iModel Bridges, to achieve maximum possible digital alignment across iModels.

An iModel Bridge aligns information from an application’s native format into the iModelHub‘s registry of semantics, structure, units, and coordinates. Bentley Systems is providing iModel Bridge programs for its applications and for other common BIM applications, such as Autodesk REVIT, and will provide an API for the creation of bridges from other applications.

Immersive Visibility, Anywhere
By adding change synchronization and digital alignment to the connected data environment shared across ProjectWise and Bentley’s AssetWise operations services, iModelHub, according to the company, increases the value of digital workflows within and between connected projects, connected assets, and enterprise data lakes. By distributing and synchronizing copies of iModels anywhere, the iModel 2.0 cloud platform is designed to support massive scale-out for reliable, ubiquitous, and asynchronous project visibility. This fully connected data environment can enable digital engineering models to serve as the digital DNA for infrastructure asset performance modeling, connected to operational technology inputs and enterprise data lakes through Bentley’s AssetWise reliability services and operational analytics.




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