January 24, 2018, 1:18 am
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BENTLEY SYSTEMS YEAR OF INFRASTRUCTURE: Infrastructure digitalization will accelerate planning to construction

SINGAPORE – To take away the risks, improve processes, control costs and increase the overall efficiency of an infrastructureproject implementation, digitalization and key partnerships are crucial. This is according to Greg Bentley, CEO, Bentley Systems at the “Year in Infrastructure 2017” conferencehappening until October 12. Bentley Systems is a leading global provider of comprehensive digital software, platform and systemts solutions for advancing infrastructure.

This call for digitalization was made material as Bentleyannounced the introduction of SelectConnectServices, a new Azure-based service that delivers comprehensive learning, mobility, and collaboration benefits to Bentley application subscribers. He also announced improvements
to two other infrastructure management and design systems, ProjectWise and OpenRail. 

Speaking to 128 media men and women from 50 countries around the world, Bentley illustrated how digitalization provides stability in the way projects are run from end to end. Ensuring the viability of infrastructure projects and managing the lifecycle of a project’s assets. 

“Our priority in going digital is to engineer our software so it can focus on digital components in a connected and shared environment,” Bentley emphasized.

To carry out its digitalization goals faster meant intensifying already existing partnerships Bentley has with its industry allies, Bureau Veritas, Siemens, Microsoft and TopCon. These four companies represent four sides of Bentley System’s digitalization scope—development of the project from a concept (conceptioneering) actual systems engineering, construction and on-ground automation (constructioneering) veracity and conditionof various assets (inspectioneering), and systems component build and maintenance (operationeering)

“Our application users and their organizations are appropriately making going digital their business priority. In our own business at Bentley Systems, I feel that we should be correspondingly responsible to take full advantage of Cloud services to advance applications users’ learning, mobility, and collaboration,” Bentley explained his company’s digital journey along with its partners and clients.

As the demand for infrastructure globally increases in relation to population and migration into cities and industrial zones, managing limited space, limited resources, an aging workforce versus a young think force make digitalization an imperative.

During Bentley’s keynote, he touched on the importance of openness and sharing information in a digital platform as he started to bring on stage, partner companies to announce alignments they have with Bentley Systems.

“Asia is the center of gravity in the world now,” Albert Granados, Asia Pacific Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Operations at Microsoft said referring to the fact that nearly 50 percent of all major infrastructure projectscompeting in the “Be Inspired” infrastructure proposals are from Asia. 

As he said this, Bentley also announced ProjectWise Connect Edition Cloud services that ran on Microsoft Azure and said the company will leverage Microsoft’s capabilities not only in data connectivity but also in the artificial intelligence and machine learning. The two capabilities are already available on the platform and will benefit all parties involved in an infrastructure project.

And because construction requires a massive amount of earthmoving and digging, managing it from a surveying side is critical for both costs and faster execution. Ray O’ Connor, TopCon Positioning System’s President and CEO spoke about how every major construction equipment manufacturer is now integrating such technology into their products.

He also mentioned how “constructioneering” to mean construction and engineering in an automated or digital sense has taken its own form in the partnership of TopCon and Bentley. An initiative called the Constructioneering Academy to respond to the growing demand for heavy civil construction and infrastructure delivery globally. Both companies made experiments, prototyped and actually applied automation right down to on-ground equipment have been done.

O’Connor cited autonomous mining trucks as an example, while Bentley explained how inexpensive cameras on excavators have made models on how more efficient and help reduce costs by visually mapping diggings and possibly programming this into an automated system.

“What if you can drill down to know the reliability of every piece of equipment in your system,” Helmuth Ludwig, Global Head, Siemen’s Information Technology asked as he highlighted how Siemens has invested over $10 billion over the last decade in acquisitions to strengthen its position and capabilities in digitalization.

He talked of the interoperability and openness of Bentley Systems and Siemens and “federating the data environment with partners.” 

“Fore nearly 200 years we were a big data player even without knowing it,” Thomas Daubigny, Chief Digital Officer of Bureau Veritas started his short discussion. He pointed out how presently his company has disrupted the inspections game using technologies such as IoT, robotics and drones, predictive analysis and digital modeling. 

He referred to the “digital twin”—the virtual copy of a real machine or system—as the new single point of trust. The technology of the digital twin, spearheaded by Siemens, can help monitor a machine or system—even whole rail or road networks, building elevators or airports to avoid unplanned asset downtime, increase safety and ensure compliance.
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