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The Magazine
As-Built using Bentley ContextCapture and Comos Walkinside

Plant Engineering Software

More than just an interface

Integrating and linking 2D and 3D information with Comos and the Bentley tools gives companies full control of their plant and engineering data.

The interface between the Comos and Bentley OpenPlant engineering solutions enables the integrated planning and maintenance of plant and engineering data throughout the entire lifecycle. This facilitates budget planning and helps prevent conflicts at an early stage. Thereby, Bentley and Siemens have laid the groundwork for creating a “digital twin” of process plants.

Improved collaboration during the planning process

The interface largely uses established standards like XML and is based on the principles of ISO 15926 for data exchange between computer systems. It allows information from Comos to be transferred and stored in “i-models” (data container) where they are available for further use in OpenPlant. Vice versa, it is also possible to tranfer data from OpenPlant to Comos. Anintegrated user interface for consistency checking presents both data pools in comparison and enables the user to verify changes. The upshot: The project team is always fully informed about the project status and can both identify and resolve conflicts – for example, if a different pump type is planned in the 3D planning with OpenPlant, or if a valve is sized differently in Comos. This improves collaboration among the various disciplines involved in plant engineering.

Linking 2D and 3D planning with Comos FEED and Bentley PlantWise also ensures that cost calculation information is available to the project team in greater detail and at an earlier stage than was previously the case. This primarily affects the layout engineering for vessels and reactors, where actual space requirements and the necessary structural work can be better planned thanks to the integrated system.

Additionally, when it comes to detail planning, extra information such as cable details available in Comos can be linked to Bentley BRCM, so that the plant engineer knows exactly what cable runs and lengths need to be installed – a key cost factor in large, complex plants.

The bidirectional interface enables data exchange between the 3D planning in Bentley OpenPlant and the 2D plant design in Comos

Innovative approach for modernization and retrofits

The integration of 2D and 3D data, however, is not restricted to new plants but is also effective in modernization projects, which very often show that there are considerable differences between the plant that was originally planned and the actual plant status. Over the years, changes are either not transferred at all or only partially added to the plant documentation, therefore not fully maintaining the associated digital information. In this case, the new interface offers the option to digitalize the actual plant using Bentley ContextCapture and to link it with the digital plant tags from the planning data. The data can then be verified and updated as necessary, and plant operators are given an up-to-date digital reproduction of their plant.

In combination with Comos Walkinside, they can use this information to train employees, test plant scenarios, and schedule maintenance. At the same time, the digital twin is a sound basis for migrations and efficiency-boosting measures, and it facilitates the conversion or expansion of existing systems.

Picture credits: Siemens AG