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Susan Smith
Susan Smith
Susan Smith has worked as an editor and writer in the technology industry for over 16 years. As an editor she has been responsible for the launch of a number of technology trade publications, both in print and online. Currently, Susan is the Editor of GISCafe and AECCafe, as well as those sites’ … More »

Bentley Media Day: Government and Utilities

November 10th, 2016 by Susan Smith

On Media Day at the Bentley Year In Infrastructure 2016 Conference held in London, the media was treated to Industry presentations for the various industry segments that Bentley Systems serves. The event is a vehicle for Bentley’s jurored Be Inspired Awards, which are bestowed on the selected finalists at a Wednesday evening gala event. Prior to the event, technology sessions highlight the work of the finalists and the company provides industry forums to showcase new technologies on the horizon.

Winner Innovation in Utilities and Communication - Hubei Electric, Engineering , 220kV Secondary Transformer Substation, China

Winner Innovation in Utilities and Communication – Hubei Electric, Engineering , 220kV Secondary Transformer Substation, China

Presented in the Government and Utilities presentation was Bentley’s Unified View of Data:

  • Modeling
  • Greater 3D collaboration
  • Multi-discipline design


  • Greater collaboration with the supply chain
  • Common environments
  • Web publishing


  • Operational analytics
  • Asset reliability/health checking

The concept of “going digital” was introduced by Robert Mankowski, vice president, Project Development, Asset Performance at Bentley Systems, who explained that engineering and construction firms were using ProjectWise CONNECTEdition for a “going digital strategy,” that provides a live and open Connected Data Environment to improve project delivery.

AssetWise CONNECTEdition and the Connected Data Environment

Vonnie Smith, vice president, Product Management, Asset Performance, spoke about Bentley’s AssetWise CONNECTEdition and the advancement of asset performance.

“The Bentley products Amulet, eB, Ivara, InspectTech, Optram, SUPERLOAD, Exor, and Geo Web Publisher have been serving need of owner/operators for ten years or so, and are workhorses to help them manage assets and inspections and focus on spatial enablement and mapping of their assets,” said Smith.

AssetWise ConnectEdition makes possible the merging of assets and solutions into a connected environment. They can add adjacent capabilities easily. The Connected Data Environment provides both comprehensive project delivery and asset performance TOTEX. It is able to easily receive information and put it into context for reuse.

While spatial and network aware, the environment enables information to be referenced along pipe networks or on a map.

The Connected Data Environment relies on intrinsic 3D geo coordination accelerated by reality modeling.

Engineering precision, self-describing data, automated work processes, all come together into a powerful set of tools.

Subscriptions are now designed to match the way users’ needs them, according to number of assets, number of inspection points, and provide value based on the extent of the AssetWise system.

Five categories of AssetWise subscriptions are:

  • Lifecycle information management SKA provides document management and records management.
  • Asset reliability – pulls everything together, using features to plan maintenance and inspection.
  • Compliance and safety – Crossrail uses this for routing permits for oversize vehicles
  • Operational analytics – looking at AssetWise data and other data management, make InSite part of the ongoing process of the asset
  • Enterprise interoperability – get sub to connector you get to use the same conduit while using other assets outside Bentley

Bentley Substation Project and Release

Winner in the category Innovation in Utilities and Communication, Hubei Electric Engineering Corporation (HEEC), China presented on the topic, “Digital Engineering Models Deliver for Design, Construction and Operations and Maintenance for Substation Project.”

Winner Innovation in Utilities and Communication - Hubei Electric, Engineering , 220kV Secondary Transformer Substation, China

Winner Innovation in Utilities and Communication – Hubei Electric, Engineering , 220kV Secondary Transformer Substation, China

Challenges and outcomes of that project are as follows:


  • Challenging design requirements in densely populated area


  • Digital engineering models used for all phases of the project lifecycle
  • Design time reduced by 20 days with a saving of CNY 50,000
  • Total project savings of CNY 2 million

Project Playbook: Bentley Substation, AECOsim Building Designer, Bentley Raceway and Cable Management, STAAD Pro, ProStructures, ContextCapture, OpenRoads, MicroStation and Bentley Navigator.

Wang Wei, Team Leader of Digital Center, Hubei Electric Engineering Corporation, had this to say about their experience: “Bentley’s digital platform solution has been fully applied across multiple disciplines and phases of the Miaoshan 220kV Secondary Transformer Substation project, bringing significant improvements to design efficiency and quality, providing strong technical support for construction, operations and maintenance. This project achieved good social and economic benefits.”

Bentley Substation enjoys a new release which sports the following capabilities:

  • Enhanced lightning protection including IEC levels and overhead cables
  • Automatic grounding rod placement
  • Performance improvements when using remote or local databases
  • Define equipment connections on load points from ProStructures models.

This product is for general access and available now.

Reality Modeling

Robert Mankowski spoke on the topic, “Reality Modeling and Hydraulic Modeling.”

“Reality modeling is our tool designed to create a model of existing reality as the basis of your design,” said Mankowski. “And Reality Modeling goes mainstream for project delivery and owner operators.”

Innovation in Reality Modeling Winner: City of Helsinki – Helsinki 3D+ – (Helsinki, Finland). Image Courtesy of Bentley Systems

Innovation in Reality Modeling Winner: City of Helsinki – Helsinki 3D+ – (Helsinki, Finland). Image Courtesy of Bentley Systems

Existing infrastructure projects are undergoing constant change. With the advent of smartphones with GPS and camera capabilities, as well as advances in algorithms, Bentley has been able to create this technology for modeling those existing conditions. GPS units built into phones provide location. Laser scanners, drones, iPhone, can capture images and point clouds from which users can reconstruct the 3D reality of existing conditions.

Bentley acquired Acute3D a year or so ago, which became their ContextCapture product. This year we are viewing the consumption of Reality Modeling. ContextCapture can enhance all aspects of the infrastructure asset lifecycle.

Capabilities of ConceptCapture include:

  • Hybrid inputs – point clouds and photos
  • Cloud service for convenience and higher performance
  • Support for ContextCapture meshes in ConceptStation and ConstructSIM
  • Meshes and photos managed by ProjectWise

ContextCapture has become a key technology in a short space of time. 15 of 60+ Be Inspired Award finalists are using it this past year. 68 countries are using it. The latest edition supports laser scanning for improved accuracy.

The City of Helsinki, winners in the category, Innovation in Reality Modeling, used the technology for modeling the entire city of Helsinki.

Challenges and outcomes of their project are as follows:


  • To model the entire city of Helsinki using over 50,000 digital photographs


  • ContextCapture created a reality model of the entire city
  • The reality model Is integrated with their already existing city information model based on CityGML standards.
  • The data produced will be provided for free to the public and stakeholders via a Web portal.

Project Playbook includes:

ContextCapture, Descartes, Bentley LumenRT, Bentley Map, MicroStation, Bentley Navigator, Pointools, and ProjectWise.

“You can do queries and visualizations like you would with a GIS, combining the vector data of subsurface utilities with a BIM model embedded in there,” said Mankowski. “By using the structure of the BIM model we can display parts of it in the reality context.

The cost effectiveness of this technique allows it to be done frequently and rapidly, mashing up different time periods of reality context models that were built. You couldn’t do this with traditional survey methods.”

The product Bentley LumenRT was created by leaders in digital nature, Eon Software. The technology, used in the motion picture industry, enlivens the visualizations you have created by combining proposed reality with existing reality. You can look inside buildings from floor to floor, simulate the time and day of the year. LumenRT is built into ConceptStation and available for general access.

Bentley Descartes accelerates the use of Reality Modeling in engineering workflows, by processing point cloud data and reality meshes for the engineering workflow.

Hydraulic modeling

In the area of hydraulic modeling, Mankowski pointed to the Bentley products WaterGEMS, WaterCAD and HAMMER CONNECTEditions for which the company has added the following capabilities:

  • Create and manage customized reports
  • Updated user interface
  • Operate pumps and valves based on their historical values imported from SCADA systems
  • Model turbines for energy and revenue generation
  • Create moves of model animations to share with project stakeholders
  • Integrate with AssetWise Operational Analytics.

These CONNECTEditions are available now for general access.

Mankowski summarized by pointing out that utility experts are scared to death of cyber security. “One of our business solutions is around safety and compliance asset management platform; this is a key opportunity to leverage the power of this built into business solutions.”

“Microsoft Azure cloud has all the security ratings, and is ISO 271 certified,” he continued. “It has all processes in place, and we have a cyber security group that reviews and does testing.”

For smart cities, there is so much information coming in to the emerging field. The challenge is how to talk about smart cities in an intelligent way, said Mankowski.

“Can we achieve a smart city?” The question was asked. The process will be different with different cities, but the model can become more granular with time and experience, said Mankowski. The possibilities of integrating with Maximo, a work management system, Esri data, new BIM models that display the interiors of buildings and subsurface, combined with ioT models are seemingly limitless.

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Categories: 3D Cities, analytics, ArcGIS, Bentley, Bentley Systems, Big Data, Building Information Modeling, climate change, cloud, cloud network analytics, conversion, data, developers, disaster relief, Esri, geocoding, geoinformatics, geomatics, geospatial, GIS, government, GPS, handhelds, iPhone, lidar, location based sensor fusion, location based services, location intelligence, mapping, mobile, satellite imagery

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