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Cloud-Services for digital twins

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Cloud services for digital twins

Plantsight, a suite of cloud services developed by Siemens and Bentley, enables the delivery of constantly updated, true-to-life digital twins. Real process equipment and engineering data are synchronised. Multiple data sources, including dark data, are integrated to create an immersive environment with visible analysis for more efficient operations and better informed decisions.

Plantsight is a set of digital twin cloud
services that provides an evergreen digital twin environment for process plants in which to consolidate and aggregate plant models and data, validate, visualise and analyse them to facilitate informed decisions. It transforms raw data into one complete,
living digital twin that is continuously updated. The digital twin can include process and plant engineering, physical layout
modelling, project and construction planning, maintenance, reliability and asset performance modelling.

One decisive factor is the federation of data. Thanks to intelligent scanning and data interpretation, imaging technology allows access to previously inaccessible information. This allows data to be validated and linked with other information; changes can be tracked in order to improve not only the accuracy, completeness and trustworthiness of asset data and documentation but also compliance and decision making. The solution is scalable, secure and extensible and will reduce the IT footprint and costs.

Introducing Plantsight

Plantsight is a cloud-based plant engineering and operations solution that scales from the simplest plant modification to the workflows required for complex capital projects. The solution shares a common data model across an open and connected data environment (CDE), which integrates services from both Siemens and Bentley.

These services include data acquisition – which apart from Comos and Openplant can also load plant design information from Aveva and Hexagon –, data aggregation
services to consolidate and aggregate data into the CDE and ensure that all data is correctly synchronised and a tag registry service that manages tags across all these multiple systems. Tags are used to identify assets and are typically the common denominator between different engineering and operations systems. They are also one of the hardest things to consolidate and keep updated across such systems.

Thanks to Siemens’ know-how in functional information and Bentley’s expertise in 3-D spatial information, Plantsight solves this problem. In addition to aggregating data from plant design systems, it can also aggregate information from Excel, ISO 15926 and other sources, giving the operator instant access to accurate tag information. The Plantsight tag registry is likewise integrated directly with Comos and Openplant, so that they share this capability with design workflows. Other Plantsight services can similarly be shared as user requirements demand.

Yet what if there is no 3-D model of the existing plant? Plantsight can also combine a reality mesh of this plant with any 3-D models that may be available and link tag information to the geospatial coordinates of the tagged component.

No more dark data

A digital twin combines data from many online and offline sources with open IT integration. It helps incorporate data from digitally inaccessible sources, sometimes referred to as “dark data”, and mobile sources used in the field.

An accurate, up-to-date, accessible digital twin reduces the time to operational readiness and can also influence the time to market. The ease with which this digital twin can be updated during operation or modified during projects meets the need for increased flexibility and adaptability. The seamless and ongoing integration of process engineering, maintenance, 3-D representation and operational performance information speeds up and supports continuous improvements and hence efficiency, sustainability and the return on assets. The digital twin makes it more straightforward to engineer for safety and compliance and verify the as-built and as-maintained facility.

In addition to information which is acces-sible online, there is a category of inacces-sible sources such as PDF documents, drawings or paper documentation as well as electronic data in legacy systems that can benefit a broader set of users if made available. Plantsight includes intelligent services to help incorporate, analyse and connect data from these dark sources. As data quality may be inconsistent, validation steps allow useful data to be differentiated from poor data.

Change synchronisation

For operation and maintenance, one of the biggest challenges is knowing what has changed and when, so that accurate decisions can be made. Not just the most recent change is relevant but every change historically on record. P&IDs are probably among the most important operational documents, so it makes sense to view those same changes you saw in 3-D visualised on the P&ID. Visualising changes using the context of a familiar document adds real value for operators.

Today, it is possible to hand over the complete digital twin and keep it evergreen. When the twin starts deviating over time because the equipment is modified or there are add-ons, it is possible to create a new project digital twin (based on the most current performance digital twin) and engineer the modifications in parallel with operation of the plant until shutdown. Any changes compared to the design are captured in the project twin, then a simple reconciliation step combines the latest changes in the performance digital twin with the information from the project twin. This is easy to do in a side-by-side view of differences and a step-by-step process for approving or rejecting changes.

With its ability to leverage new technologies such as reality modelling, 3-D web-based visualisation, cloud services and IoT, Plantsight is the next-generation asset performance management system for consolidating and aggregating information and supporting constant and continuous change management, leading to better – and better informed – decisions on asset performance and reliability.

Plant operation and maintenance can now manage as-operated digital twins of their assets.


Online search: cpp0319bentley

Author: Sandra DiMatteo

Director of Marketing,
Digital Twin Solutions,
Bentley Systems

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