Technology converging for asset performance monitoring

Bentley Systems CEO Greg Bentley, explained the need for IT, OT, and digital engineering model integration to help with asset performance monitoring, at the ARC Industry Forum, on Feb. 8, in Orlando.


Bentley Systems CEO Greg Bentley, explained the need for IT, OT, and digital engineering model integration to help with asset performance monitoring. Courtesy: Mark T. Hoske, Control Engineering, CFE MediaBentley Systems CEO, Greg Bentley, discussed how the convergence of information technology (IT), operational technology (OT), and engineering technology (ET) at the 20th Annual ARC Industry Forum on Feb. 8 in Orlando. Bentley discussed how this convergence is enabling owner-operators to go beyond asset performance monitoring to asset performance modeling, and thereby achieve demonstrable improvements in asset performance. He also explained why digital engineering models are critical to realizing the benefits of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), and how new breakthroughs in reality modeling (enabled by way of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), digital imaging, and innovative software) are making the continuous creation of as-operated digital engineering models possible for every infrastructure asset.

Bentley explained that drones or smartphones can augment the models, refreshing information at a more rapid rate and at less expense than prior offerings.

Digital models

Digital engineering model integration is a logical benefit of IT and OT convergence, he suggested.

Bentley gave an example of a south Australia gas utility that is adding weather and events to track, optimize, and control consumption with its portfolio, for asset performance monitoring. Schematics, 3D models, functional components and specifications, analysis, and network models all feed digital engineering models to create the digital DNA of the organization.

Bentley said that IIoT success requires sensors, big data analysis, information mobility 3D, global positioning system (GPS) and other information for asset performance modeling.

UAVs: Better maintenance

Commonwealth Edison, a unit of Exelon, improves maintenance prioritization and capital plans using UAVs to capture video of assets (distributed lines or centralized, such as a substation). Bentley said the imagery supplements ground photography to enhance maintenance information.

Such data collection can be integration with piping and instrumentation diagrams (P&IDs), geo coordination, and augmented reality, allowing a virtual walk-through, allowing an operator to find the valve to turn off for inspection. Failure modes, such as alarms and filters, also can be applied, he said. Thermography records gathered via drones also could be added.

In another application, a sensor array of accelerometers was compared to information gathered from a video array, and the video provided more information.

Faster resolution

Mobile technology can be used to expedite issue resolution in the field when site and field workers can collect and share field feedback. For example, Bentley said, Western Power, in the U.K., is using 3,500 Apple iPads in field with maps software from Bentley.

Bentley Systems 

- Edited by Chris Vavra, production editor, CFE Media,, from a Bentley Systems press release with additional information from Mark T. Hoske, content manager, Control

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