Every year the Bentley Systems’ Year in Infrastructure conference showcases finalists in their Year in Infrastructure competition. The event highlights the company’s prestigious Year in Infrastructure Awards, where finalists in 19 categories present their most innovative projects of the past year and describe how they were able to solve real-world challenges using Bentley applications. The winners will be announced at a special ceremony and gala on Oct. 18.
Posts Tagged ‘infrastructure’
Bentley Year in Infrastructure 2018 Conference Features Year in Infrastructure Finalists’ Best Practices, Real-World Implementations, and State-of-the-Art TechnologiesMonday, October 15th, 2018
Matt Kochanowski, product manager, Professional Imaging, Epson America, Inc. spoke with AECCafe Voice about the newest of their SureColor T-Series printers.
Tasked with creating a new museum on Liberty Island to house the valuable artifacts from the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island is an honor in and of itself. High Concrete Group, LLC, a family-owned company that has delivered precast concrete structures for nearly 50 years, was named Precast Winner for the Statue of Liberty Museum for the Tekla BIM Awards.
The built environment is increasingly more digitized, relying heavily on large building models to hold all aspects of a building project. Thus, the need for BIM Interoperability is greater as the necessity grows for stakeholders to be able to access the information inside these complex and huge models.
For AEC firms, it is very common to use multiple software products within the same organization, as well as outside the organization. No single BIM software solution or integrated system can fulfill the requirements of the AEC industry. All these products throughout the design process need to be able to communicate with one another.
Standards organizations have come forward to suggest that they have the answer to interoperability in the BIM world. But currently what most vendors are able to achieve is perhaps an increase in interoperability. Does anyone offer total interoperability?
Some of our respondents define BIM interoperability in this way:
“Interoperability is about handing over the right amount of information, to the right people at the right time,” says David Lash, product manager, Trimble, Tekla Structures Division. “It’s about hitting milestones for people who want to stay up to date with the wider project, even on a daily basis.”
“Communication, communication, communication,” says Joe Eichenseer, director, Building Lifecycle Solutions, North America IMAGINiT. “Interoperability allows us to communicate better and reduce or eliminate the chance of translation errors between systems.”
Responsibilities of the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority are vast, as they manage stewardship of federal port lands in and around Vancouver, British Columbia.
The port authority oversees and manages over 16,000 hectares of water, more than 1,000 hectares of land, and approximately 350 kilometers of shoreline, bordering 16 municipalities and intersecting the asserted and established territories and treaty lands of several Coast Salish First Nations.
The port authority’s mandate includes handling permits for all projects for proposed federal port lands use and is responsible for real estate management. It also manages infrastructure development designed to support growth and efficient operations.
In order to manage all this, the port authority maintains a repository of AutoCAD drawings. They have been AutoCAD Map 3D and Civil 3D users for a long time.
Maintaining source drawings from many systems such as water, communication, electrical, storm, sewer, and more is what the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority’s Spatial Data Group does on a daily basis. Team members create plans based in these systems and want to query features from each of them. One of the primary problems was that those features could be unintentionally removed from the source drawing if the user didn’t detach it before saving the working file. It could then be gone forever. The team really wanted a solution that could automatically create an audit trail displaying everyone who had modified a file.
Joe Hedrick, manager, Infrastructure Solutions for IMAGINiT, answered some questions for AECCafe Voice on how the port authority found a solution for tracking and safeguarding its CAD drawings in the form of Autodesk Vault.
Cosential is a CRM market leader and proposal automation software for Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) firms, that recently closed a deal of a $34 million strategic growth investment from JMI Equity, a growth equity firm focused on investing in leading software companies. The funding will be used to accelerate market development, expand corporate infrastructure and continue fueling the company’s rapid pace of product innovation. Dan Cornish, CEO of the company Cosential, spoke with AECCafe recently about Cosential and its role in the AEC industry.
Cornish began Cosential in 1999, as a way to help large AEC firms win large projects. What he realized was that a crucial problem people had was pulling data together.
How did you start out building Cosential?
I started building online systems early on and then started building Cosential and over the years I sort of bootstrapped it from there to get to this point today, where we have the biggest market share for CRM in the AEC industry. So many people want so much from our tool, it made sense for me to bring on a financial partner who would help me grow and realize the financial vision I’ve had all these years, because I want to help customers have better businesses. It’s such an old-fashioned industry and people have been managing with spreadsheets. The tools that are out there are either very old, not industry specific or they require an enormous amount of customization that they never get quite right and so we build a purpose-built tool for this industry and it solves a lot of problems.
3D Repo, digital construction technology provider, has announced Clash Detection functionality has been added to their 3D Diff, software that identifies clashes in construction plans by analyzing 3D models that have been submitted by project partners and contractors.
IMAGINiT Technologies’ new Pulse Platform, available now, is designed to allow engineers and architects to share data between independent software on-premise or cloud products beginning with Autodesk Vault and Autodesk Fusion Lifecycle. Other integrations with other products are forthcoming, according to Matt Mason, software development team manager for IMAGINiT.
“It’s an initial release and a big new area for us,” said Mason. “We’ve always done system integration work, and the work tends to be custom and one-off. This is our attempt to build a platform to make the process of system integration easier, more packaged and less custom.”
Mason adds that previously system integration was primarily 90% custom and required high level software developer or consultant. “We want to see 85% -95% of system integration work as a part of the package. The rest would be what a midlevel consultant could do, set up relationships between systems, map one to the other, etc.”
IMAGINiT Pulse benefits include (according to company materials):
- Connectors for Autodesk Vault, Autodesk Fusion Lifecycle, Autodesk BIM 360 Operations and BuildingLink and other systems, allow users to automatically flow information from one software program to another. For example, individuals involved in enterprise resource planning and PLM may need to seamlessly transfer certain data in a specific format from Fusion Lifecycle to Vault.
- Real-time visibility of data, through an easy to read dashboard, allows users to understand exactly what information is being transferred, monitor each step in the transfer process and ensure the security and consistency of the data between the two systems.
- Configurability gives users control over information being transferred, the systems it is being transferred between and the format in which it is being transferred – all without needing a dedicated development resource on staff. IMAGINiT technical professionals can assist Pulse users to define what data must move, in what direction, the format, and the reaction it triggers upon arrival at the destination software system.
Mason said that the connectors were built to do the heavy lifting of system integration, for working with specific products and getting data in or out of those products and doing updates.
“What’s left in the middle are workflow, rules and data mapping, and that’s modest, but doesn’t require the same level of development expertise that the actual deep integration to each system takes,” said Mason. “We’re trying to build something where we can have these pre-built connectors that do the hardest part of the work and separate the business logic and business rules into a separate part of the product.”
The first three connectors are built for Autodesk products currently since IMAGINiT’s consulting work largely revolves around those products. The fourth one was a non-Autodesk product called BuildingLink.
“We actually had a chance to build a product that made use of BIM 360 operations product with the BuildingLink product,” said Mason. “We expect to do more connectors over time, building our catalog of connectors. We’re expecting to do Bentley ProjectWise and other common integrations that we’ve done in the past such as Microsoft SharePoint.
People using the connectors need to be familiar with the workflows for the products involved. What is in the middle between the two is defining those workflows and some scripting is necessary, such as Microsoft.net scripting, as one product may refer to a part and another may refer to it as an item, etc.
An example, Mason said, are two Autodesk products that don’t communicate very well together such as Autodesk Vault to Fusion Lifecycle. They each have a separate language for how they describe parts and items and both are heavily customized for each customer to define the pieces of information they have. Someone has to build out the script of how to map data from this side to that side. To date, people have set up custom properties on their systems.
“We’re trying to build the connector out so it is visible to the user but not necessarily end user,” said Mason. “The person responsible for the integration wants to see what’s going on and see how integration flows from one side to the other. When you’re doing each one of these as a custom job, there wasn’t much time for polish. We wanted to invest more in the polish and see information flowing back and forth and have a way to visualize and trace. Since we were building it as a platform we could invest more than we could in a typical one off minimalist consulting project.”
In most cases IMAGINiT’s customers have already had their systems custom built for them. “We’re using the expertise of all the integrations we’ve done over the years and tried to build something so the next year’s integration will be much easier.”
Customers just want integration and want it to work, not cost too much. The Pulse Platform offers them “a nicer system that is less risk and less cost than something more custom, because so much of it is packaged,” said Mason.
Pulse will be separate from ongoing development, support and consulting, with annual use fee, including automatic updates for connectors for each company.
There will be one cost for the platform itself, and if you want two systems to connect, get a connector for each system, as each connector has a different amount of and specific complexity.
ARCHICAD 22 is focused on modeling, information management and performance. Some of those include:
- Smooth and responsive navigation ensured for all model views.
- Major performance enhancements noticeable when panning and zooming
- Generation of complex element fills done by GPU acceleration
- ARCHICAD balances calculation tasks so all cores finish their tasks at the same time.
- An improved navigation caching algorithm
- High resolutions support on Windows allows for sharper display of details.
Autodesk holds some informative webcasts for the civil community entitled “Civil Community Webcasts.” One recent one was entitled “What’s New in Civil 3D and InfraWorks.”
Eric Chappell, Civil Community Evangelist for Autodesk, hosted this webinar with Dan Philbrick, director of Civil Infrastructure Products, Dave Simeone, Civil 3D project manager, and Sarah Cunningham, InfraWorks product manager.
Chappell recommends the InfraWorks tool for doing preliminary design and decisions. “This year we’re focusing on continuing to drive detailed design in both InfraWorks and the platform for BIM.”
The use of Civil 3D with or without InfraWorks is valuable and both are in the same civil collection.
What’s new in InfraWorks 2018.0
Sarah Cunningham noted that they changed the name of the product and took “360” out of the name.
An InfraWorks Customer Council meets with Autodesk once a month. “They tell us about challenges,” said Cunningham. “They bounce ideas off one another. Many people aren’t sure how to implement InfraWorks yet. This group has been able to talk about how they’re using it. We’re starting to hear some interesting things: 1. Continues to be used for road and highway design 2. CAD managers are hearing from designers that they want more engineering data from the InfraWorks model, increasing in frequency. They want it to be more than a pretty picture in visualization, more toward engineering design. The Corridor project in Norway, winner of the Infrastructure in Excellence Awards 2016, was about planning a corridor and using InfraWorks for large scale planning projects. They want to use InfraWorks for more preliminary design now that planning phase is done.”