Uniquely Enables Owner-Operators to Improve the Performance, Reliability, and Safety of Infrastructure Assets Through Information Mobility Between Engineering and Operations
EXTON, Pa., U.S.A. – Sept. 18, 2012 – Bentley Systems, Incorporated, the leading company dedicated to providing comprehensive software solutions for sustaining infrastructure, today announced that it has acquired Ontario, Canada-based Ivara Corporation, a leading provider of asset performance management (APM) software solutions for organizations in asset-intensive industries, including mining and metals, power generation and utilities, oil and gas, and petrochemical. The Ivara EXP solution – a core system mission critical to operations and maintenance, combined with a proven implementation methodology and the Aladon Network’s seasoned reliability practitioners – helps owner-operators to obtain the best performance, reliability, and safety from their assets. APM software supplements and leverages value in transaction-oriented enterprise asset management systems such as IBM Maximo and SAP EAM by helping to build and implement asset-specific reliability strategies. Ivara is an IBM Member-Level Partner with Certified Ready for Tivoli integration as well as an SAP Software Solution Partner with SAP Certified - Powered by NetWeaver integration.
Business benefits of Ivara EXP include maximized availability and utilization; reduced operational costs; extended asset life; structured compliance with safety, environmental, and other regulations; and the systematic capture and application of asset performance knowledge and industry best practices. Ivara EXP also provides dashboards for asset health monitoring, allows organizations to understand and manage the risks associated with equipment failures, and turns the volumes of operational data into actionable information, enabling timely and accurate maintenance decisions.
With this acquisition, Bentley uniquely extends its AssetWise asset lifecycle information management software and services to comprehensively improve asset performance, providing new value-adding opportunities not only for owner-operators, but also for the engineering/procurement/construction firms who design, build, and commission their infrastructure. The compelling ROI driver of enhanced performance for existing assets is underscored by the Bentley Infrastructure 500 tabulation of Top Owners – whose net infrastructure investment is cumulatively valued at over 14 trillion dollars!
Bentley Systems CEO Greg Bentley said, “When I first visited Ivara and, of course, took notice of the “Work Smart” logo in their offices, I soon realized that this was not just words and graphics, but a touchstone of the company culture – consistent with Ivara’s heritage, since 1996, of growth and success. Now all of us as colleagues are enthusiastic to share our Bentley Systems’ objective of ‘Working Smarter, Together’ – with each other, our users, and with innovative technologies – to enable infrastructure to perform better and more safely for constituents, now especially through operational excellence and reliability.”
This marks Bentley’s second acquisition in the operations arena this year, the first being InspectTech for transportation asset management. InspectTech software-as-a-service, the market leader in inspection and bridge safety, helps owner-operators to plan, collect, and manage inspection results, and to meet asset management mandates.
Greg Bentley continued, “The Ivara acquisition may be our most significant in years, because it creates an unprecedented opportunity for us to leverage information mobility – not only within but between CAPEX and OPEX, by way of our ProjectWise and now-expanded AssetWise platforms, with shared services for asset lifecycle information management. Although increasing proportions of owners’ expenditures have been applied towards respectively accumulating engineering, and operations, information, to date this investment has yielded limited returns due to what we might call ‘information mortality’: data stranded in place until it becomes useless. But with Ivara and our resulting APM focus we are today accelerating information mobility – in terms of the amounts and types of information productively reused – by software innovations ranging from interactive inspections to health modeling, which apply consumer-driven technology advances to ‘industrialized’ projects and environments.
“The asset performance management opportunities created by information mobility pertain equally to integrated-project engineers whose information modeling deliverables and expertise can contribute in new and innovative ways to operating reliability and safety – as also to teams in operations and maintenance, where lifecycle reliability experience data, such as failure modes and effects analysis, can be structured to drive better designs. Working smarter, together, we can now make the world more productive and safer by ensuring with integrity that the right information is securely accessible at the right time, for the right purpose, throughout the design, construction, operations, and maintenance of intelligent infrastructure.”
Paul Marshall, formerly CEO of Ivara and now Bentley vice president, asset performance, said, “All of us at Ivara look forward to working with our new colleagues at Bentley to redefine the scope of asset performance management. Through Ivara EXP, AssetWise will now be able to uniquely link as-designed, as-built, and as-operated information models. Advantages to owners will include new capabilities to transform engineering data into actionable reliability strategies that better control and operate equipment as intended and as learned, and to take full advantage of information mobility through immersive and interactive 3D models in safer training, inspections, and maintenance. EPCs will benefit by virtue of more valuably leveraged ‘hands-on’ commissioning deliverables, and ultimately through the feedback of APM operations intelligence, in turn.
“Ivara users and prospects will benefit in particular because Bentley’s unmatched global coverage and resources include access to in-country experts to facilitate worldwide implementation of our unique APM solutions. Finally, Bentley’s broad reach to owners across all domains of infrastructure can now bring the best practices of APM from owner-operators of the largest and most mission-critical plants to all types of infrastructure assets of every scale, for new levels of operational excellence.”
Andy Chatha, president and CEO, ARC Advisory Group, said, “In today’s increasingly competitive landscape, owner-operators are faced with a number of complex challenges. Chief among them are improving performance and reducing costs while preserving the environment and plant safety under constrained financial and human resources. Bentley’s acquisition of Ivara is a very positive step towards enhancing owner-operators’ returns on their investments and further incentivizing them to make additional investments in infrastructure to help sustain long-term economic growth around the world.”
Paula Hollywood, senior analyst, ARC Advisory Group, said, “Asset performance management has many dimensions including proactive maintenance, risk mitigation, environmental, health and safety concerns, and reliability. Achieving these goals requires a collaborative information exchange in order to manage critical issues and constraints while simultaneously improving asset availability and utilization. To be effective, they need an asset information management system that can deliver complete, accurate, timely, and most importantly actionable information for all APM stakeholders, internal or external to the organization. The acquisition of Ivara, a leading APM vendor, by Bentley Systems demonstrates that Bentley fully understands the challenges facing the infrastructure community at large. Moreover, it uniquely positions Bentley to deliver solutions that enable owners of capital-intensive assets to design reliability into systems.”
Redefining APM: Representative Opportunities
Among many application areas that will be catalyzed by information mobility spanning engineering and operations/maintenance, initial priorities for AssetWise APM software development include:
- (beyond inspection): “interactive inspection” – to revolutionize labor and information productivity in this essential activity, where to date IT hasn’t progressed much beyond capturing in “blobs” the same unsearchable text that static paper workflows required, resulting in the same wasteful “information mortality.” Rather, each interactive inspection assignment can and should be APM-guided to efficiently identify salient and structured observations specific to the location, recent and historical conditions, knowledge of failure modes, and risk assessment of each unique instance of equipment and structure. Interactive inspection will increasingly take advantage of immersive information mobility technologies combining, as appropriate, smart mobile devices; dynamic forms; as-maintained 3D “hypermodels” to navigate via interactive callouts in context for design and construction drawings, specifications and maintenance instructions, safety animations, and more; and convenient capture of 3D point-cloud imagery for trend differencing. Intrinsic “hands-on” positioning and authentication technologies will assure efficient routing and safe access, confirm accurate tag and location identification, and dynamically index inspection observations to the correct asset lifecycle information records – for compliance reporting and configuration management.
- (beyond asset health monitoring): “ health modeling ” – to enable design engineers to participate in prescribing and interpreting the otherwise often overwhelming extent of “real-time” asset health monitoring data streams. To dramatically expand upon a current Ivara EXP use case of vulnerable process piping configurations – where corrosion and wear unpredictably change not only flow characteristics but also structural strength – the pipe stress analysis from design can, to start with, be used by engineers to recommend the most effective sensor locations. Then the resulting regularly sampled observations – of, for example, sectional deflections and strains – can be compared within the design engineers’ pipe stress analysis model to “inversely” solve for the re-calibrated as-operated (deteriorated) structural parameters of each pipe section. Finally, the design engineers can regularly re-analyze the as-calibrated parameters, again reusing their design model, to assure that safety margins are never compromised.
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