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June 05, 2006
Bentley Plant – A Distributed Approach to Projects
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Susan Smith - Managing Editor

by Susan Smith - Managing Editor
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Welcome to AECWeekly! The problem with the lack of engineers in the workforce has wrought significant changes in the types of solutions offered for plant and process, according to Rob Whitesell, vice president, Bentley Plant in his vertical keynote at BE. The way projects are done has changed from a process whereby you would bring together all parts of the project into one location, with one big project team working together to a more distributed approach. In his vertical keynote, Whitesell spoke about being able to support projects and enterprises that are globally distributed so that the teams are not necessary working in the same office or even connected to the same system. Read
about it in this week's Industry News.

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Industry News

Bentley Plant - A Distributed Approach to Projects

by Susan Smith

The problem with the lack of engineers in the workforce has wrought significant changes in the types of solutions offered for plant and process, according to Rob Whitesell, vice president, Bentley Plant in his vertical keynote at BE. The way projects are done has changed from a process whereby you would bring together all parts of the project into one location, with one big project team working together to a more distributed approach. In his vertical keynote, Whitesell spoke about being able to support projects and enterprises that are globally distributed so that the teams are not necessary working in the same office or even connected to the same system.

The keynote encompassed three demonstrations that supported what Bentley introduced earlier this year at daratechPLANT. The focus was on what is being done within ProjectWise and MicroStation V8 XM Edition to support collaboration across the internet.

For example, the tools in the XM Edition of PlantSpace flag where someone is working on the same project. If someone has worked on something somewhere else, it significantly impacts other people because they've added new things to the design. Before their changes are actually accepted back into the model there can be an approval process to accept those changes, which is called management of change.

Also demonstrated was how the same tools can be used not just within the Bentley design environment, but ProjectWise in particular can manage third party models, and bring them in together with PlantSpace or AutoPLANT.


XML is accepted globally as a good transport system to carry information between systems. It is being used to carry packets of data between different applications. With the growth of neutral or open standards based on XML, such as XMLpLant, there is more focus on it.

XMLpLant is an XML format which combines the data structure of ISO15926 and the 3D graphics elements of the STEP standards, ISO10300. XMLpLant is a very robust exchange mechanism, between PlantSpace and PDS, and taking both the graphics and the data of AutoPLANT and PlantSpace. XMLpLant is also a very robust transport mechanism for handling complex 3D models in the plant industry. Bentley and AVEVA have adopted it. Hatch, a customer is using XMLpLant to do project in PDF and PlantSpace and fully exchange models between the two.

The same Microsoft .NET technology that allows you to drag and drop Word to Excel to PowerPoint, taking the graphics as well, and XML is what is layered around the engineering content layer in core MicroStation and ProjectWise.

Project interoperability for XM Edition updates include:

- Project administrator creates PlantSpace projects

- Same database connection and data source

- Shared Isogen styles

- Share tags and properties with Bentley Plant applications

- P&ID

- Data manager

- Data Sheets

- Instrumentation and Wiring

One of the key things that the new MicroStation XM platform allows is that there is no need for the abstraction layer of JSpace to take an abstract of the model to be able to view it in Navigator. Now it's possible to view the full 3D model in a design review workstation without having to take an abstract of that into a lower graphics level. MicroStation has built in streamlined graphics so that if you're only reviewing something in a model it knows to only display certain things in the screen, so you don't have to save as a review model - you review straight. It keeps all the models in sync with each other.

It also has enhanced the ability to bring the AutoPLANT and PlantSpace core functions together. Whitesell said they are not aiming for one single design environment because we see value in having the low cost easy to use start up abilities that AutoPLANT gives us with AutoCAD and the more complex rules driven engine that PlantSpace has got. Bentley is trying to have as much common code as possible between the two design environments in things like the interface to ISOGEN. They are producing Isometrics in the same way, i.e., that code, the core project database and the specs and the catalogs will be the same core code.

Scott Migliore's PowerPoint outlined what's new in XM Edition of PlantSpace and AutoPLANT:

XM Edition Highlights include:        

- Spec driven cable tray

- Improved cable tray graphics

- New parametric Equipment Types

- Added default Datums to equipment

- Improved equipment Graphics

- Symbolic 3D valves

- Resymbolized drawing output

- Single line piping

- Visible piping centerlines for double line

- Symbolic valves and fittings

- Many new Catalogs and Component Types

Still provided as DAT files but produced from same source as AutoPLANT (MDB)

ProjectWise Integration includes:

- ProjectWise Explorer authentication (single login)

- ProjectWise Explorer now Creates and edits Project aware AutoPLANT functional and physical documents

- ProjectWise Explorer can copy a model or document

- ProjectWise manages generated documents

- Isometrics

- Loop Drawings

- Datasheets

- Xrefs managed by ProjectWise / ODMA environment

- No more file system / pathing dependencies

- Support for Remote Projects

- ProjectWise in one database Plant project in another

“Certainly PlantSpace benefits from all the developments MicroStation has in terms of being able to support the DWG formats,” said vice president of Marketing Anne-Marie Walters. “With AutoPLANT we are building straight on top of DWG. They do try to use as much of the core technology as they can from the MicroStation development side in terms of driving the printers and plotters. But the AutoPLANT team has to work directly on top of AutoCAD. We're quite expert in that area as well as on the Civil side with their NX products as well.”


Bentley is a leader in overall plant software sales for 2005; it is one of the top 500 ENR design firms. Interestingly, sales of Bentley piping is not separated so that AutoPLANT and PlantSpace products are tracked independently. Walters said that when a customer comes to order he just clarifies whether he wants the AutoCAD or MicroStation version. “We actually report on just Bentley piping. We can't really tell the difference between what we sell based on AutoCAD and what we sell based on MicroStation.”

Other big successes are with ProjectWise Lifecycle Server (formerly E Warehouse) and around the core ProjectWise, demonstrating the importance of being able to manage data across disparate design offices and disparate work groups.

“It's very commonplace for owners to say to their engineering contractors, 'don't give me the paper deliverables, don't give me the 3D models anymore, what I want is data that I can populate my SAP system with,'” recounted Walters.

At the BE Awards this year, Walters said she noticed a big change in plant - they're all now using 3D within PDF as the way they share their designs and models with their clients and their stakeholders. In a year, it's become standard as part of the visualization perspective. “I think Google Earth will get to that level as well - where you can show the plant in the context that it is in the world.”

Walters said that Bentley Plant is working on filling gaps in their portfolio of applications. Some of the gaps that need filling include:

- Being able to take the core engineering model and seamlessly integrate that with procurement systems or maintenance management systems.

- Electrical design and cable management.

- A need for an upfront automatic quick plant layout tool which fits alongside the AXIS process suite for automatically generating P&IDs, etc.


Advanced Solutions, Inc. (ASI), a full service computer aided design (CAD) software value added reseller for Autodesk, Inc., announced the merger of operations with AEC CADCON, Inc., headquartered in Columbus, OH. AEC CADCON also has three regional offices in Cincinnati, OH, Indianapolis, IN, and Detroit, MI, and specializes in the Autodesk building and infrastructure solutions.

ARCHIBUS, Inc., developer of the #1 Total Infrastructure and Facilities Management (TIFM(TM)) solution in the world, announces it has formed a new business alliance with NAI Global, the world's only managed network of independently owned commercial real estate brokerage firms.


Autodesk, Inc. announced that it is sponsoring a new PBS television series about sustainable design titled "design: e2" (The Economics of Being Environmentally Conscious). Produced by kontentreal and narrated by Brad Pitt, the series is scheduled to air on PBS stations beginning in June 2006. In association with the series, Autodesk has unveiled its Sustainability
Center which will serve as a resource on the role of technology in sustainable design and profile industry leaders from manufacturing, building and infrastructure who are realizing their sustainable ideas.

AVEVA will host its annual International Symposium for Engineering IT (
ISEIT) conference for the Americas region October 23-24, 2006 at the Southshore Harbour Resort, Clear Lake, Texas. ISEIT takes an executive-level look at the business and technical challenges of building and maintaining engineering assets, with a program that combines keynote presentations, panel discussions led by industry experts, project case studies, and briefings on AVEVA's newest technology and future vision. ISEIT Americas 2006 will be co-located with the VIEWpoint Americas AVEVA User Group meeting, October 24-25, 2006 for a combined 4-day event.

For more information on the VIEWpoint conference, visit VIEWpoint Americas AVEVA User Group

Primavera Systems, Inc. announced that on June 20 at 2pm, EDT it will host a Webinar,
"Changing Customer Buying Patterns in Services," that features Michael McLaughlin, author of Guerrilla Marketing for Consultants. McLaughlin will demonstrate how customers have become more savvy about professional services organizations' (PSOs) pitching and pricing strategies, and will explain how PSOs must change the way they market and sell their services to increase profits.

The work of 31 faculty members from Woodbury University's School of Architecture and Design will be showcased during the American Institute of Architects (AIA) national convention June 8-10 in Los Angeles.

"Mapping Woodbury: 31 Architects" features images of speculative or built projects from Woodbury's architecture and interior architecture faculty from the university's Burbank and San Diego campuses. The exhibit also features the work of two former Woodbury professors, Teddy Cruz and Jennifer Siegal, who have earned national recognition for their work in trans-border design and mobile construction, respectively. The images from the faculty have been "mapped" according to geographic region, hence the title of the exhibition.

Axiom announces that two Axiom representatives will be attending the 2006 Florida Local Users Group (FLUG) Conference. Mike Arroyo, Senior Product Manager, will be delivering a presentation and Greg McKinney, Senior Customer Trainer, will be conducting a workshop. The conference will be held 31 May through 2 June 2006 at the Radisson Resort at the Port in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

FLUG is a forum for MicroStation users and developers, such as Axiom, to share ideas and improve MicroStation usability. To find out more about registering to attend presentations at the FLUG 2005 Fall Conference, visit their

Cyon Research Corporation, a provider of consulting and research to engineering technology markets, announces that COFES 2007: The Congress on the Future of Engineering Software will take place at the Scottsdale Plaza Resort, Scottsdale, Arizona, April 12 - 15, 2007.

Held in Scottsdale, Arizona, COFES 2007 is an exclusive, invitation-only event with limited attendance. Information about COFES 2007 can be found at their

COADE, Inc. announced that the software company has achieved record sales revenue for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2006, the fifth consecutive year for which COADE has registered record sales revenue. The 30% increase in sales over the previous fiscal year reflects the continuing strength of the company's popular engineering software products including the CADWorx Plant Design Suite, CAESAR II for pipe stress analysis, PV Elite for pressure vessel design and evaluation and TANK for API 650 and 653 oil storage tank design and evaluation. During the most recent fiscal year, COADE also broke the monthly sales record three times, in May, September, and January.

Contract Awards

The City of Fort Smith AR has selected Aurigo Enterprise 2.0 from Aurigo Software Technologies as its project management and inspection software solution for capital improvement projects. Aurigo Enterprise 2.0 will enable project managers to create estimates, view and approve daily work reports, generate pay estimates, manage materials and control costs more efficiently on the city's transportation improvement projects.


Nemetschek North America is pleased to announce Los Angeles firm and VectorWorks Architect user tec Architecture won a 2006 AIA LA Design Honor Award for its Inotera headquarters in Taiwan, Taipei.

Computer Guidance Corporation, a leading developer of financial and project management software solutions for the construction industry, has once again topped several categories in CFMA's recently-released 2006 Information Technology Survey for the Construction Industry*.

This survey has been conducted biennially since 1996 and represents the most comprehensive ongoing information technology (IT) study in the construction industry. Over 2,400 companies completed the questionnaire, making this the largest review of IT patterns in the industry. The 2006 survey was conducted in October and November of 2005 and was open to both CFMA member firms and non-member firms.

New Products

Adenium Systems, an industry leading document management software company, announced that users of their more than 25,000 DFS projects will now be able to use the Autodesk DWF file platform to share and send high resolution CAD files throughout the workflow and to the printer. This will enable DFS users to more quickly and simply share and print complex CAD designs using the free Autodesk DWF Viewer. This latest development provides thousands of Adenium document management users with the latest technology available. With millions of documents available through Adenium and ReproMAX DFS portals all over the world, the Autodesk DWF platform facilitates and speeds up the evaluation,
bidding, and construction phases of a project.

Octaga will develop an X3D plug-in for Adobe Acrobat and Acrobat Reader so that any user will be able to read and interact with 3D visualizations embedded in a PDF document. This will enable engineering, technical publishing and creative professionals to more quickly and cost-effectively collaborate on projects that require 3D, audio, and video.

X3D is the ISO ratified 3D scene interchange format and runtime system for 3D visualization, virtual reality, and augmented reality (3D with text overlays, audio, and video). X3D supports several file format encodings and programming languages, providing unrivaled interoperability of 3D data across diverse computing environments and great flexibility in manipulating, communicating and displaying scenes interactively.

myVR Software AS, a new and innovative player in 3D visualization and distribution technology, announced the release of Version 1.4 of the myVR SDK, which allows functionality for secure high resolution/ high-speed real-time interactive streaming/viewing for 3D/VR models over any network to be incorporated into other applications.

Upcoming Events

June 6 - 8, 2006
Place: Shanghai, China
This conference will provide a showcase for recent developments and advancements in geotechnique and offer a forum to discuss and debate future directions for geo¨Cengineering in the 21st century.Conference topics cover a broad array of contemporary issues and design and construction techniques for professionals involved in geotechnical, geoenvironmental, geomechanical, and pavement disciplines.You will have the opportunity to meet colleagues from all over the world for technical, scientific, and commercial discussions
June 8 - 10, 2006
Place: Los Angeles Convention Center

Los Angeles, CA USA
The AIA 2006 National Convention in Los Angeles, the City of Angels, will bring together architects and related professionals to

-- Explore innovations in design, construction, and beyond

-- Examine the challenges of the public realm

-- Inspire fresh visions of a preferred future for the profession and the built world.

The AIA 2006 National Convention will explore Innovation

Innovation abounds, influenced by cross-cultural, transcontinental, and interdisciplinary practices and discoveries. Architects stand at the forefront of these dynamics, bringing innovation to life through the power of design in internationally diverse and technologically advanced projects.

The AIA 2006 National Convention will examine Engagement

Architecture, infrastructure, and politics form a powerful nexus. This intersection dictates the development of 21st century armatures for daily life and commerce. Architects are becoming increasingly recognized through their engagement with civic life.

The AIA 2006 National Convention will nurture Inspiration

Architecture, like nature, inspires through its abundance, beauty, and balance. Architects can draw new creative insights from their concern for order and justice, while celebrating their understanding of the environment. Here lie the seeds of a preferred future, where architects maximize the illimitable possibilities of design in a world with real limits.
June 11 - 15, 2006
Place: Prague, Czech Republic
The BE Conference includes hundreds of information-rich sessions:
Training: hundreds of learning units offered from the Bentley Institute
New Technology Updates: direct from Bentley developers and product managers, including the latest on MicroStation V8 XM Edition.
Best-Practice sessions: from accomplished peers and technology experts.
Keynotes: hear from business gurus and Bentley executives.
June 14 - 16, 2006
Place: Montreal, Canada
The 11th International Conference on Computing in Civil and Building Engineering is the next gathering of the International Society for Computing in Civil and Building Engineering and interested researchers. The objective of this Society is to encourage international cooperation, collaboration, and exchange of ideas and information related to the beneficial use of computers in civil and building engineering. This conference is held every couple of years alternatively in Asia, America, and Europe.
June 14 - 16, 2006
Place: Oranjestad, Aruba

The Impact of Tourism on Architecture & Vice Versa

Local and international speakers will address the following subsidiary themes:

-- ECO-Tourism & Small Resorts

-- Mass-Tourism.

-- Project Development

-- What Move The People?
June 14 - 16, 2006
Place: Westin Bayshore

Vancouver, Canada
The RAIC Festival is an annual event that takes place in a different Canadian city each year offering delegates a chance to exchange ideas and attend credited professional development courses, and listen to some of the professions’ most forward thinkers.

The Royal Architectural Institute of Canada is a voluntary national association established in 1907 as the voice for architecture and its practice in Canada. Representing more than 3,200 architects, the RAIC provides the national framework for the development and recognition of architectural excellence.

The Architectural Institute of British Columbia is a self-governing body dedicated to excellence in the profession of architecture for the benefit of its membership, the environment and society.

June 15 - 16, 2006
Place: Palmer House Hilton

Chicago, IL USA
  • Reconstruction of the Wacker Drive Viaduct
  • Public Contracts and the Surety Problems Associated with Them
  • The McAlpine Lock Replacement Project
  • Design-Build Lesson Learned
  • Major Moves: Creating a Top-Tier Economy Through Top-Tier Transportation
  • O’Hare International Airport
  • 2005 Peurifoy Lecture: Engineering and Management of Ancient Construction-The Case of the Temple Mount Compound
  • Collection and Depiction of Underground Data/ASCE CI 38-02
  • Trump International Hotel & Tower
  • Environmental Liabilities
  • The Marquette Interchange
  • Case Study Summaries: Talk vs. Practice -- or the Truth vs. Practice on Risk Management Usage by Contractors and Owners.
  • Designing for Claims Avoidance

    June 25 - 30, 2006
    Place: University of Colorado at Boulder

    Boulder, CO USA
    USNCTAM'06 will last six days, from Sunday, 25 June through Friday, 30 June 2006. As seen in the table below, administrative sessions will be scheduled on Sunday afternoon and the first two weekday evenings. A Congress registration period and welcoming reception will be held on Sunday evening. Four weekday mornings will begin with a plenary session. Technical sessions will be held all five weekdays, with a free afternoon on Wednesday.

    You can find the full AECCafe event calendar here.

    To read more news, click here.

    -- Susan Smith, AECCafe.com Managing Editor.