3 Dec 2015
New InterBridge Software Creates 3D Infrastructure Information Models
NEOLANT Russia is ready to launch its InterBridge software on the international market. The company is targeting large-scale facilities in areas such as industrial and civil construction. InterBridge performs on-line translations of graphical and semantic 2D/3D data between cross-platform CAD and PLM systems. This enables users to convert and view shared 2D and 3D models.
Naturally, InterBridge is not the only conversion and visualization product on the market for EDMS (engineering data management systems). CAD and PLM vendors have their own convertors and viewers; until now, NEOLANT’s own offering was no different. However, InterBridge is being released as standalone software that any enterprise can now purchase to solve their design, construction management, operations, and decommissioning tasks.
What advantages does InterBridge offer, as distinct from similar software that’s been on the market for a longer time? Here are a number of compelling reasons:
Common Problems Enterprises Experience Implementing 3D Plant Information Modeling
One of the primary problems of state-of-the-art CAD systems that create 3D plant information models is their disciplinary focus. There are specialized systems for architecture and construction, there are other systems covering the design of automatic process control systems and electrical engineering, still other systems that encourage short-term and proper engineering design. As a rule, models created in systems of these types meet the high standards of dedicated specialists and contain a large amount of data describing engineering decisions to the last detail.
It can be argued, however, that on the market today there is no all-purpose CAD system that implements all aspects of all 3D design stages.
At a certain stage in a project, the design team will need to integrate all discipline-specific CAD models in a single comprehensive plant model. There are many reasons to do this, but the most important ones are as follows:
- It’s only possible to determine collisions with an integrated, interdisciplinary model.
- Customers typically require a comprehensive model for operations.
Creating an integrated 3D model is apparently a simple task. Most CAD systems support the capability of exporting models in several exchange formats or can read models saved in their competitors’ formats. When the project is developed on a single CAD platform (e.g, Bentley Systems), then the integration of graphical data and the creation an integrated plant model is easily done.
Will, however, the model contain all the information needed? It’s possible that the integrated model (along with graphical elements containing all engineering attributes associated with the graphical elements in specialized CAD systems) will not be of value to the customer.
Regardless of lifecycle stage of the facility, even if the facility has a 3D model, the model is not necessarily informative, accessible, or complete. It may be only a beautiful 3D picture that is devoid of sufficient data and useful only for boggling the minds of managers.
Does it analyze technical decisions or find interdisciplinary collisions? It is not reasonable for users to employ a model with restrictions at the facility LC. At the construction and operation stages it is not important to the customer which CAD system developed the model; in any case, these kinds of users are generally not required to operate CAD. Contractors and operators need a simple and easily accessible tool that helps them to decide on production goals.
Using Plant Information Models to Boost Your Business
3D models are valuable when they are filled with useful information demanded by the facility LC. In this case the model provides the following benefits:
- Enhances the quality of technical decisions made through proper visualization of all engineering data and analysis of all technological solutions used in the model.
- Reduces the number of corrections in design documentation by on-line searching and avoiding collisions in design and construction, both spatially and technologically.
- Arranges interaction among counterparts (investors-customers-contractors), services (designers-contractors, constructors–maintenance engineers) and disciplines (architectural and construction design and process engineering) all supported by working in a common model information space.
- Reduces construction and operation expenses by creating and using an integrated and comprehensive plant information model that provides rapid access to the necessary data and allows for analysis of activities prior to making construction and operation decisions.
- Generates added value for business by transmitting the plant information model to the customer, preferably without reference to particular CAD/PLM system. This kind of model allows users to obtain the necessary data at any time, analyze it, and so make sound engineering decisions.
How to Make 3D Models Viable
InterBridge was developed by NEOLANT with the aim of solving the above mentioned problems. It is the best software for the on-line conversion and viewing of CAD/PLM graphical and attribute data. It works with many platforms that create, display, and analyze the integrated 3D plant information models.
InterBridge provides the following capabilities to plant operators:
- Manipulating models independently without reference to any specific CAD/PLM platform. InterBridge’s native format is compact, more lightweight than with most other viewers. It stores all information about the facility, which allows users to access the model as a visual tool for making decisions in the area of the user’s competence. There is no need to purchase expensive CAD systems.
- Integrating project parts created by different CAD/PLM platforms in a unified 3D plant model that considers all disciplines. It contains all necessary attributes, which is valuable for plant management at the LC stage.
- Converting models from one CAD format to another without loss of attribute components. These conversions are necessary when the designer works in one format and the contractor or facility client requests another format.
- Converting models to neutral formats such as XML, SAT, STEP, and ISO 15926.
What benefits do enterprises get from using InterBridge? The benefits accrue from having information that is integrated, based on a comprehensive information facility model. Regardless of the enterprise’s role – be it the designer, the construction company, or the operator – InterBridge allows the company to avoid a whole range of expensive and complex problems, while creating additional possibilities, such as these:
- Saving existing CAD/PLM infrastructure by avoiding the necessity to purchase high-priced licenses or adopting new CAD/PLM platforms for working with the files submitted by the original design software.
- On-line visualization of all data, including infrastructure consisting of hundreds of thousands of elements.
- Making decisions based on consideration and analysis of all features of every facility’s element. InterBridge performs all model manipulations, from importing models to searching for collisions.
- Solving application tasks by visualizing the entire facility with the highest degree of visual detail. In addition, InterBridge provides the following functions:
- Considering the arrangement of a facility’s elements. For example, during installation planning, taking into account the impossibility of simultaneously installing the pipeline and ventilation systems.
- Reporting specifications of elements. For example, when a broken pipe needs to be replaced, the system immediately displays the pipe diameter and name of the pipe manufacturer.
- As an operational tool. For example, issuing specifications for valve replacement.
You reach results with InterBridge through the following advantages:
- Saving time in every day routine operations that involve large amount of heterogeneous data.
- Cost saving by avoiding errors that can be traced beforehand by visualizing and analyzing the pool of data.
- Trouble-free and safe operation of the facility by integrating complex information models with facilities’ operation systems. This makes it possible to implement regular maintenance, such as finding and immediately repairing equipment failure in a timely fashion. All of the functions needed for decision making and repair are contained in the model.
There is value in InterBridge’s ability to make any enterprise more competitive by reducing production cost. As the cost of output and provided services becomes manageable, the desired level of profit is reached.
InterBridge Achieves Results
InterBridge offers the following useful functions to plant operators:
1. 3D Model Navigation
InterBridge offers instant views of facilities, such as selection and alignment of elements, rotation, horizontal/vertical movement, 3D model scaling, and setting standard views (top/bottom, front/back, right-/left-side).
2. Access to Attribute Data
InterBridge accesses all attribute data associated with elements in 3D models just by clicking the element.
3. Intelligent Search
InterBridge searches for elements’ attributes and text. To do so, the user specifies the search criteria and then can refine the search by means of logical operators, such as and and or.
4. Object Isolation
InterBridge instantly hides and displays 3D model parts as required by the user. For example, it is possible to isolate only a specified pipeline visually, or just a room and the equipment inside of it.
5. Cutting Dynamic Sections
InterBridge cuts sections in the following directions: top/bottom, front/back, and right/left views.
6. Geometric Measurements
InterBridge measures distances between points, angles, and surface areas (as calculated by the area between all points selected).
7. Automatic Collision Detection
InterBridge finds where 3D geometry intersects with other elements automatically. Designers can immediately determine all collisions between the architectural and construction parts of the design, even when one is developed in one CAD system and the other in another CAD system.
8. Reading Point Clouds from Laser Scans
InterBridge loads point clouds generated by 3D laser scanners to compare as-designed with as-builts.
InterBridge generates specifications from elements selected by users.
Elements can be selected individually, using search criteria, or by attributes. The fully formatted specification is saved to the dashboard's Report page, and available in tab-delimited format for editing by spreadsheets and other analysis software.
InterBridge visualizes 3D models by a variety of means, including room/solar lighting, flecks, transparency, structure, and draft contours. It displays material parameters and textures, model layers, and large-scale raster maps. InterBridge use colors to indicate backgrounds, selected elements, and markers and styles. It prints and saves selected images as bitmaps with smoothing and high resolution (up to 24576 õ 24576). It binds files into documents. And InterBridge creates 4D models.
Why InterBridge Is the Best Solution for Large Facility Operators
InterBridge shows excellent performance during implementation of large-scale projects in oil, gas, chemical, defense industries. Our benchmarking reported the following results.
The results come from a comparative analysis carried out by NEOLANT staff using the following hardware and software configuration:
- Most compact software: The InterBridge distribution package is only 2MB, hundreds times smaller than competitors; see figure below.
- Fastest operations: InterBridge opens 3D models of large facilities (consisting of several hundred thousand elements) quickly, literally “flying” even on standard office computers. The software instantly opens the model, and then makes is ready for operators to manipulate the model in any way. Other software systems are sometimes unable to handle giant models, or simply cannot open models of this type. See figures below.
- The most productive software: InterBridge is able to manipulate very large 3D models (made of several hundred thousand elements) requiring a significantly smaller amount of memory; see figure below.
Hardware: 3.4GHz Intel Core i7-4770 with 8GB RAM and NVIDIA GeForce GT640 4GB graphics board running on 64-bit Windows 7
Software: InterBridge 2015.2 2015.828, compared to Autodesk Navisworks Manage 2016 (64x) 13.0.1240.5, Bentley Navigator V8i (SELECTseries 6) 08.11.09.713, and Intergraph SmartPlant Review 2015R1 (11.01.00.0101)
3D Model: 842MB with 131,016 elements
Evaluate InterBridge Live at Your Work Place
For more information about InterBridge, we invite you to consult the following resources:
About NEOLANT Russia
The NEOLANT Russia group of companies offers solutions for complex engineering and IT processes, and supports the management of nuclear and power generation plants. Our solutions are based on the extensive IT expertise and industry-specific knowledge possessed by the NEOLANT team.
We offer the following services:
- Developing data and simulation models for industrial facilities to support their lifecycles.
- Implementing information systems to manage data in engineering and plant operations through CAD, PLM, BIM, GIS, PDM, and PM integration.
- Researching and developing the engineering design of plant-scale processes, systems, equipment, and capital construction projects.
To Contact Us
47A, Pokrovka Street
Moscow, 105062, Russia
Tel.: +7 (499) 999-00-00, ext. 117
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