Creating Digital Twins

Smartening infrastructure projects and utilities has become a necessity more than a choice in today’s world. Technology innovations have had a big role to play in making infrastructure resilient and smart. Bentley Systems is a leading provider of software solutions around the world. These solutions aim to accelerate project delivery and improve asset performance for infrastructure sectors. Bentley’s The Year in Infrastructure 2018 conference was a global gathering of leading executives in the world of infrastructure design, construction and operations. It featured presentations and interactive sessions exploring the intersection of technology and business drivers, and how they are shaping the future of infrastructure delivery and investment returns. This year the theme of the conference revolved around the creation of digital twins for assets. Digital twins, which refer to a digital replica of physical assets, processes and systems, lead to better quality data and in turn better management and maintenance of assets.

Bentley’s Year in Infrastructure Awards recognise the global advancements in infrastructure. A look at some of the project nominations from India…

Asset Information Management System for Nagpur Metro, Nagpur, Maharashtra          

Nagpur Metro is a $1.3 billion urban mass transit project to bring sustainable, efficient, environment-friendly transportation infrastructure to Nagpur. Upon completion, the 41.7 km metro line will have 40 stations and two depots. As part of its 5D Building Information Modelling (BIM) digital project management platform, the Maharashtra Metro Rail Corporation (Maha Metro) developed an Asset Information Management System (AIMS) to combine engineering and maintenance information and 3D models from disparate systems into a synchronised environment for an asset-centric approach that covers the entire life cycle of the project.

Maha Metro used AssetWise as the system’s foundation and configured the software to tag and register assets, establish a common naming convention, and extend permissions to authorised users upon full operation of the metro system. The interoperability of AssetWise enabled seamless data exchange with Nagpur’s Computerized Maintenance Management System for effective workflow management. Using iModels offered longevity and open access to the 3D models without any data loss. The use of AIMS will extend asset life, increase productivity, improve decision- making, and optimise operational performance, saving an estimated $222 million over a period of 25 years. The project won a special recognition award.

Reality modelling for Chenab bridge project, Jammu & Kashmir

The $184 million Chenab bridge will be the world’s highest rail arch bridge, at 359 metres above the riverbed with an arch span of 467 metres. The project has gone through several rounds of geological and alignment changes. The rugged mountainous terrain and a highly active seismic zone have affected its design and the construction process.

Reality modelling has facilitated efficient planning, construction and monitoring of the Chenab bridge in Jammu & Kashmir. Indian Railways (IR) used OpenRail Designer to accommodate the transition from a straight to a curved bridge rail alignment. RM Bridge and STAAD helped with the structural behaviour and analysis during the planning stages, while ContextCapture helped with construction planning, monitoring, and interim surveys and inspections. Using unmanned aerial vehicles to survey the site and generate a reality mesh with ContextCapture identified potential issues, managed site progress, and conducted construction inspections safely and efficiently. Using drones and reality modelling saved 225 resource days compared to traditional survey methods, resulting in a cost saving of about $40,000. These strategies also reduced construction inspection time by 80 per cent to save more than $100,000.

Alambagh Bus Terminal, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh

The Uttar Pradesh government has taken up the redevelopment work of the Alambagh Bus Terminal land parcel in Lucknow. The Rs 2.56 billion project was conceptualised with the aim of increasing the capacity of the bus stand and add commercial facilities. Shilp Consulting Engineers was appointed as the structural consultant for the project. The local government wanted to develop bus stands owned by the Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation on a public-private partnership basis, choosing the Alambagh Bus Terminal as a pilot. Shilp Consulting Engineers was asked to expand the existing bus stand facility from 25 bus platforms to 60 platforms, as well as offer parking spaces for another 40 buses and add on a mixed-use building that includes retail stores, a multiplex and a hotel. The design provided challenges because all levels of the facility required different design schemes in more than 60 per cent of the areas.

Solutions such as RCDC for design and analysis of all reinforced concrete structures to enable accurate material take-offs and STAAD for all steel structural elements were used for the project. The use of Bentley’s structural design and analysis applications saved significant time during the design checks and enabled the generation of more than 350 error-free construction drawings, which were expected to increase to nearly 500 by the end of the project. Overall, more than 5,000 resource hours were saved, allowing the team to stay ahead of the delivery schedule. The project stood as a winner in the structural engineering category.

K10 Grand commercial high rise, Vadodara, Gujarat

The Rs 1.2 billion K10 Grand commercial building project in Vadodara, Gujarat is an iconic addition to the city’s skyline. VYOM Consultants deployed comprehensive structural design and analysis software to accommodate the complicated geometry associated with designing three connected, 12-storey, curvilinear tower sections with column-free space. Upon completion, the new building will become a coveted business hub and provide infrastructure that encourages a well-balanced working environment.

The team performed numerous design iterations and analyses with STAAD to determine optimal solutions for column arrangements while maintaining maximal column-free space, meeting IS Code requirements, and ensuring structural integrity. Bentley’s software enabled the designers to complete the building design and deliver drawings to the architect and developer within one month.

UPW supply project for 1 GW manufacturing solar PV cells, Kutch, Gujarat  

The $6 million 1 GW solar photovoltaic (PV) cell manufacturing project requires continuous and reliable 24×7 production of ultra-pure water (UPW). Suez Water Technologies & Solutions (SWTS) was appointed to provide design, engineering and commissioning services for the plant in Gujarat. Faced with a complex piping and cable system requiring multiple disciplines to work simultaneously within a tight timeline, SWTS relied on Bentley’s integrated 3D modelling and analysis applications.

The project made use of OpenPlant to model the entire 130 km piping layout for the plant, and STAAD Pro and AutoPIPE for finite element and piping stress analyses. Navigator facilitated clash detection and collaboration among the numerous disciplines and with the construction team on site to quickly resolve potential issues prior to construction. Using Bentley’s technology solutions increased modelling productivity by 10 per cent and shortened the project schedule by about 60 days. The software enabled the generation of accurate bills of material extraction, reduced engineering resources, and avoided rework, optimising design efficiency and accuracy to achieve a high quality deliverable that saved $70,000.

“Conceptioneering” and master planning of Bankura multi-village bulk water supply scheme, Bankura, West Bengal

The Bankura multi-village water supply project was initiated with the aim of improving the existing water supply to four areas in the Bankura district of West Bengal. The existing antiquated pipeline had to be discarded and a new water supply scheme needed to be designed amidst sloping topography on this Rs 12.4 million project. DTK Hydronet Solutions was responsible for the conceptual design and modelling of the over 4,000 km network pipeline to provide reliable, equitable, and potable drinking water to approximately 1 million villagers.

DTK Hydronet Solutions used WaterGEMS to evaluate more than 50 design scenarios and generate a single hydraulic model of the pumping mains and distribution network in five days. The team identified and resolved collisions in the initial model in one day using Navigator. Bentley’s software improved productivity and enabled the team to achieve optimal design and operational strategies for the water supply scheme in 25 days, compared to the allotted four months. The interoperability of WaterGEMS allowed for seamless integration with geographic information system applications used by the client and detailed analysis of numerous operational situations, facilitating effective decision- making to enhance overall network reliability. The project was adjudged a winner in the water, waste water and storm water networks category.

JICA-assisted water supply project, Agra, Uttar Pradesh

Uttar Pradesh Jal Nigam conceptualised a project to serve the increasing potable water demands of Agra city. The existing distribution pipe network is old and provided intermittent supply, requiring evaluation to identify loopholes and determine solutions to enable 24×7 delivery of adequate treated water to the growing city populace.

Using WaterGEMS, NJS Engineers India Private Limited modelled the current distribution system and analysed it under four different scenarios, providing the foundation for the hydraulic improvement and rehabilitation scheme. Integrating Bentley’s modelling and engineering applications with WaterGEMS, the team developed an existing water asset database, performed design reviews, and conducted structural analysis in a collaborative environment, streamlining workflows and processes throughout the project life cycle. Bentley’s interoperable software shortened design review time, reduced drawing production by 35 per cent, and saved about Rs 300 million on the project.

While the uptake of innovative technology solutions in India’s infrastructure space is still limited, the ambitious plans laid out by the government will gradually set the tone for the industrywide acceptance of such solutions. Assessing the life cycle cost of the project with such technologies and solutions is important to estimate the real cost of these solutions.

The project details and features have been compiled from Bentley’s Year in Infrastructure 2018 website.

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