Bentley Asset Management Platform | RefinerLink

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Bentley Asset Management Platform

By Steve Pagani

Feb 15, 2015

Interview of Thomas Heckmann from Bentley System on asset management platforms.


The following is an interview between RefinerLink and Thomas Heckmann of Bentley Systems.


What differentiates Bentley Systems from other Asset Management platforms in industry today?


Bentley Systems’ asset management platform is AssetWise, which provides information management supporting an asset strategy for improving and maintaining performance, regulatory compliance, risk avoidance, and optimizing maintenance, all built on a common platform. AssetWise provides the means to maximize asset performance aligned with asset management standards, including PAS 55 and ISO 55001.


This common platform differentiates us from our competitors and ensures that assets are delivering value and meeting the needs of the business by providing operations, maintenance, and engineering with accurate and trusted information, when it is needed, to make smarter decisions – from capital planning through proactive asset care.


AssetWise applies leading information modeling and information management technologies to asset operations and, when combined with ProjectWise, provides a complete lifecycle information management solution for owner-operators.



What culture must exist in a refinery for your system to be adaptable with existing people and processes?


Typically, organizational culture is the biggest single obstacle to improving asset performance. Most people think organizational culture is impossible to change, but in our experience, changing from reactive to proactive is not impossible. It requires monitoring, measuring and rewarding discipline to process.


AssetWise APM helps to drive discipline to process, acting as a ‘control room’ for maintenance, moving from reactive to proactive. By changing the day-to-day behavior to proactive, organizations are essentially changing to a reliability culture. Over time, proactive behavior, if reinforced and driven systematically, becomes a way of life.


AssetWise, as with all Bentley solutions, is extremely flexible and scalable, enabling it to deliver value to most situations and cultures. Typically, users will realize the limitations of a paper-based, document workflow that is only reacting to events and they will want to move to a more proactive regime, where they have accurate and timely information on hand to plan their maintenance activities.


AssetWise can be implemented to take advantage of accurate paper-based records, link to real-time condition monitoring, and utilize the latest handheld data collection tools – in short, whatever good information sources the user currently has can be leveraged.


To help facilitate the change to proactive, organizations need to enforce discipline to process, and change KPIs and the recognition system to reward proactive tasks rather than ‘firefighting’ tasks. So, ‘good job for fixing the equipment so fast’ needs to be replaced with ‘that small outage for proactive corrective action prevented us from downtime that would have cost us $2 million in lost production.’


It is key performance indicators (KPIs) and, most importantly, leadership that will support and manage a new proactive process. It also requires the incorporation of data-driven process management that not only measures results, but also emphasizes process measures (e.g., leading indicators). People must be held accountable and efforts to improve reliability should be recognized and results from the proactive approach rewarded.



In a world where people resources are highly scarce, how easily will Bentley Systems be sustained after implementation?


Sustainability is one of the key deliverables in Bentley asset performance management projects. We oversee the development of a sustainability plan to ensure that the new APM process is well defined and understood and that all project activities are executed in a manner that supports a smooth transition to the new sustainable process.


The APM process is defined to the activity level, with roles/responsibilities assigned to each activity and process KPIs identified to measure adherence to process. During project implementation, we monitor compliance of the activities and identify ways to increase compliance on a daily basis after project completion.


In addition, AssetWise is made up of commercial off-the shelf software (COTS) that is easy to maintain. Bentley also offers hosted managed services, through which we provide the ongoing technical support as required, including the management of the data. Indeed, this is a growing area of our business, and we see it as the future of software companies like Bentley Systems.



Since Asset Integrity is something that cannot be quickly quantified, how long will it take for users to notice a difference in the newly implemented processes?


We have had users implement systems in three months and start to see the benefits almost immediately. I refer you to the ArcelorMittal Burns Harbor case study as an excellent example of a phased implementation and benefits. 


Shell has achieved efficiencies in a global deployment of AssetWise APM for their integrated Corrosion and Inspection Management System (CIMS). Shell has leveraged one source of inspection data consistent across assets; shared best practices across Shell Upstream; standardization in process execution; optimised inspection schedules (risk-based inspections); and a direct link between risk analysis and work management.



What is the largest barrier for refineries to overcome to improve Asset Management and how will Bentley Systems enable refineries to navigate this barrier?


The largest barrier is typically adoption of new technologies by the old hands who have worked in the refinery for many years and seen many systems tried to be implemented (such as ERP systems and CMMS’s) and resisted heavily.


By delivering accurate, trustworthy engineering information, which they do not normally get through paper systems, and then getting them to input information that supports their job function – such as reporting potential hazards, shortages and so on – they are more likely to see the new system as a help rather than a curse. The case study at Scottish Power is a great example of such a success.


About Thomas Heckmann

‘Utilities Asset Management has been Thomas’ professional focus for more than 16 years. In his role as Senior Solutions Architect at Bentley Systems, Thomas has been key stakeholder in major sales and implementation projects throughout EMEA, amongst others Eneco, E.ON Hanse, TenneT TSO and Vattenfall Distribution.


Business process optimization, as well as the support for Operational and Strategic Asset Management based on the integrated availability of asset data from Enterprise IT systems with a focus on real time data has thereby been of particular interest. Thomas moreover is head of the ‘Smart IT in Utilities’ department of the German Association of Surveying Engineers (VDV) bringing together almost 500 industry pears of all major German Utilities companies for professional exchange.

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