Bentley & Siemens Collaborate for As-Operated Factory Simulations

Integration of point-cloud BIM with Tecnomatrix for 3D factory simulations.

At the Year in Infrastructure 2014 Conference, Bentley and Siemens announced the ability to integrate their point-cloud BIM and PLM Simulation technologies. This will allow Siemens PLM users to study as-operated 3D digital models of existing factories. For instance, models produced by point cloud captured scanning will be operable in Siemens’ Tecnomatrix 3D digital factory automation software.

Since 2012, the collaboration has seen Bentley’s BIM technology increase compatibility with Siemen’s Parasolid, D-Cubed, and JT data formats. Now, Bentley’s Vortex point-cloud technology can be incorporated into Siemens applications.

Dick Slansky, Senior Analyst & PLM Research Director at ARC Advisory Group, explained, “I have been following the collaboration between Siemens and Bentley closely and have been very excited with what I have been seeing from these two companies working together.”

He added, “They are now delivering a solution for integrating product, process, and production design with the factory infrastructure that significantly benefits manufacturing OEMs and their suppliers. Through the shared knowledge of product and factory/plant lifecycles, EPCs and line builders have access to higher quality information provided by the OEMs. In turn, OEMs and suppliers can expect a reduction in launch time and costs, improved validation of the digital factory, and predictable asset design and installation.”

This new product integration allows engineers to study various potential scenarios throughout a factory’s lifecycle. First, throughput and quality optimizations can be made in the early design through factory layout configuration simulations. Once constructed, the engineer can then speed-up the start-up of the factory by avoiding construction and/or production line interferences. When studying the plant through simulations to improve operations, the scanning technology will reduce modeling. Finally, as each change to the factory is made, model documentation can be maintained for later lifecycle and optimization assessments.

Al Hufstetler, VP at Siemens PLM Software, said, “We introduced targeted customers to early integrations of our software, which leveraged the Bentley Vortex tools, and the response was overwhelmingly positive. The value added by bringing the as-built digital factory design into our Tecnomatrix process simulation and planning products is clearly a great first step in our adoption of the Bentley tools.

“Process planning and plant floor designers will benefit from our partnership, which not only enables faster and better iterations, but also provides greater visibility into the path of construction and manufacturing performance,” explained Hufstetler.

Faraz Ravi, a Bentley Fellow, added, “At Bentley we are gratified to be seeing, what we call reality modeling, yielding such benefits for product and production lifecycles. In industrial plants, occasional surveying can now become almost continuous immersive scanning. Project and asset performance are both improved through information mobility of point clouds by way of Vortex technology. Most significantly, this can now increase industrial agility and quality by enabling shorter product and process design cycles.”

Source Bentley.

Written by

Shawn Wasserman

For over 10 years, Shawn Wasserman has informed, inspired and engaged the engineering community through online content. As a senior writer at WTWH media, he produces branded content to help engineers streamline their operations via new tools, technologies and software. While a senior editor at, Shawn wrote stories about CAE, simulation, PLM, CAD, IoT, AI and more. During his time as the blog manager at Ansys, Shawn produced content featuring stories, tips, tricks and interesting use cases for CAE technologies. Shawn holds a master’s degree in Bioengineering from the University of Guelph and an undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Waterloo.