Transitioning to Smarter Design Solutions with Intergraph Smart 3D and CADWorx

WATCH THE VIDEO: “Upgrading from PDS to Intergraph Smart 3D and CADWorx”

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EPCs and owner operators face ongoing challenges in ever-changing design projects. Solutions that worked perfectly for these projects several years ago – such as Hexagon PPM’s decades-old legacy solution PDS – now need to be upgraded to modern design solutions.

Learn how to stay ahead of the competition with the market-leading, best-in-class design tools in our webinar, “Transitioning to Smarter Design Solutions with Intergraph Smart 3D and CADWorx.”

Why upgrade to Intergraph Smart 3D or CADworx?

* Automatic creation of deliverables
* Increased productivity and design quality
* Interoperability with other solutions
* Modern, next-generation design environment
* Powerful and intuitive levels of automation
* Strong rule and relationship-based architecture

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Several of PPM’s most successful customers have migrated from PDS to more robust Hexagon solutions, and their experiences have been so positive, they shared their process.

Upgrading for Operations, Not Just Design
Nearly 30 years ago, BASF’s North American advertising campaign helped the chemical company become a well recognized name on the consumer level with the slogan,: At BASF, we don’t make a lot of the products you buy. We make a lot of the products you buy better.

And today, BASF is a front runner in the industry when it comes digital transformation; it is upgrading its systems landscape for capital investments and technical support for operations.

At some of its plants, BASF had utilized Hexagon PPM’s market-leading 3D modelling PDS software, now advanced with Intergraph Smart 3D, which breaks through the barriers of traditional technology to enable a truly rules-driven, iterative design environment.

BASF Project lead for Engineering Data Management & Digital Plant Michael Höchel said this project began in 2016, with the goal of creating a digital working process environment driven by business needs.

Ultimately, BASF wants to digitize its plants, which supply products for industries like the automotive, agriculture and construction markets.

“We want to establish a global platform that drives efficiency and quality in all our engineering & technical services based on a life cycle approach,” said Höchel, who is based at corporate headquarters in Ludwigshafen, Germany.

Utilizing Smart 3D, BASF establishes data-driven working processes for all distinct aspects of the production asset lifecycle. The company also utilizes Smart Instrumentation, Smart P&ID and other PPM solutions.

“The 3D model is a powerful tool,” Höchel said. “Think about maintenance … search and find, constructability checks, safety and plant optimization. In many cases, we as a plant owner and operator can use the 3D model across the lifecycle. The 3D model is not just a project tool for engineering, procurement and construction (EPC).”

Höchel said BASF is working closely with Hexagon PPM President Mattias Stenberg and software developers to evaluate further collaboration opportunities.

“Mattias has announced that Hexagon wants to support not only EPC but also the operators of production plants utilizing PPM tools,” said Arndt Teinert, BASF senior E&M IT manager. “We are happy about that. We have been involved in defining new functionalities for Smart 3D that we need in the next release, and we are working with the PPM team to make that happen.

“It’s not just about designing plants. It’s a lifecycle approach based on innovation.”

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How Migrating Heightens Design Efficiency
William Fronheiser, principal structural designer for Linde Engineering North America, acknowledged that while the upgrade required training and diligence, his company’s work quality has improved greatly and collaborating across continents is easy.

Hexagon PPM: What was the main driver for making the change from PDS to Smart 3D?
William Fronheiser: To stay at the forefront and remain on the cutting edge of a competitive industry, once Intergraph Smart 3D was released, our company began testing and evaluation of the software. After seeing the many benefits the new software would have over PDS for the company and our clients, the decision was made to make the change. The transition from PDS to S3D began with in-house training, and once all colleagues were trained, the switch was made. We have since realized the many benefits of using Smart 3D.

Why do you choose to use Smart 3D over PDS?
Fronheiser: Instant updates with screen refreshes to evaluate other disciplines are very beneficial, especially with global workshare projects. We can quickly resolve problems and keep the design on track with minimal downtime by seeing an up-to-date model with a click of a button.

Have you benefited from the transition?
Fronheiser: Most definitely. Among the many new and beneficial features it offers, the drawing extraction feature of Smart 3D has increased our productivity and quality of work, at the same time reducing the hours required to do the work.

What do you prefer about using Smart 3D?
Fronheiser: One of the many benefits of using Smart 3D is being able to maintain a live link to a model in SmartSketch, making 2D drawing production and updates and revisions easy and simple. Once the link is established, the 2D drawing extraction process is all but seamless. This increases our quality and productivity, with the added benefit of reducing the costs required to perform the work.

How does Smart 3D improve your day-to-day work over using PDS?
Fronheiser: We work-share projects between offices on several continents and have the capability to have global teams collaborate, see work progress instantaneously and produce drawings globally. Smart 3D allows the work to progress seamlessly and keeps projects on schedule, under budget, with high quality.

What would you say to others facing the transition of PDS to Smart 3D?
Fronheiser: Practice/use the software! Users need to have daily interaction with the software to maintain skill level. Our corporate HQ states one full year with daily use to be proficient. 

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