Costly checks can be eliminated thanks to the integrated RIB solution, as with iTWO we all work in one system – from system engineers to tendering management
The Energy Management division of Siemens AG, headquartered in the Franconian city of Erlangen, is one of the leading worldwide providers of products, systems and solutions for the transmission and distribution of electricity. The division supports the development and extension of an efficient energy infrastructure for energy suppliers and industry. 52,000 employees work for Siemens Energy Management worldwide on around 100 production and construction sites.
They include Energy Management Division Transmission Solutions: A team of experts focusing on planning, erection, maintenance and repair of high-voltage facilities and direct current transmission technologies (HVDC facilities) across the globe. They steer the successful realization of projects such as the plant commissioned by Joint Venture Nemo Link for a maritime cable connection of over 140 kilometers between Great Britain and Belgium. Nemo Link is a partnership between national energy suppliers from both countries. The HVDC plant, currently under construction, is designed for a power of 1,000 megawatt and is a symmetrical, monopolar system for +/- 400 kilovolt direct current. Nemo link is a showcase project for an integrated energy market within Europe. The new network is intended not just to improve energy supply in both countries, but also to contribute to the integration of renewable energies.
In the field of cost management, the Transmission Solutions department has relied on software systems from RIB for more than ten years. First, the software was only used for the creation of calls for tender and price comparisons. After a few years, all calculation, including bid creation, in the assembly and repair disciplines, was carried out with RIB software. “When constructing high-voltage plants on the scale of the Nemo Link project, the number of participants adding costs into the system and the number of details within the overall calculations represent a significant challenge,” acknowledges Kai Herrmann, iTWO Program Manager at Energy Management Transmission Solutions. “For this reason, we started introducing iTWO by RIB in the sector already in 2015, with the goal of thoroughly integrating the software solution. The system won us over and has in the meantime found deployment in Great Britain and India, as well as in Germany,” he continues.
In the past, we did this work with many smaller tables. The problem: All details for the overall calculation were manually transferred, meaning errors could easily slip in
In the course of the analysis of the company and project processes for the new iTWO solution, 2-day workshops with the software supplier took place every 14 days during the first few months. As time went on, the 400 employees, who now all work with the new software, were introduced to the functionalities of the system and learned at the same time a method for optimized calculation which extends over the entire plant engineering project. “In the past, we did this work with many smaller tables. The problem: All details for the overall calculation were manually transferred, meaning errors could easily slip in,” explains Herrmann. “Costly checks can be eliminated thanks to the integrated RIB solution, as with iTWO we all work in one system – from system engineers to tendering management,” he continues. The advantages are obvious: Even detailed information can be easily found. There is no longer a need to trawl through individual software tools. The team at Energy Management Transmission Solutions uses circuit meetings to work together on the project – within a software system. “All in all, the quality of collaboration has markedly improved with RIB,” Kai Herrmann concludes.
Since October of 2017, all new HVDC projects in the field of Energy Management Transmission Solutions have been created withRIB iTWO. This takes place based on centrally maintained template projects that are adjusted to fit the project in question. Currently, Kai Herrmann is working intensively together with interdisciplinary teams on a true 5D solution for the field of high-voltage facilities. Here, 3D CAD models interlock with cost (4D) and process (5D) schedules in all phases. “In contrast to classical structural engineering, in our field many different components from various suppliers have to be transferred into the 3D model at very high quality,” he explains. This requires a certain amount of pre-planning. Only then is a thoroughgoing, object-oriented working method possible. 3D models are gaining in usage at Energy Management Transmission Solutions. Alongside the 3D CAD systems that are established in the construction sector, such as Autodesk Revit, for example, the team in Erlangen also employs various non-construction-specific CAD and CAM systems. In this field, possibilities for integration are currently being evaluated. Placing great emphasis on the topic of Building Information Modeling for the erection of high-voltage facilities, Siemens has created the Digital Operations Initiative, which is engaged in coordinating measures to achieve successful digital working methods.
Kai Herrmann expects the digital planning and erection of high-voltage facilities to improve cost and progress controlling from the tendering phase onward and throughout the execution of the project. “BIM models help us here to make fact-based decisions,” he explains. “And costs can be better monitored through simulation and visualization of the project process,” he adds. Hermann wants a data model to provide a basis for thoroughgoing and complete cooperation, all the way from supplier factories through service employees to the client. With RIB software as a partner at his side, he is convinced that such a solution can be realized in the near future.
> high transparency in the planning process
> improved coordination of all involved in planning
> BIM as an all-encompassing method ensures quality in the project
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