September 22nd, 2022
Top concerns for the modern industrial organization include meeting sustainability requirements, improving decision-making and increasing productivity and operational efficiency. Achieving these organizational needs is imperative to success in the ever-changing landscape of engineering and construction projects.
Meeting Organizational Needs with the Smart Digital Reality™
To begin addressing these concerns, organizations must adopt new, more dynamic ways of operation that optimize their limited resources. To assist in this effort, Hexagon is developing the Smart Digital Reality as a solution. Hexagon’s Smart Digital Reality for Industrial Facilities is a platform that helps companies maintain safe and sustainable operations, achieve the lowest practical cost, and optimize production and worker productivity. This is accomplished by facilitating the capture and integration of data from any source, and then contextualizing, visualizing and facilitating work process enhancements across the entire asset lifecycle. In short, the Smart Digital Reality allows organizations to create and maintain a feedback loop between the real and digital worlds to ensure actions taken in the real world substantially decrease waste. As a result, organizations achieve sustainability by becoming more productive and efficient, avoiding rework and optimizing facility operations.
Breaking Down the Smart Digital Reality
The Smart Digital Reality is a connected ecosystem that supports all aspects of the asset, project and portfolio lifecycles.
Smart Digital Reality is comprised of 3 building blocks: Digital Projects, Digital Assets, and the Digital Backbone – the technology engine that supports Digital Project and Digital Asset portfolios. Under these two building blocks are a total of six process areas that make up the asset lifecycle: plan, design, execute operate, maintain, and secure. These process areas are then further dissected into the work processes that occur within each.
In the past, an organization supported these work processes with a fractured web of third party or homegrown solutions. This caused duplicative software onboarding and implementation efforts as well as duplicative investments for the organization. The fractured data resulted in arduous manual processes to (somewhat) leverage the information, but visibility was still quite limited. Hexagon combats this by bringing these work processes together into a single pane of glass, regardless of the origin of the data, while leveraging a full house of cross-divisional and cross-functional solutions that support the Smart Digital Reality.
The Role of EcoSys™ within the Smart Digital Reality
One of the solutions critical to the enablement of the Smart Digital Reality is Hexagon’s Enterprise Project Performance (EPP) solution, EcoSys. EcoSys provides a single, configurable platform to house, manage and track all project data on an enterprise-wide scale. The enhanced visibility enabled by EcoSys empowers better decision-making and asset maintenance, provides more time to pivot resources to higher-value projects, and more. Due to this, EcoSys plays a significant role in the plan and execute process areas within the Smart Digital Reality. The solution further assists in enabling the Design and Maintain process areas, as well. In the following paragraphs, we’ll explore how EcoSys fulfills each of these process areas and serves as one of the pillars of the Smart Digital Reality.
Plan & Execute
Portfolio and project planning is key to the assessment, selection and execution of projects that are aligned to an organization’s goals. To ensure business and financial objectives are reached, business leaders must ensure the right projects are being pursued at the right times. EcoSys drives project alignment by providing a holistic view of project portfolio data.
This holistic view further assists in EcoSys’ project controls and management functionality. This piece of the solution allows project professionals to keep their initiatives on track during the execution phase. This functionality allows for immediate identification of issues and course correction to ensure project success.
EcoSys further supports the plan and execute process areas by providing accurate and timely forecasting, effective resource management, risk management and change management, money tracking, and more. It ties all project data to the Smart Digital Reality and provides information on-demand by role.
EcoSys assists in the design process area through its ability to track and measure digital progress. Progress measurement is a vital input for determining program productivity, earned value, and forecasts. Put simply, it answers the question: “Where are we today?” Armed with EcoSys, project professionals can measure what percentage of a initiative has been completed. Digital progress then allows an organization to automate data collection and focus on data-centric progress (over milestone or other less objective measures and methods) to obtain a more accurate picture of overall progress. With this functionality, EcoSys drives effective measuring of the design process area.
EcoSys serves as the focal point for tying projects and portfolios to assets through the development and optimization of Asset Investment Plans (AIP). These plans are based on asset information gleaned from the digital backbone, which again is Hexagon’s technology for interoperability and intelligence that connects data across the entire industrial asset lifecycle. The derived asset information from an enterprise asset management solution like HxGN EAM allows an organization to identify when an asset will require maintenance or replacement. With EcoSys, the company can create and test difference scenarios and ultimately develop an optimal plan to finance and implement the needed updates. For example, using EcoSys, an organization can develop and enact a plan to temporarily take a portion of a facility offline in order to repair or modernize vital assets. AIP supported by EcoSys allows organizations to make the best financial and operational decisions considering organizational assets.
The Future of EcoSys
While the Smart Digital Reality is supported by an array of Hexagon innovations, EcoSys’ importance remains evident in its vital roles within the Plan, Execute, Design and Maintain process areas. The EPP solution continues to enhance visibility across project portfolios as well as the Smart Digital Reality. In recognition, Hexagon recently increased R&D funding for EcoSys by 50%. With this added investment, EcoSys will continue to empower the Smart Digital Reality so that Hexagon customers can continue to meet their sustainability requirements, improve enterprise-wide collaboration, increase productivity, and meet their business objectives.