HxGN Live 2013 Provides Forum for Customers to Tell Their Stories

Hexagon held the company’s annual user event, "HxGN Live 2013," in Las Vegas, June 3-6, 2013. The event attracted around 4,000 attendees, including customers, partners, media, and industry analysts. Hexagon, a Swedish-based company, does business across all global regions. The company is made up of three major business units: Technology (including Intergraph Process, Power & Marine and Intergraph Security, Government, & Infrastructure); Metrology; and Geosystems (including Leica).

Ola Rollen, CEO of Hexagon, presented an overview of the company, its solutions, industries served, and global business. The overall theme of this year’s Hexagon Live, "Great Stories Start Here," spoke to Hexagon’s global scope of brands and solutions and how the company’s customers use these solutions across a wide range of projects. His message also focused on Hexagon’s mission to fuse the digital and physical worlds through smart solutions for energy, infrastructure, manufacturing, and mapping the planet. Rollen maintained that creating a 3D digital world emulates and validates the physical world and enables the owner/operators and manufacturers to run their operations and factories with the most accurate and up-to-date information.

Following Rollen’s keynote, each of the business unit heads presented an update and overview of their respective technology, solutions, and business. Gerhard Sallinger, President of Intergraph PP&M, provided a look at its recent technology and business activities as well as market trends. Intergraph PP&M, which Hexagon acquired in October 2010, provides engineering design and information management solutions for plant design. Oil & gas, both upstream and downstream, represents a significant percentage of its business. PP&M also serves the chemical, metals & mining, marine, shipbuilding & offshore, and nuclear and power generation industries.

Norbert Hanke, President of the Metrology business unit, presented an overview of the company’s metrology technology, industries served, and the state of the business. The automotive and aerospace industries use metrology solutions and represent a sizable portion of the market in this space. These industries, along with other industries such as shipbuilding, employ smart assembly methods and use Hexagon’s laser scanning solutions for inspections and quality assurance operations. Additionally, these metrology systems are integrated with PLM design and manufacturing systems.

Hexagon Geosystems’ President, Juergen Dodd, provided an overview of Geosystems’ technology and business. Using state-of-the-art surveying and laser scanning technology from Leica, Geosystems enables its users to literally map the planet, and do so with amazing accuracy and detail. Dodd pointed out that urban population is growing at a rate of 180,000 people a day, creating significant need for connected infrastructure in cities. Cities can now model and map in 3D to enable better urban planning, community safety, and building better infrastructure.

The Geosystems business unit provides technologies for surveying, laser scanning, and large-scale geographical mapping applications. Leica Geosystems is part of this business unit and provides both the hardware (scanners, theodolites, surveying equipment, etc.) and software for Geosystems and its customers. The new Leica Nova MS50 remote wireless scanner, for example, combines the latest technologies in the fields of total station measurements, digital imagery, 3D laser scanning, and global positioning. Urban planners now use large-scale laser scanning technology to scan entire cities and urban cores into 3D models for planning, expansion, and community safety.

SG&I President, John Graham, provided a look at how the business unit’s technologies and solutions help cities and communities build 3D virtual models that enable them to provide better security and improve quality of life.

Global Energy Projects Drive Business for PP&M
Mr. Sallinger, along with Patrick Holcomb, EVP of Business Development; Charles Evans, CTO/EVP; and Melanie Eakes, EVP for Global Support and QA provided a more in depth look at Intergraph PP&M’s current business and an industry outlook of the energy and process sector. Globally, project size and complexity continue to increase, driven by worldwide energy demands that are expected to grow by one-third by 2030. These mega-projects create challenges for the multiple EPCs that run the projects and the owner/operators that must operate and maintain these huge complex facilities following handover. Many of these new projects are located in remote regions of the world where the construction staffs often number in the tens of thousands and function as a small city. Projections for CAPEX investment for this next decade exceed $1 trillion per year.

In the Intergraph PP&M track, a session outlining Hexagon’s business partnership with Accenture for CAPEX projects highlighted some of the recent trends in the energy infrastructure sector. Accenture is a global leader in project support services, project & portfolio management, and engineering and project data management. Accenture forecasts the energy infrastructure market to be around $38 trillion through 2038. Hexagon’s partnership with Accenture should help it gain a significant share of this market for the foreseeable future.

Business for conventional power generation projects is strong, especially in the area of conversion to natural gas, and the company sees signs that nuclear power generation is making a comeback. While shipbuilding is currently down, the demand for offshore drilling platforms more than offsets the slowdown in the marine business. The shale gas sector is clearly experiencing the fastest growth and the rapid rise in exploration and production in this sector is shaking up the entire energy industry.

All this activity in the energy and infrastructure sector translates into new business for PP&M. Intergraph expects solid growth for its entire plant design solution set. The company has consolidated SmartPlant 3D, SmartMarine 3D, and SmartPlant 3D Materials Handling Edition into a single integrated offering: Smart 3D. Smart 3D offers clients a single design system for all plant, facility, and project design requirements across the power, process, mining, natural resources, and marine industries. The Smart 3D solution involves one license, database, and install that represents the entire facility.

SmartPlant Cloud, Intergraph’s recently introduced cloud solution, enables global design collaboration and management of all project design/build/operate/maintain information.

Laser scanning technology, used across all of Intergraph’s industries, is a significant part of its SmartPlant Enterprise engineering application set. SmartPlant Fusion, just released, integrates photo-realistic laser scanning point cloud applications with their capital Project Lifecycle Management (cPLM) applications to provide a real-world 3D model that is integrated with all manner of other plant documentation. SmartPlant Fusion, first created to meet an owner/operator’s needs for an offshore brownfield refurbishing project, can capture all as-is facility information with laser scans, organize all the asset information into a single master model, and link this information with original engineering designs.

Intergraph showcased its customer, Australian-based Woodside, an oil & gas exploration and production company, in a very interesting and impressive presentation. Woodside had recently acquired a very large offshore drilling platform/ship with little updated engineering design information. Intergraph used SmartPlant Fusion along with the latest Leica laser scanning instruments to scan the entire vessel. The results were stunning. The presentation included a photo-realistic "fly-through" of the entire scanned model. The scanned model had extremely accurate detail down to the smallest level of equipment and infrastructure and rendered a complete and comprehensive 3D model of the entire platform, which was integrated with thousands of pieces of legacy plant documentation.

Additionally, a Leica-developed technology called TruView was used to generate a remarkable, photo-realistic rendering of the scanned model. The entire scanning process was completed in a matter of days, providing Woodside with a complete engineering model of its offshore drilling platform (and at a much lower price than previously possible). ARC believes that this type of technology will be a game changer in the oil & gas and infrastructure industries.

Hexagon epitomizes a global technology provider that supports mission-critical projects for energy, cities and infrastructure, manufacturing, and mapping the planet. Through the technology and solutions provided by each of its business units, Hexagon is well-positioned to help drive global economies and bring critical resources to people everywhere.

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