Aveva reboots plant design portfolio

New Everything3D seeks one-to-one correspondence of physical and digital assets. The original data-first philosophy behind PDMS lives on.

Plant and marine design vendor Aveva last week introduced a significant reboot of its plant design portfolio by introducing next-generation design software that integrates 3D geometry and 3D laser scan data into a coherent unit. Aveva Everything3D is based on a premise that for every physical asset there should be a corresponding digital asset.

Aveva’s new Everything3D plant design software marries next-generation requirements with its robust approach to engineering data management. (Source: Aveva)

“The market for plant design solutions is changing and requires a new vision,” says Dave Wheeldon, CTO and Head of Engineering Design Systems, Aveva. “It is no longer enough to achieve error-free designs.  The availability of affordable new technologies makes it practical to broaden the reach of plant design to encompass other stakeholders: vendors, fabricators and the construction teams.”

Aveva says several factors led it to introduce this successor to its popular but aging PDMS plant design software. “The pressure to extract more energy and mineral resources is resulting in larger and more technically challenging projects, says Bruce Douglas, SVP
Strategy and Marketing. “ An aging population of engineers in mature markets and an abundance of inexperience in emerging markets is driving plant design software to be easy to use, quick to be trained on and offer a faster time to production.” Douglas also cites the proliferation of mobile computing, with the necessary cloud infrastructure, as a driver for the change.

AVEVA Everything3D will include:

  • Plant design integrated with engineering and schematics
  • 3D modeling capability of “real world” representation quality, combining the 3D graphics and laser scan point clouds
  • 2D drawing capability fully automated and integrated with the 3D model
  • Interoperability with other design systems commonly used in plant design
  • An architecture that can support project re-use and modular design with the extension to support integration with cloud/mobile infrastructure
  • The capability to operate in parallel with Aveva PDMS.

Aveva says Everything3D will be commercially available from mid-December 2012.

Our take

Aveva has gotten more mileage from its foundational software than perhaps any other engineering software vendor. Alone among its peers, Aveva’s PDMS started as a relational database management system (RBMS), not a vector graphics display engine. Based on computer science research at Cambridge University in the 1960s, the founders of Aveva (originally called Cadcentre) approached plant design as a data management problem; their solution was to establish a database core and provide methods to display the contents graphically. This data-first approach eliminated the problem of synchronizing the graphic and data components, a problem common to all other CAD systems.

Today the data comes from more sources, and is more complicated. But the problem—and Aveva’s solution—remains fundamentally the same. Aveva has always been the best at constant synchronization of multiple data inputs, and this new initiative should capitalize on those strengths. At the product introduction at the AvevaWorld in Paris last week, Aveva pointed out that engineers already have much of the physical plant data in digital form, but not synchronized or leveraged with the design geometry; Everything3D seeks to close that gap.


Aveva teases customers with new plant design product vision