New Bentley Products Represent Victory for iRING User Group

Three new Bentley products support the iRING standards for real-time interoperability for plant engineering data models.

The iRING Users Group, a new group of plant engineering professionals concerned with engineering software interoperability, scored a victory this week with the first commercial release of tools that support the new iRING protocols for open data model capabilities. Bentley Systems says three new products it released this week conform to iRING standards.

The iRing Users Group ( is an open online community of users, companies, and organizations who use, are considering using, or are developing or deploying iRING protocols for real-time process and power plant design and operations. iRING is short for ISO 15926 Realtime Interoperability Network Grid.

The group has its origins in the POSC Caesar Association (PCA) and FIATECH organizations. Several persons in both organizations formed an implementation project in 2009 called Camelot whose mission was to provide an implementation of various aspects of ISO 15926, the plant engineering standard that has become gospel among plant design software vendors in recent years.

The Camelot project demonstrated and delivered a set of free, public domain, open source software tools, now called iRINGTools, that were intended to be used in production settings and also provide software vendors with an independent usage pattern for ISO 15926.

iRING participants come from some of the largest plant engineering firms in the world, both owner/operators and Engineering Procurement Construction (EPC) firms, including Bayer, Bechtel, CH2M HILL, Consolidated Contractors Company, Dow, DuPont, Emerson, Fluor, Hatch, and Zachry.

The Bentley Products
Bentley says its its new products “share and meet the primary goal of the iRING user community– that is, to enable real-time, seamless sharing and interoperability of data and information across different organizations and systems using an internationally recognized standard.”

The three new Bentley OpenPlant products are:

  • Bentley OpenPlant Modeler V8i—3D plant modeling software that natively uses the ISO 15926 data model as specified by the iRING user community. Bentley says OpenPlant Modeler V8i incorporates the capabilities of MicroStation V8i, their popular 3D CAD platform.
  • Bentley OpenPlant ModelServer V8i—Plant design server software that manages both files and components. File management is essential for the efficient exchange of deliverables and work packages, while at the same time, component management supports a higher level of abstraction, productivity, and quality of work.
  • Bentley OpenPlant Isometrics Manager V8i—An isometrics generation product which Bentley claims “extracts and incorporates complete intelligence from 3D plant models, automatically and in real time.” On demand intelligent isometric views can be relevant for owner-operators throughout the plant lifecycle—beyond procurement, fabrication, and construction to “as built” and “as safely operated” maintenance and compliance.

According to the most recent statement by industry analysis firm Daratech, Bentley is the number 1 provider of plant creation software to owner-operators, the number 1 provider of schematics software, and the number 2 provider of plant-creation software overall

What We Think
Users in all engineering disciplines grumble about interoperability; plant engineers have risen above their peers in their efforts to do something about it. The Big Four of Plant Engineering Software—Autodesk, Aveva, Bentley, and Hexagon Intergraph—all pay close attention to the interoperability dictates of ISO 15926. Of the four, Bentley has done the best job of positioning itself as the king of open data and champion of plant engineering interoperability.

Bentley adheres to Openness as true religion for selfish reasons; a primary front in its on-going business war with Intergraph is to woo Intergraph PDS users with promises of continued usefulness of the PDS file format, which is essentially an older version of Bentley’s MicroStation format. By offering wide open data model interoperability, Bentley can claim to offer life everlasting to older PDS files, with data that might or might not be as welcome (according to Bentley) in Intergraph’s SmartPlant Suite.

Whatever the motive, the ability to freely move data between engineering environments is to be applauded.

More information: Bentley Systems Plant Solutions