More Energy from Orlando

Earlier, I shared some of Dassault Systemes’ views on the energy market and the potential for PLM to play an important role. This afternoon, I heard the same thing from some of our industry customers and partners. The afternoon sessions included presentations from ITER (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor), Entergy, Hydro-Quebec, NuScale Power and BCP Engineers.

Each presentation had its own interesting aspects and information, and BCP’s Chris Staubus gave some great perspective about the energy industry’s use of “PLM.” Chris gave a presentation about bridging silos of information (he also blogged about it here), in which he touched on the “P” in PLM. Most of us know PLM as Product Lifecycle Management, but in the energy industry they think about it as Plant Lifecycle Management, which I thought was worth noting.

Generally speaking, PLM in the energy industry is used to improve productivity and reduce risk for each phase of the plant lifecycle, and since a plant can operate for 60 to 70 years (or more), it brings a different set of challenges.

For example, some specific plant maintenance tasks may only need to be performed every 15 years, in which case the people that preformed it the last time may no longer be around the next time. And if the same people are still there, chances are they probably won’t remember exactly what they did anyway. PLM can capture how the maintenance was preformed, and better yet, a 3D simulation can demonstrate exactly how it was performed.

Well…off to see some more demos in the technology showcase, which continues to impress. Last post, I shared my experience with a pair of 3D glasses that put me in the middle of a virtual power plant. This afternoon I met a guy that seemed to have mini ping-pong balls strapped to his arms and legs – they were actually sensors. While I spoke with him, any movement he made was mimicked by the “virtual him” on the screen behind him. Pretty cool, and just another example of how 3D technology can be used for plant operations.