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3D Interface of Information Support Systems of Complex Industrial Facilities Construction and Operation


CLUB 3D: Innovative Engineering Design


Possibilities for graphics support in modern computers are such that realistic 3D-images on monitors and their application in the users interfaces creation have become common place. On the consumers market such technology is more often a marketing trick intended for a philistine wow-effect.

On the market for industrial application, a 3D graphical interface is an easy tool for users work with complex information systems for an industrial structure life cycle support. An interesting peculiarity of such interfaces is that their implementation is a correct repeated use of project data to create such an object.

3D-6D Information Model As the Basis for Users Interface Creation

Nowadays, at the stage of design of nuclear energy industrial objects and fuel energy complex technology of information modeling is actively being adopted. At that, construction as an engineering and physical object is described with data of a 3D-model, elaborated with the use of this or that computer-aided design system (CAD) or with a set of such systems.

An informative advanced 3D-model of an object or simply an information 3D-model is digitally represented information on the object upon the whole, which includes:

  • A set of spatial 3D-models and their elements;
  • A set of associated links within object elements;
  • A set of attributive information on each object element.

At further stages of a construction life cycle, an information model grows and nowadays we can speak of its 6 dimensions.

An information 6D-model is result of an information 3D-model added-in with calendar-network schedules (4D-coordinate time), information on configuration, set and procurement of the necessary materials and equipment (5D-coordinate); information on labour, financial and other resources (6D-coordinate).

Thus, by the beginning of construction proper and in its course, an information 6D-model, in its essence, is a comprehensive storage of construction data.

On the one hand, it contains graphical as designed information and the data that visually reflects a real state of a constructing object at that moment. The latter is obtained with the help of laser scanning technologies, GPS-dimensions, and spherical panoramas.

On the other hand, a 6D-model stores attributive description of objects, process diagrams, drawings, design and estimation documentation, schedules of construction and assembly works (CAW) and so on.

Thus, a 6D-model is simultaneously:

  • A source of ready elements for construction of a illustrative realistic 3D-interface to navigate through an object during its construction and operation;
  • A storage of data necessary for actions planning and decision making at the stage of construction, operation and decommissioning by all the interested parties within the scope of their competences.

This reveals another advantageous side of information model development methodology at the stage of capital construction objects designing an opportunity to implement on its basis an easy realistic and illustrative interface for interactive display of information on industrial object during its life cycle.

For practical implementation of these opportunities the NEOLANT company developed such tools as InterView and InterBridge.

IT-tools for 3D Interface Creation

NEOLANT specialists are well cognizant of and have great experience in using in the projects specialized visualization mean (VM) from the leading vendors of CAD and PLM-systems and their integration with different IS classes. We mean such VS as:

  • SmartPlant Review visualization tools for users of PLM-system Intergraph SmartPlant Enterprise, adaptation of which to the requirements of domestic market, state and industrial Russian standards and to the Customers standards perform NEOLANT — a strategic Russian partner of Integraph corporation;
  • Navisworks system of visual navigation through 3D-models of Autodesk companies, for which NEOLANT is a sole system integrator-consulter (Consulting System Integrator, CSI) in Russia;
  • Navigator / ProjectWise Navigator from Bentley company, a service partner of which is also NEOLANT.

However, a 6D-model is often created within a cross-platform development with the use of best in the class or within the most convenient for the Customer designing tools, as made, for instance, NIAEP when developing Multi-D technology.

For work in these circumstances NEOLANT offers a cross-platform tool set on the basis of InterBridge and InterView, developed by the companys experts.

InterBridge is a program implementation of translation technology of graphical and semantic 2D/3D data between diverse CAD and PLM. The tool enables to form a summarized design digital model of an object by means of the CAD/PLM platform, specified by the Customer.

The programme software InterView supports interactive navigation through a unified digital mode of an object that integrates information on it from different sources and platforms with the use of InterBridge. One of InterView definitions enables to form a project tasks base, import tasks from planning programs (e.g from Primavera), to monitor the state of their execution and display on a 3D-model work process as on the selected date. Displaying is done on the principle of traffic lights different colours of element displaying in a 3D-model reflect works ahead/ behind/ as per the schedule, completion and acceptance of works by the Customer.

InterBridge and InterView extend opportunities for creation of 3D interfaces on the basis of information models:

  • First of all, due to support of multiplatform developments where different CADs are used,
  • Secondly, due to high productivity.

It is appropriate to mention such advantages of InterBridge and InterView, as code accessibility, what is important to many Customers.

Further there, are cited examples of implementation of realistic 3D-interfaces on different segments of industrial markets.

As among the basic competences of NEOLANT are:

  • Creation of information models of industrial objects of different designation, as from the sketch, as on the basis of re-engineering;
  • Creation of engineering data management system (EDMS) on the basis of a multidimensional (3D-6D) information construction model concept;
  • Development and adoption of visualization systems of EDMS data on the basis of 3D-models and 3D GIS.

Then precisely these competences of an expert level in these spheres and free grasp of 3D-visualization tool set by NEOLANT developers enabled the company to develop and adopt information systems in diverse projects, for work with that are used easy and realistic 3D-interfaces.

Visualization of Diagnostic Information on Compression Stations

Target of one of the executed by NEOLANT projects in the interests of FEC was shift from work with a set of odd documents to the use of a full-fledged information system (IS) for diagnostic information management while operating compression stations. Developed in the course of this work IS EDocInspector is not only a unified data base of all diagnostic information on object, but also a tool to visualize this data on a 3D-model.

A 3D-model contains complete information on the compression station structure, including pipe binding (PB), the controlled operating parameters of which are:

  • Geodesic measurements of PB location;
  • PB vibration characteristics;
  • Data on thickness of taps.
Fig. 1. Visualization of vibration data
Fig. 1. Visualization of vibration data
Fig. 2. Display of event in case of a critical value excess
Fig. 2. Display of event in case of a critical
value excess

Navigation with the use of IS EDocInspector through a realistic 3D-image of a compression station enables to find a required control point, after selecting of which displays attributive information: date of measurements, value of measurement, maximum accessible parameters (Fig. 1).

Three modes of displaying are supported:

  • Value of the measured parameter satisfies the accessible values;
  • Value exceeds critical and calls for taking a decision on further operation and problem resolution methods (Fig. 2);
  • Value in a set point exceeds the maximum accessible value (further operation is prohibited).

In an electronic table, related to a control point, one can find additional information: mark of a measuring instrument, name and surname of a specialist who took measurements and so forth.

Visualization of Radiation Background Monitoring Data at NPP

Developed by NEOLANT for the nuclear industry a computer-aided system of radiation background monitoring (CSRM) at NPP, elaborated for the Leningrad NPP, contains not only original technical solutions for summarizing and storage of data on radiation background (RB) characteristics, but also easy for understanding and analysis of RB data visualization technology on the basis of engineering 3D-models.

Fig. 3. Visualization of radiation background characteristics measurements on a 3D-model by colour marking of control points
Fig. 3. Visualization of radiation background
characteristics measurements on a
3D-model by colour marking of control

For storage of RB monitoring data CSRM uses resources of information system of a data base on LNPP decommissioning (IS DBD LNPP). IS DBD LNPP has been developed by NEOLANT specialists to support decommissioning of the Leningrad NPP Units, life time of which expires in the near future.

IS DBD is unified safe ordered electronic information storage and supports several interrelated opportunities for display of the stored information, including object-oriented and visual-graphical.

The subject-oriented display is based on modeling or rooms, equipment, systems and other in a view of interrelated objects that contain attributes, reflecting values of design and operation parameters.

The visual-graphical display provides operative access to information in IS DBD through a 3D-model. Display binding to the model of buildings, rooms, equipment, systems and other increases information illustration and easiness of its understanding and analysis.

Points, selected for radiation control, are displayed in models in a view of three-dimensional graphical primitive things, the colour of which is used as an illustrative visual indicator of radiation background level (Fig. 3).

Visualization system, implemented in CSRM may be adjusted to the display of radiation background in rooms upon the whole. Graphical room markers are envisaged to implement this opportunity. (Fig. 4). Their colour at visual display of monitoring data indicates, for example, the maximum value of a radiation background physical characteristic, detected in the room at that moment.

Information display on radiation is available in two modes.

  • The first provides successive demonstration of RB with automated switch of displayed structures, blocks, and controlled physical parameters of RB and their colouring mode.
  • The second mode is a manually managed 3D-model. In this mode the displayed rooms, model detailization, display angle and a set of controlled parameters are defined by a user-operator.
Fig. 4. Visualization of summarized radiation data by rooms on the basis of colour rooms marking
Fig. 4. Visualization of summarized
radiation data by rooms on the basis of
colour rooms marking

Visualization of Information on Construction Work Process

System of construction process visualization is the most important component of a modern IT-implementation of information system for operative monitoring of work process on the construction site. It permits to learn actual information in figures, schedules and realistic images: to compare actual indices with the planned, design 3D-models as designed with their actual view as built on the basis of spherical panoramas, operatively learn calendar-network schedules and design documentation.

Fig. 5. Synchronous display of a real object view as built with its engineered 3D-model as designed
Fig. 5. Synchronous display of a real object view as built
with its engineered 3D-model as designed

Display synchronization of 3D-models of construction objects and spherical panoramas a photo realistic objective display of work process with periodicity from one day enables to compare the situation on site with the planned and operatively assess work process (Fig. 5).


IM-based design allows not only decreasing time expenditures on work execution but also increasing their quality due to automated process of detection and elimination of clashes between the elements of a complex engineering facility at the stage of design.

Information model is also useful and easy for an illustrative display of information during an object construction, operation, reconstruction and capital repair.

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