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How Bayer AG Digitalized P&IDs and 3D Models using Hexagon Solutions

The Bayer Group, a life science company with more than 150 years of history and core competencies in health and agriculture, was facing a challenge with its information management.

Bayer has a wide network of locations and facilities all over the world. However, many of these facilities have legacy engineering solutions, causing work to be often executed in a siloed manner. This had a negative effect on efficiency and the quality of project execution, as a lot of time was spent verifying documentation and updating data to the correct formats.  

“It is important for us to execute projects quickly and efficiently, while improving time to market,” said Albert Becker, Head of CAE & BIM Support at Bayer Engineering & Technology. “If we do not have reliable asset documentation in a standardized and digital format at the beginning of the project, we have to invest a lot of valuable time to prepare the data for operations. “ 

Because of these challenges, Bayer started a digitalization project to introduce standardized tools to be used across sites and teams for creating, editing and managing P&IDs and 3D models.  

The project’s goal was to migrate the P&IDs from the legacy systems into a centrally managed new solution, ensuring compliance with Bayer’s generic and site-specific requirements and all industry standards. The project had a tight schedule and budget and had to include all essential drawings and documentation. In addition, engineering and operations would no longer be managed separately from one another, but in a common world with a project area and an as-build area. This is to ensure that the technical documentation will always up to date and trustworthy. 

Overcoming obstacles 

At some Bayer sites, the legacy systems in place were almost 30 years old. Some systems were not supported by the latest operating systems and had to be updated urgently. At the same time, many of the Bayer sites also used different tools to create and manage the P&IDs. This made project execution and overall productivity enhancements challenging, as the project teams lost a lot of time verifying the received documentation and updating it to the latest file formats. The first step of the project was to find a successor for the existing legacy CAD systems used across the different sites.  

Working with Hexagon 

After a period of careful consideration, Bayer chose Hexagon’s Intergraph Smart(r) P&ID as the future solution for creating and managing the P&IDs for engineering and operations. Hexagon is a global leader in digital reality solutions, combining sensor, software and autonomous technologies. Hexagon’s solutions were chosen because they have: 

  • Intelligent software capabilities support a data-centric approach  

  • Modern, trustworthy P&ID data available for engineering and plant operations in one environment and in a shared format 

  • Flexible, integrated integration of the solution enables a long-term roadmap for future development of the engineering environment. 

  • Can make P&IDs available in a virtual environment allows collaboration between external and in-house teams  

  • Set rule-based controls of diagrams  

To make the migration easier, Bayer chose the standard configuration of Intergraph Smart P&IDs for the new projects, which facilitated the migration as all the newly created P&IDs were in the correct format automatically.  

At the same time, the migration of the old P&IDs into the new system started in the six key Bayer locations. The migration work was carried out together with Hexagon in two phases: the first step was a small number of selected P&IDs (30-50) from each location. This was done in a virtual environment during the COVID-19 pandemic. A digital migration tool was developed and refined by Hexagon during the migration of the first 300 P&IDs and the quality of the migrated documents was checked by an external consultant.  

After the successful pilot, the initial migration began and covered more than 5,000 P&IDs. This included more than 100 million data records. 

Exciting Results 

Using Hexagon’s solutions, Bayer was able to standardize engineering and operations data management and digitize its P&IDs in a quick, efficient manner with high quality deliverables. Some key benefits from using Hexagon’s solutions included: 

  • Increased efficiency in plant operations by improving the quality of the technical plant documentation  

  • Data-centric and standardized database for setting up a digital factory  

  • Improved time-to-market and increased efficiency in project execution as current, uniform and trustworthy technical inventory data is now available for project teams 

A successful future together 

After the migration, all the Bayer sites continue to use Intergraph Smart P&ID for create and manage technical asset documentation. The software is used to create, edit and manage P&IDs across the different lifecycle phases of the facilities, as well as for the new CAPEX projects.  

“In our migration project to Intergraph Smart P&ID, we have exceeded our expectations and achieved our goal of 100% data quality!” said Martin Tork, Head of Technical Documentation at Bayer Pharmaceuticals. “We were pleased with our collaboration with Hexagon – the transparency of information and clear communication left little to be desired.” 

Due to the digitalized approach offered by Hexagon technology and the efficiently designed engineering workflows at Bayer, external contractors and Bayer in-house teams can now collaborate in the same virtual environment, enabling Bayer to maintain data control while saving time, as no complicated data transfer between different environments is needed. The future looks promising. 

About the Author

Richard Cashdan is an experienced international marketing expert with over 20 years of related industry experience, who enjoys blogging about innovative technologies and business partnerships.

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