An Interview with Ms. Anne-Marie Walters, Global Marketing Director, Bentley Systems

An Interview with Ms. Anne-Marie Walters, Global Marketing Director, Bentley Systems
0 comments, 11/07/2019, by , in Interviews

Ms. Anne-Marie Walters, Global Marketing Director, Bentley System shares insights on Creating, Managing and Leveraging Digital Twins, Integrating OT, IT and ET to create a true digital twin, Cloud technology in managing workflows in the process industry, more.  

About - Ms. Anne-Marie Walters 

Anne-Marie Walters joined Bentley in 2004 as a global marketing director. In this capacity she is responsible for the marketing and positioning of Bentley’s solutions and products that address the needs of the Process, Power, and Enterprise arena.

Ms. Walters, who is a chartered chemical engineer, represents Bentley on the board of the Construction Industry Institute and is also heavily engaged in the activities of FIATECH. She sat on the board of the Engineering Contractors and Constructors Association between 2005 and 2010 and was the Chair in 2009. In addition, she is a founding member of the Process Industries STEP Consortium (PISTEP) committee and has served on the boards of CIMsteel and the United Kingdom’s chapter of the International Alliance for Interoperability (IAI). She is frequently a guest speaker at industry events sponsored by these and other organizations.


What are the global trends of technology in the process industry? How has the software for the process industry developed in past few years?

Over the past few years I have seen an increase in investment in EAM and CMMS in the process industry and a move toward data-centric work processes and away from document-centric systems. Reliability is a key driver, and the industry has adopted reliability-centered maintenance practices, investing heavily in sensors and systems to monitor processes and equipment. Most recently, we have seen an increase in 4D modeling to support capital projects. For example, Dow has adopted advanced work packaging (AWP) for construction to significantly improve productivity across its capital projects. Using AWP supported by Bentley’s 4D construction modeling applications, Dow has increased its productivity from 31% to over 60% time on tools on its projects. This represents a significant gain in productivity on their construction projects and a significant savings in both time and money.

Where do digital twins fit in for process industry or engineering plants?How can digital twins enhance efficiency and boost productivity for engineering plants?

The process industry has invested in many different systems supporting advances in various parts of its business. As a result, they have a lot of data in siloed systems – dark data – which could be leveraged more effectively to optimize performance across its business processes. In addition, over 95% of the plants in the industry are brownfield and over 10-years old while many are over 100-years old. Keeping data and documents up to date for these plants is a constant challenge and leveraging useful information from this information is very difficult. Digital twins that leverage technologies such as reality modeling (the capture of the as-operated status of existing plants) together with the information from sensors and other systems, offers tremendous potential to optimize asset performance for the process industry. Bentley’s new PlantSight cloud-based solution is specifically designed to deliver digital twins to the process industry, extracting dark data from plant design, enterprise, and operation systems, combining it with reality modeling.

How can Integrating OT, IT and ET help to create a true digital twin that offers unparalleled opportunities for improving the performance of assets and projects?

Engineering technology, through digital engineering models, do indeed help bring IT and OT together. Having a strong asset lifecycle information management (ALIM) base, created by engineering applications and carried across the lifecycle from design through construction to operations significantly enhances the data about the plant and creates the plant’s digital DNA, which can be used to enhance decision making. Knowing the true status of the plant through reality modeling and continuous surveying helps with planning, inspections, and maintenance. Knowing what your plant is capable of and tracking performance across any number of parameters provides more information for decision making and improved asset performance. Digital twins combine real-time information about your plant with its digital DNA.

 How is digital twin technology helping to drive the process industry? Could you elaborate more on the solutions Bentley Systems offers?

Jointly developed for the process industry by Siemens and Bentley, PlantSight is a new cloud-based solution that enables organizations operating, maintaining, and upgrading process plants to increase asset performance and reduce operating costs through everyday use and updates of trusted plant information. PlantSight brings all of your plant data and information together, contextualizes it, validates it, and visualizes it. It transforms raw data into one complete digital twin. PlantSight provides visibility to the complete plant information model, as well as the reliability program for all assets from an easy-to-use, cloud-enabled portal view.Key benefits are:

i. It ensures digital twins are evergreen by maintaining a timeline of changes that captures how, when, and by whom engineering data has changed. PlantSight provides a source of trustworthy and actionable information on which informed decisions can be made confidently.

ii. PlantSight ensures cost-effective engineering processes by analyzing performance deviations and making day-to-day design changes quickly and easily in-house, within the digital twin. Not only does PlantSight provide a safer environment in which to work because of the accuracy of the information, it also lowers the cost of ownership over time.

iii. PlantSight fully utilizes Bentley’s open, connected data environment (CDE) to access, validate, and manage information that is consistent, trusted, and accurate within the digital twin. The CDE is the common link among project, plant, equipment, operational technologies, and enterprise information.

How do digital twins and artificial intelligence transform engineering plants and overcome challenges for plant owner-operators in areas such as intermittent operations, asset maintenance cost,and regulatory compliance?

Digital twins are used for more than modeling the plant and continuously surveying it. Digital twins encompass the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning to enhance performance. We see many potential use cases for digital twins including:

i. Optimizing operations through automated corrosion monitoring, leak detection and remote inspections, virtual operations training, and support.

ii. Planning maintenance and shutdown periods, or revamps and retrofits on existing plants to conduct integrity analysis and simulation.

iii. In construction for real-time logistics planning, progressing, and status updates.

 How do Bentley and Siemens work together to make digital twins even more efficient and create a digitally integrated value chain?

PlantSight is a jointly developed solution by Siemens and Bentley. After many years of integrating COMOS and OpenPlant, and leveraging our combined experiences supporting projects and operations in the process industry, we are best placed to deliver a cost-effective digital twin solution for the process industry.

 How important is Cloud technology in managing workflows in the process industry or engineering plants? And please elaborate a bit on CDE? 

Cloud technology is one of the advancements that is enabling digital twins to become a reality for many organizations. Bentley’s CDE is not dependent on cloud technologies, but the unlimited compute power offered by the cloud enables organization to more widely leverage the CDE across projects and operations. Bentley’s CDE provides a platform for open data sharing across applications and across the lifecycle of the asset. It enables data to be shared across many applications and enables interoperability between systems, ensuring data and information is leveraged and shared, improving collaboration and decision making.

 Are investment considerations deterring companies from adopting digital twin technology?

For every investment in technology there has to be a clear ROI. Having a clear understanding of the business challenge and opportunity is critical to making the decision as to how digitalization might help your organization. There are many ways to deploy digital twins in an organization and by focusing on a business need together with an understanding of the cultural challenges that need to be overcome is key to success. Bentley has a digital maturity assessment framework that organizations can use to understand their own opportunities for going digital, as well as benchmark themselves against best practices. Also, ARC recently published a white paper on the potential for deploying digital twins in the process industry and the types of challenges that need to be addressed.

I recommend downloading this white paper at this link –

Can you share an example of how engineering plants are “going digital” in India with Bentley solutions?

Here are two examples.

i. Vedanta Ltd. – Cairn Oil & Gas is using Bentley’s asset performance software to optimize production across its over 800 offshore wells. The company implemented smart well integrity and flow assurance management system to manage integrity risks and manage its stocks. Bentley’s AssetWise provides a CDE that interacts with the company’s existing systems and integrates data from many sources.

ii.  Maha Metro deployed a digital project management system, developed through Bentley’s OpenRail Connected Data Environment (CDE), for the Nagpur Metro project. It includes the combined capabilities of ProjectWise and AssetWise and covers planning to performance stages of the asset lifecycle. Maha Metro expects to save USD 400,000 by avoiding data loss alone, and an estimated USD 222 million over 25 years of operations.

I would like to thank Ms. Anne-Marie Walters for taking the time to answer my questions. If you have any questions for her or for DailyCADCAM, please leave a comment below or mail me on and we will be glad to answer.

Check Bentley Systems product details – visit –  


Sachin Nalawade
Editor – DailyCADCAM




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