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Shell Chemicals Project in Pennsylvania Wins Special Recognition Award for Continuous Surveying in Constructioneering

Shell Chemical Appalachia LLC and Eye-bot Aerial Solutions were recognized by Bentley Systems with the Special Recognition Award for Continuous Surveying in Constructioneering at Bentley’s Year in Infrastructure Conference, held in London this week.

Shell Chemical Appalachia is constructing a multi-billion dollar, world-scale ethane cracking plant to create polyethylene in the western Pennsylvania region. To help monitor and manage construction of the facility, the organization used unmanned aerial vehicles to capture real-time, accurate data of the entire site and the surrounding areas, close to 450 acres total, and processed the data into a high-resolution orthophoto and 3D reality mesh model. The 3D data provided a strategic perspective of the existing site conditions and served as a single source of truth for both future and retrospective progress analysis, optimizing collaboration and decision making between the client and the EPC contractors, with over 500 multidiscipline end users across 10 companies.

On a weekly basis, the project team captured more than 8,000 images and processed the images as 2D and 3D deliverables within the required 72-hour window using Bentley’s ContextCapture software. The high-speed processing engines of ContextCapture produced a dimensionally accurate 3D reality mesh, enabling the identification and resolution of potential construction problems before they impact operations on site. The 3D reality mesh models are expected to facilitate inventory control and improve emergency response management.

Phil Christensen, senior vice president, reality modeling for Bentley Systems, said, “It is our pleasure to present Shell Chemical Appalachia and Eye-bot Aerial Solutions with a Special Recognition award for the pioneering work they are doing in constructioneering. Using drone imagery and our ContextCapture, the team continuously surveys and creates 3D reality meshes of the entire construction site, supporting weekly inspections and monitoring of construction progress. To do this for the entire site on a regular schedule, the team leverages Bentley’s cloud services, and we are working together to further streamline automated work flows and improve processing time.”

Jacob Lydick, President Eye-Bot Aerial Solutions, said, “Organizing the vast amount of data into an easily consumable format has proven to be one of the most difficult challenges in the UAS industry. However, with the variety of output formats available in ContextCapture, this task has become much more manageable.”

Dmitry Gurevich, Shell’s Information Technology Manager, said, “Constructing the plant of the future means embracing digitalisation. In construction, Digital is about advancing the technology that helps us staying on top of progress and assure quality, while keeping people safe. In that respect, the 3D reality mesh modelling technology has made a profound impact on ways of working on the Project, rendering benefits above and beyond of what we had imagined when starting the modelling program 18 months ago.”

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