MCC CERI Implements Digital Factory Approach on World’s Largest Relocation of an Iron and Steel Plant, Enabling a 75% Reduction in Commissioning Time (Bentley Systems)

  • MCC CERI is tasked with designing and building a new modern iron and steel plant under a very strict time frame 
  • A digital factory is being created and maintained alongside the physical factory to synchronize design, construction, delivery, and operation, improving both project delivery and asset performance 
  • The digital factory approach is enabling a 75% reduction in commissioning time, and typical operations savings of 60-70% by reducing energy consumption 

Project Overview 

With the 2022 Winter Olympics scheduled for the congested city of Beijing, the owner of the Xuanhua Iron and Steel Plant took the opportunity to modernize the factory and relocate it to Tangshan on the coast. Moving the facility will substantially reduce pollution and carbon emissions, allowing attendees to enjoy the Games in a cleaner and safer environment. MCC Capital Engineering & Research Incorporation was hired as general engineering, procurement, and construction contractor for this large and extremely complex CNY 40 billion project. The design involved more than a dozen disciplines, including equipment, heating power, gas, ventilation, electrical engineering, and instrumentation. They were distributed across several project sites and MCC CERI’s headquarters, making collaboration difficult.  


The project posed significant technical, engineering, and coordination challenges, compounded by significant site constraints and the need to complete it before the start of the Olympic Games, which imposed a very tight timeframe on them. They also had to keep errors, omissions, and collisions in the design stage to a minimum, which proved difficult given the size of the project team. To meet the aggressive schedule MCC CERI had to build a digital twin of the factory (a digital factory) that would synchronize the design, construction, delivery and operation of the physical factory. To successfully complete this project, they needed to coordinate more than a dozen different engineering disciplines, spread across 70 sub-projects.  


A long-time user of Bentley applications, MCC CERI chose to adopt a collaborative BIM methodology in a connected data environment. ProjectWise provided a collaborative design platform to coordinate all disciplines and manage the project design process and design deliverables. The multidiscipline engineering team is using AutoPIPE, Bentley Raceway and Cable Management, Bentley Substation, MicroStation, OpenBuildings Designer, OpenPlant, OpenRoads, ProSteel, and ProStructures to design the equipment, infrastructure, industrial pipelines, ventilation and dust removal, and electrical bridges, all of which are intricate and complicated. Using SYNCHRO for the first time, they conducted construction simulation for precise layout and installation within a limited space. Using digital photogrammetry with ContextCapture, they are tracking the as-built status in real time. MCC CERI developed an engineering data center based on AssetWise to bring together all the digital data, and enable 100% digital delivery integrating across engineering, construction, and operations. The digital twin of the factory includes all equipment and processes, collecting data from on-site controllers, equipment, operations, and other information, and uses the process equipment signals to drive simulations of production. In this way they achieve the real-time synchronization of the digital factory and the physical factory. 

“With the 2022 Winter Olympic Games being held in Beijing, China, the Xuanhua Iron and Steel Plant, an old factory that has been in operation for 89 years and is not far away from the stadium, will be relocated to the Laoting Economic Development Zone in Tangshan City where an advanced, efficient, green, and intelligent modern factory will be built,” said He Zhang, project BIM manager with MCC CERI. “The total investment of this project is more than CNY 40 billion, and Bentley’s collaborative design solutions will allow us to build the digital plant and complete the project on time.” 


Using ProjectWise to collaborate across disciplines, MCC CERI was able to shorten the design cycle by 35 days. The digital factory approach is reducing their commissioning costs by 75%, and using the digital factory to simulate production is enabling production process improvements. For example, a “typical operational saving” of 60-70% reduction in energy consumption is expected to be achieved by optimizing the operations of the shot blasting machine. Lastly, by meeting the very tight project time frame, MCC CERI is ensuring that there will be clear water and blue skies at the venues of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.  

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© 2020 Bentley Systems, Incorporated. Bentley, the Bentley logo, AssetWise, AutoPIPE, Bentley Raceway and Cable Management, Bentley Substation, ContextCapture, MicroStation, OpenBuildings, OpenBuildings Designer, OpenPlant, OpenRoads, ProjectWise, ProSteel, ProStructures, and SYNCHRO are either registered or unregistered trademarks or service marks of Bentley Systems, Incorporated or one of its direct or indirect wholly owned subsidiaries. All other brands and product names are trademarks of their respective owners. 

This modern, green iron and steel factory is being built in Laoting Economic Development Zone in Tangshan City, China, and covers an area 7.5 times the area of the forbidden city.
MMC CERI Factory

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