Construction technology: connectivity is key

KHL Group | February 12, 2020

When it comes to construction technology, Dr Burcin Kaplanoglu, executive director, innovation officer, Oracle, surely has one of the most impressive CVs in the industry. He has been at Oracle for around two years and before this spent over 15 years at Lendlease where he was vice president, director of operations at Lendlease’s Telecommunication Infrastructure Business Unit. Kaplanoglu is also adjunct professor at Northwestern University’s McCormick School of Engineering in the US. Speaking at Digital Construction Week in the UK, with an espresso in front of him and a long flight recently behind him, Kaplanoglu is animated company as he discusses the challenges and opportunities for the construction industry regarding new technology. Adoption comes in waves, right? I think we’re in a wave now and I don’t know when the next wave is going to start, but we’re in a wave and it’s going quite fast, he comments.

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MATERIALS

Bentley Systems Enters into Agreement to Acquire Power Line Systems, Global Leader in Software for Power Transmission Engineering

Bentley Systems | November 18, 2021

Bentley Systems, Incorporated (Nasdaq: BSY), the infrastructure engineering software company, announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Power Line Systems—a leader in software for the design of overhead electric power transmission lines and their structures—from private equity firm TA Associates for approximately $700 million. The consideration is payable, at BSY’s election, in cash or a combination of cash and BSY stock. As an established subscription business with no full-time go-to-market staffing, Power Line Systems generates extraordinary profitability and cashflow, and accordingly, the acquisition is expected to be accretive to BSY’s corresponding financial metrics. The combination will substantially complete the reach of BSY’s comprehensive portfolio for the lifecycle integration of grid infrastructure across electrical transmission, substation, and distribution assets, and communications towers. The resulting breadth and depth of the company’s software and cloud services for grid integration will uniquely position BSY to support the modernization of grid infrastructure for renewable energy sources and storage, mobility electrification, ubiquitous broadband and 5G communications, and environmental resilience and adaptation. By rare global consensus, power infrastructure is of such pivotal priority that the U.S.’s Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act commits $65 billion of incremental funding for it, with Goldman Sachs estimating that $3 trillion will need to be spent across the world annually for electrification and renewables to fully accomplish the environmental goals being endorsed by assembled political leaders. The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions, including HSR Act notification. Upon closing, Power Line Systems will operate within Bentley’s new Grid Integration Group, combining also its SPIDA analysis products and fast-growing-startup OpenTower business, with Power Line Systems’ current CEO Otto Lynch reporting to Bentley’s Chief Acceleration Officer Santanu Das. Power Line Systems was founded by University of Wisconsin professor Dr. Alain Peyrot in 1984, and is headquartered in Madison, WI. Its concentrated focus from the outset has been ever-improving engineering tools for overhead power line structures, earning the supportive confidence of transmission engineers as the industry standard of best practice throughout the U.S., increasingly across Europe, and opportunistically in Asia. Power Line Systems’ “PLS” software can advantageously bring transmission-grade sophistication to broader applications in overhead distribution and in the communications grid which—to deliver the more intensive reach of 5G—increasingly includes newly shared towers and poles. Bentley Systems’ recently developed OpenTower iQ cloud service is generating impactful new business growth by meeting the new demands of communications tower owners for lifecycle digital twins of their existing towers. Tower digital twins leverage UAV-surveyed reality modeling, machine learning, and asset performance modeling to help maximize these assets’ capacity, revenue, safety, and reliability while minimizing costs and risks of work on site. BSY’s new Grid Integration Group can now expand this opportunity to existing power transmission towers, where reliability, safety, and fitness for purpose are stressed by deterioration, weather extremes, and vegetation encroachment. Despite not to date having any transmission market offerings, Bentley Systems has been ranked by ARC Advisory Group as leading its broader grouping of Electrical Transmission and Distribution, and Communications within Engineering Design Tools for Plants, Infrastructure, and BIM. By bringing together Power Line Systems’ products (for transmission) with OpenUtilities Substation and SPIDA (for distribution) and OpenTower (for communications) and OpenUtilities Designer and OpenComms (for network provisioning), Bentley Systems’ grid integration and digital twin offerings will span virtually all physical grid structures, lines, and networks at the same time as these are becoming increasingly shared by utilities for multiple purposes—and just as grid modernization has become perhaps the world’s most vital infrastructure engineering challenge. “Acquiring Power Line Systems fills a very important gap in our energy grid offerings at this fortuitous juncture when grid upgrades, resilience, and integration combine to drive one of the most urgent and sustained growth opportunities we’ve ever seen. Becoming the going-digital leader in power transmission engineering also adds meaningfully to our ‘ES(D)G’ handprint—empowering sustainable development goals by supporting the world’s much-needed energy transitions to reduce carbon emissions. We look forward to welcoming Otto Lynch and Erik Jacobsen, respectively chief executive and chief technology officers of Power Line Systems, and their colleagues—who have shown how much can be accomplished by so few, through virtuosity in software development and relentless commitment to engineering advancement. Our global go-to-market resources can now be deployed to take full advantage of burgeoning market demand—a consequence of the momentum driving incremental renewable energy sources and ubiquitous electrification—for going digital in transmission, and integrated grid, engineering.” -Bentley’s CEO Greg Bentley Otto Lynch said, We are enthused to be joining the like-minded Grid Integration Group within Bentley Systems to enlarge our collective contributions further across the broader grid, further across the infrastructure lifecycle, and further across the world. The community of transmission engineers for whom Power Line Systems has been the go-to software provider will also gain from our expanding scope and reach. Ashu Agrawal, a managing director at TA Associates and Power Line Systems board member, said, Otto and the PLS team have created the standard for efficiency and software-enablement of the indispensable work of power transmission engineers. However, the accelerated pace of the global energy transition creates a need for further expansion of and innovation in the grid. We’re confident Bentley Systems can provide the right surrounding constellation to expand Power Line Systems toward full grid digital twins. Bentley’s CFO David Hollister said, Our portfolio development team has long regarded Power Line Systems as a perfect match, which now comes at a perfect time for us to take advantage of heightened market opportunities for energy transition and grid modernization. In relation to the $700 million base purchase price, the deal structure enables a tax-deductible step-up in basis that we present-value at approximately $90 million. The transaction is expected to close by year end, and our optionality until closing to pay the consideration partially in shares, or as much as fully in cash, can be accommodated under our existing $850 million revolving credit facility, although we remain open to exploring alternative sources of financing. We expect the Power Line Systems business to be able to contribute in 2022: approximately $30 million of subscription revenue accretion in our overall ARR growth rate, and profitability consistent with its history of EBITDA margins more than twice BSY’s. Advisors Goldman Sachs is serving as financial advisor and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP is acting as legal counsel to Bentley Systems. Lazard is serving as financial advisor and Goodwin Procter LLP is acting as legal counsel to Power Line Systems and TA Associates. About Bentley Systems Bentley Systems (Nasdaq: BSY) is the infrastructure engineering software company. We provide innovative software to advance the world’s infrastructure – sustaining both the global economy and environment. Our industry-leading software solutions are used by professionals, and organizations of every size, for the design, construction, and operations of roads and bridges, rail and transit, water and wastewater, public works and utilities, buildings and campuses, mining, and industrial facilities. Our offerings include MicroStation-based applications for modeling and simulation, ProjectWise for project delivery, AssetWise for asset and network performance, Seequent’s leading geosciences software portfolio, and the iTwin platform for infrastructure digital twins. Bentley Systems employs more than 4,000 colleagues and generates annual revenues of more than $800 million in 172 countries.www.bentley.com

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MATERIALS

The Case for Universally Applicable Fasteners

Universal Fastening System (UFS), | November 01, 2021

A true engineering breakthrough by Universal Fastening System (UFS), announcing versatile designs for the fastener industry. UFS is a leader in design and engineering of proprietary technology including high performance drive systems for fastening applications in ALL industries; medical, automotive, aerospace, construction, marine, furniture, electronics using manual as well as robotic processes. This concept is a true game-changer.Imagine this: The best qualities of a screw, a bolt, a nut, and a nail - all combined into one system, which can come in three-, two-, or one-piece fasteners, depending on the application. Imagine a screw that can be guided from an angle into its final position, a nail that can be inserted with built-in resistance to bending. Imagine fasteners that can be secured and tightened using non-skid, no-slip, dual internal and external hybrid connections that mesh closely together in motion with their driver counterparts to resist stripping. There is no need to imagine! This versatile fastener exists today as part of a universally applicable system and is available for licensing and use. "Now, engineers and manufacturers can design better products and structures by placing fasteners in more desirable locations versus conventional need for straight-line access. Furthermore, failing, or existing fasteners can be replaced to improve functionality and longevity." -Dr. Kianor Shah, inventor of the Universal Fastening (UFS) System About UFS Components UFS components can be made from any solid material such as metals, plastics, ceramics, and rubbers, in micro and macro sizes, with various methods. The fasteners can be driven or accessed from angles of up to 180-degrees and in the tightest of places, with an effectively designed head and driver that act as a carrier for manual or automated use, or as an anchor for a secondary process, such as a permanent or non-permanent joint. Its tamper-proof qualities can also be hidden for added security, restoration of esthetic features, or simply away from environmental exposure that may result in rusting and corrosion.

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ENGINEERING TECH

Fidelity Launches Portfolio Quick Check, Expanding Portfolio Construction Solutions for Advisors

Fidelity Institutional | May 18, 2022

Fidelity Institutional, the division of Fidelity Investments dedicated to providing technology, solutions and insights to wealth management firms and institutions, today announced the expansion of its suite of portfolio construction solutions with the launch of Fidelity Portfolio Quick Check (PQC). This free, fully digital tool builds upon the access Fidelity Institutional® offers its advisors, allowing them to now analyze and compare investment strategies in minutes to manage portfolios more efficiently. The launch is the latest example of Fidelity’s commitment to continually invest in technology and tools to meet the changing needs of client and customer needs. Through on-demand scenario planning and analysis of portfolio composition, performance, fees and risk, advisors can discover new opportunities to improve investment strategies and demonstrate the benefits of actively managing investments to their clients. PQC has been in pilot with 300 wealth management firms since the end of 2021 and is now available to all Fidelity Institutional clients. According to a recent Fidelity study on advisor investment decision-making, client risk tolerance (83%) and unique needs (74%) are the top determinants of an advisor’s portfolio construction strategyi. By providing a less time-intensive option than its manual counterparts, PQC helps advisors personalize experiences for investors. It can also help advisors navigate the challenges associated with today’s market environment by providing quick insights that help them make more informed decisions aligned to economic activity. “As advisors look to navigate the challenges created by headwinds in today’s global macro markets, our PQC offering allows them to instill an industrial portfolio construction framework that is scalable and personalized, We are drawing on Fidelity’s 75-plus-year history of money management and technology leadership to provide a tool that not only helps advisors improve their outcomes, but also frees up time for advisors to have more meaningful conversations with their clients on life goals and fulfillment.” Mayank Goradia, head of investment product and portfolio analytics for Fidelity Institutional PQC delivers a multi-level analysis on portfolio composition and performance attribution, packaged neatly as a customized report for investors. The analysis includes: Portfolio Observations, providing qualitative insights into improving a client’s and an advisor’s portfolio and alignment to robust Fidelity thought leadership for more details that can help guide client discussions Fixed Income Analysis, Fidelity’s proprietary evaluation of holdings-based data for uncovering hidden exposures, as well as opportunities across sectors, credit quality diversification and fixed income characteristics Equity Analysis, enabling portfolio comparisons to the 11 commonly recognized Global Industry Classification Standard (GICS) sectors by style and market cap, as well as geography and equity characteristics Performance & Risk, evaluating 3- and 5-year performance statistics, comparing Sharpe ratio measures (risk-adjusted returns), observing market participation and reviewing the overall correlation between individual securities Historical Market Events, insulating portfolios from unnecessary risks by analyzing performance in hypothetical and previous market conditions Asset Allocation, seeing how assets compare to the benchmark an advisor sets for their client’s portfolio by region, asset class, management style and at the fund level. Portfolio Quick Check enhances Fidelity’s mission of bringing portfolio management to scale, expanding access, and creating more efficiency for advisors. It joins Fidelity’s suite of portfolio construction solutions, including one-on-one consultations and custom model analyses that advisors can request through their Fidelity wholesaler or relationship manager. About Fidelity Investments Fidelity’s mission is to inspire better futures and deliver better outcomes for the customers and businesses we serve. With assets under administration of $10.5 trillion, including discretionary assets of $4.0 trillion as of April 30, 2022, we focus on meeting the unique needs of a diverse set of customers. Privately held for over 75 years, Fidelity employs more than 58,000 associates who are focused on the long-term success of our customers.

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