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Renewed AVEVA unveils end-to-end informatization concept based on enterprise digital twins

New decade of the 21st century has become an important business milestone for the British company Aveva: a year has passed since the merger with Schneider Software, the software division of Schneider Electric, and the company has reached a new level of development. We can see this by large-scale systemic changes, both in the AVEVA engineering software itself, and in the market segments to which these software products are addressed.

After decades of development as a niche player focused on design tasks, primarily for shipbuilding and the oil and gas industry, it turned out that for many years AVEVA has been using key ideas that today have become symbols of the total informatization of complex systems: the object approach and data centric (an engineering data-centered approach). The key properties of such informatization are integration and end-to-end informatization based on platforms.

We are talking about creating a digital twin of an industrial enterprise, which helps to effectively manage production at all stages: from design to ensuring operation and support for modernization.

According to Alexei Lebedev, CEO of AVEVA in Russia and the CIS, this opens up prospects for the company to enter new market segments associated, first of all, with the operation of industrial enterprises in various sectors of the Russian economy. Competent use of modern IT opens up opportunities for significant business optimization, emphasizes the head of the Russian office of AVEVA. Moreover, in the Russian practice of AVEVA there are examples when the use of software tools for the information integration of an enterprise, together with the corresponding organizational transformation, made it possible to turn a loss-making plant into a profitable asset. The company has consolidated the experience of successful business implementations and brought to the market an updated strategy and an updated eco-system of software products with the idea of unified engineering.

Unified Engineering is a concept of end-to-end informatization of the XXI century.

The emergence of the concept of Unified Engineering can rightfully be called a revolutionary event, because end-to-end integration eliminate the negative impact of two key breakpoints in business processes that are inherent in classic projects for creating industrial production:

  • Between the main stages of designing of large and complex objects: the conceptual study of the project (FEED, Front End Engineering Design) and the preparation of design documentation.
  • Between the main stages of the life cycle of an enterprise: construction and operation.

The first breakpoint is, in fact, a “pain point” for the economy as a whole. On the one hand, large-scale infrastructure projects are necessary for a state to modernize the economy. On the other hand, data from analysts at McKinsey say that more than 80% of large projects are not implemented on time and by 20-100% do not fit into the approved budget. And according to Ernst & Young, 64% of capital projects in the oil and gas industry are over budget, 73% of projects are out of schedule. The reason lies in the lack of the necessary data for a high-quality study of projects at all stages, and the overall result of this is a low level of digital transformation of industrial enterprises.

The second breakpoint is related to the fragmentation of the costs of building an object (CAPEX) and its operation (OPEX), while, from an informational point of view, they refer to the same tangible assets. Aleksey Lebedev emphasizes that we are talking about one digital asset (the digital twin of an enterprise), which is born in the design process, and then “lives” and works in the course of operational exploitation.

The concept of unified engineering eliminates these breakpoints by offering a set of software solutions related to various stages and aspects of the enterprise, based on a single database of engineering and business data and a single methodology for working with data (data management).

AVEVA's Eco-System of Software Solutions includes a wide range of software applications, including applications for creating of electrical circuits, heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, creating drawings, laser scanning of objects, designing of metal structures, etc. In addition, the complex includes business applications, for example, IT solutions for enterprise asset management, supply chain management, optimization of repairs, etc. In accordance with the updated concept of AVEVA, all the main components of the complex of IT solutions have changed. The "information heart" of the complex is Aveva Engineering and this is a product for joint work with a single database for all engineering subsystems of an industrial facility. As the concept, Unified Engineering is now an integrated design and interaction system that ensures the integration of products at all levels. A key role in this process is played by the formation of a single data model and data processing in all applications in strict accordance with the requirements of a single data model.



More details about the capabilities of the AVEVA Engineering system: here

Technology data is the foundation of digital industrial manufacturing

One of the unique offerings of the new AVEVA is the AVEVA SimCentral Simulation Platform. According to Vladimir Lyakutkin, a leading technical specialist at AVEVA, the product, which appeared in 2017, is developing by leaps and bounds and in the future is intended to replace the products of this class of previous generations, including PRO II and DynSIM.

The platform is based on simulation of processes based on mathematical models. It is implemented with the help of a software product as a virtual simulation of manufacturing processes and allowing for engineers to better understand and optimize these processes and also to predict performance with a sufficiently high accuracy.

This simulation platform is intended both for simulating processes in a stationary mode and for creating models of dynamic processes and processes in streaming systems. The platform also integrates with design tools into a single workspace that is easy to use and covers the entire equipment lifecycle.

Last year, a significant event took place in this area of ​​AVEVA's activity - AVEVA signed a global agreement with Covestro, one of the world's largest producers of high-tech polymers. The goal of the partnership is the digital transformation of all Covestro technological processes by using of AVEVA SimCentral Simulation Platform.

For AVEVA, this partnership means building up competencies during the adaptation of the tool for Covestro chemical processes, and for the customer this means the application of a single IT solution to replace obsolete systems at all stages of the enterprise life cycle. Vladimir Lyakutkin emphasizes that we are talking about the digital transformation of a large industrial enterprise from the chemical industry.

Thanks to the AVEVA SimCentral Simulation Platform, Covestro employees work together in a single information environment, even while being located in different parts of the world, and able to solve any issues: from the design of new facilities to the operation of existing plants.

The AVEVA SimCentral 4.0 product development plan assumes the formation of thematic libraries of ready-made models and the expansion of the platform's functionality, in particular, for tasks in the field of energy.

SimCentral Simulation Platform Product Roadmap

SimCentral Simulation Platform Product Roadmap

More details about the capabilities of the AVEVA SimCentral Simulation Platform here

3D design system AVEVA Everything 3D: a new generation of the platform

The key concept of the AVEVA software system is a digital 3D model of an industrial facility. The familiar three-dimensional visualization of the design object is just one of the wide range of possibilities provided by this information database which is covering all levels and elements of the object. In other words, the database allows you to quickly and automatically receive any necessary information related to an industrial facility, for example, project documentation: planar and isometric drawings, custom specifications, and also information related to the progress of construction, modernization or maintenance of the facility, with its modernization, etc.

The correctness of the initial 3D model guarantees the reliability, accuracy and relevance of any other information related to the object, and the possibility of joint work with the model of various specialists allows you to maximize the accuracy of decisions made, to avoid errors even in case of operational changes.

The main product in the AVEVA family - the 3D design system AVEVA Everything 3D (E3D) - has reached a new level of development: E3D 3.1 has been released to the market. A large number of innovations are implemented in it. Let's note the most significant of them.

Improved rendering engine. As noted by Vladimir Samoilov, AVEVA's leading technical specialist, the universal product AVEVA E3D 3.1 has those unique possibilities of visual representation of large and complex objects that were previously available only in the specialized application AVEVA Engage in a specific view.

“This means that now you can easily convert any of the largest and most complex models into 3D-view and at the same time don’t have problems with system performance,” emphasizes Vladimir.

It is important that the new possibilities are not limited solely to visualization: if you received a 3D  model, you can immediately start working with it. The dimension of a 3D model displayed in a graphical view has always been limited only by computer resources, and with a new rendering with the same resources, a much larger 3D model can be displayed in a graphical view.

"With the new type of rendering, the user can manipulate the entire 3D model, if it necessary," - explains Vladimir Samoilov.


You can open the Draw drawing directly from the model. All changes that the user will make to the 3D model will be displayed on the screen and loaded into the drawing.
  • Lazy loading. The model and drawing are partially updated with each change. This mode of loading drawings ensures that the drawing corresponding to the model will be fully loaded and immediately available for editing.

  • Extended functionality of work with HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning). Building traces is now possible in a semi-automatic mode using convenient contextual tracing. The system calculates and plots the turns of the track quite well. Gaps between components are easy to find and fill. The dimensions are displayed in the 3D model area. A convenient mechanism of subcomponents has been implemented (ready-made elements that are attached to the parent element and, if it moved, move with it).

Advanced laser scan display engine. The new type of rendering, among other things, makes it possible to model each point with a volume right inside the E3D 3.1 interface. This allows you to cut off invisible points during rendering and maintain excellent picture quality while approaching an object. In this case, you can bind to any element, take measurements, etc.

Cloud service WhiteSpace Engine. Automatic dimensioning (where possible) in automatic drawing generation. The system uses a machine learning mechanism to try to dimension the generated drawing based on the design rules it knows.

Cloud service for simplifying of models. The service, available directly from the E3D 3.1 interface, allows you to send a model, created, for example, in CAD SolidWorks or Autodesk Inventor, to the cloud and receive it from there with the same dimensions, but with simplified geometry.

With the release of E3D 3.1, AVEVA started a very important internal integration work. We are talking about the availability in the E3D design environment of those unique data processing mechanisms that were previously implemented in specialized solutions. Vladimir Samoilov says that the company has accepted a long-term strategy of using the best technological solutions developed in other areas of industry. For example, unique solutions used for modeling sea vessels can be applied to industrial facilities.

Three new stages of development of the AVEVA E3D platform are highlighted:

  • Aveva Outfitting Design is a solution that combines AVEVA's many years of experience in industrial design and shipbuilding. Provides a highly functional environment for multidisciplinary 3D design and manufacturing.
  • AVEVA Basic Design is a multifunctional design environment for shipbuilding, based on a single database, for creating a working project for the saturation and maintenance of production information.
  • AVEVA Hull Detailed Design is a powerful application designed for the design of steel ship hulls of all types and the compilation of production information for them.

Accordingly, E3D 3.1 implements versatile tools that have grown from the best solutions proven in shipbuilding. For example:

  • Space Management application - dimension management. Application software, once created for shipbuilding, has "moved" to the E3D 3.1 platform with a new rendering, a new engine and a new approach to settings.

Dimensions can now be created not only by primitives, but also by complex surfaces, which, for example, are limited to the body. You can assign functional purposes for the dimension itself, for example, related to the deck, deckhouse, production area or building. Literlally, any object can be selected this way. You can calculate the surface area inside the dimension, calculate the specification, calculate the length of all pipelines, etc. Then output the data to the report and work with them further.

Work with metal structures. AVEVA E3D introduces support for metal structures. The system maintains a specification that stores all possible units, independently analyzes beams, columns that are part of a given unit, and selects the required one.

The solution for the design of cable ducts. E3D has improved the functionality of the module for working with cable channels. Cables are displayed in E3D, Engage and Draw drawings. The rules for calculating the filling of the tray have been significantly expanded. Routing was simplified by working with bundles of conductors, and also a mode for automatic cable routing.

In January, the Research and Design Institute of Urea (NIIK) began a large design project with the help of AVEVA E3D at the production site of the Gas Sintez plant, intended for the production of methanol from natural gas, in the port of Vysotsk, Leningrad Region. The capacity of the complex is estimated at 1.6 million tons per year (5 thousand tons per day), the volume of investments - at 1.5 billion dollars. A site of 50 hectares will be allocated for new construction.

The products which planned for release are “AA” grade methanol. Methyl alcohol will be shipped at the LUKOIL oil product terminal under long-term contracts. The general contractor of the project is the Korean concern Hyundai, NIIK acts as the general designer. The design work is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2021.

NIIK specialists will have to obtain permits for the construction of the complex, collect initial data, hold public hearings, and undergo environmental and main state expertise. The agreement also provides for the adaptation of the FEED package of a foreign licensor (AVEVA) and the development of the construction part, heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, video surveillance, fire extinguishing, telecommunications, and gas analyzers.

Development of 3D tools towards augmented reality: the new AVEVA XR platform

AVEVA has announced the launch of the new AVEVA XR platform. Vladimir Samoilov, AVEVA Lead Technical Specialist, explained the meaning of the acronym:

“There are already many letter combinations on the market: AR (Augmented Reality), VR (Virtual Reality), MR (Mixed Reality). We have launched a platform on the market that is built within a new paradigm in the field of visualization. Because our platform approach implies comprehensive coverage of different technological implementations, we have given it a generic name: XR ".

The new approach to implementing the XR platform is based on two key components:

New method for rendering 3D models, providing high performance calculations for very large and complex

Contextual data accounting that allows 3D visualization in AR, MR or VR format to be associated with the corresponding digital parameters that are specific to a specific production application of the system.

"The company is moving towards the creation of a universal layer of three-dimensional visualization that will meet the requirements of all tasks that are solved today in various types of software," explains Vladimir Samoilov. "Regardless of the specific application, you will receive convenient tools and high-quality visualization everywhere."

To develop this area, the company has chosen four key areas in which it concentrated its efforts to create applied solutions.

  • Overview of the 3D model. At the design stage, it helps to see how the created object will work. In multi-user mode with support of commenting mode, it will help to carry out the acceptance of a 3D model.

Operation and maintenance of remote equipment. The expert remotely advises the operator who is on the production site, figuratively speaking, who is “his hands”.

Training. Simulators are a separate area that AVEVA is actively involved in. A realistic virtual learning environment helps prepare employees to act in any situation. Knowledge, best practices and SOPs are transferred more naturally between new and experienced operators, and it helps to reduce costly maintenance errors.

It is possible to organize training not only for areal objects, but also for equipment or, for example, for practicing behavior in extreme situations, when it comes to the interaction of 5-6 people. In this case, a human operator or a trainer can be on the other side of the world, and an automatic scoring system will mark errors and give marks.

Asset monitoring. The virtual representation of assets and components in 3D displays assists operators in the design, maintenance and operation of industrial facilities.

Key features of the AVEVA XR platform

The possibility of complex multi-user interaction is laid at the level of the platform itself. In this case, some of the functions, for example, the calculation of a mathematical model of the production process, can be performed on a separate server. All participants who connected to the platform will have access to it, regardless of their territorial location.

  • Mixed reality out of the box. In order to start using AVEVA XR, you do not need to connect plugins, configure the system for a certain type of virtual reality helmet, etc. It is enough to select the required configuration by marking the required parameters in the menu.

If the solution is supplied for a specific area, for example, equipment maintenance, then it initially contains information about equipment repair procedures. Thus, right out of the box, the AVEVA XR solution can be used to obtain up-to-date information about the operation of a facility, for example, equipment data and the ability to observe its real operation, etc.

  • Integration of virtual and ordinary reality to help remote workers - out of the box. The solution makes it possible to scan the mark on the equipment, after this the system will combine the virtual image with the real one. This will allow you to perform manipulations on a real object, using the virtual world as a hint.
  • One-click transition from the engineering model to virtual reality.
  • AVEVA XR Studio is a toolkit for creating XR applications by the user himself. The toolkit supports RVM format, native to AVEVA, compatible with FBX and 3D MAX formats. The basic delivery set also includes templates for the four application areas mentioned above. The template contains standard interaction scenarios, standard interfaces, pre-configured behaviors and pre-configured code (3D objects which are typical for this scenario).

In other words, you can easily load a model in RVM format, customize it for yourself using an intuitive graphical interface, and turn it into a VR model. In this model, a system of key points and tags will already be configured (they are already embedded in the engineering model). And for the subsequent launch of the model, the AVEVA XR Studio software is no longer required.

There is no magic in all this, AVEVA experts say with a smile. The fact is that the AVEVA XR platform is the part of the AVEVA ecosystem of products and is based on information from a single database, which describes in detail the object in the form of a “digital twin”.

The digital twin plays the role of some kind of central application with which all application solutions interact, including XR. Moreover, the data of the digital twin can be replenished, including through the methods of working with equipment. Thus, an “expert” system will be created at the enterprise, which retains the very best practices, which are sometimes carried by individual unique specialists.

Data Powered by Business: Business Applications and Interaction Center

Ultimately, the Unified Engineering concept is designed to ensure that professionals from all disciplines who work in an industrial facility can access a single database and use it to improve their business processes. The integrated approach ensures high availability of up-to-date accurate data at all levels of the digital twin and prompt response to any parameter changes.

More information about the systems approach to design - in the research: here

The availability of such information opens up ample opportunities for the use of technological data in order to improve production processes, form economic estimates and forecasts, and also model business processes. These capabilities are implemented in the form of a variety of applied business solutions, for example:

  • AVEVA ERM - Enterprise Resource Management. The solution covers the tasks of budgeting and cost management, material management, warehouse management, production planning, construction management. Integration of ERM with E3D is implemented using the service bus, which makes it possible to publish the corporate catalog directly into the design environment, form a three-dimensional model from this catalog and directly send a request for the purchase of materials.
  • AVEVA APM is a comprehensive digital asset performance management solution. Combines enterprise data collection with asset management, advanced workflow, mobility, predictive analytics, and risk-based management. Solves a wide range of tasks related to the monitoring and management of various enterprise assets.

  • PRiSM Predictive Asset Analytics - Early detection and diagnosis of equipment problems using predictive analytics methods. The solution includes a variety of powerful model-driven statistics and benchmarking applications and business intelligence. In particular, it enables online monitoring of anomalies during transient conditions such as starting or stopping of equipment.

The solution is compatible with a wide range of control and monitoring systems and can be hosted on-premises or in the cloud. Due to its high scalability, it can be used to monitor a single asset, an entire shop floor, or even hundreds of remote assets at various sites. The simulation results obtained with PRiSM can be used with the help of web services in other business systems.

Control and Interaction Center

For large industrial enterprises, and especially for companies with a complex internal structure, the task of integrating technological and business data related to individual objects into a single information model for consolidated detailed analysis is urgent. The IT solution designed for this task is called the "Center of Management and Interaction" at AVEVA. Sergey Mashin, a leading specialist at AVEVA, emphasizes that the key word in this title is “interaction”:

"This Center fully integrates everything that is required for the correct interaction of various teams within the corporation in order to achieve the set goals, for example, to reduce the TCO of equipment or increase ROI."

Sometimes such center is called a command center. So, for example, did the oil and gas company ADNOC, located in Abu Dhabi (UAE). Its command center, PANORAMA, is a 50 m long and 3 m high video wall. The high resolution video wall displays a variety of information that is relevant to the company's business.

The strategic task for which this solution was created sounded like this: it is necessary at each moment of time to have accurate data on how much it costs to produce each barrel of oil, each cubic meter of gas, how the cost of the final product is formed along the entire chain, to identify profit leakage points and take measures to minimize the phenomena that negatively affect to the profit.

To create such Center, AVEVA, the project executor, has integrated data from more than 150 heterogeneous systems located at 17 enterprises.

In the course of the project, as Sergey Mashin said, an integrated production monitoring platform was introduced, which included about 2 million measured parameters. This made possible to form detailed information on the costs of each barrel of production and to achieve the following goals:

  • Full transparency of all operations.
  • Improving overall product yield through production optimization.
  • Reduced energy costs by optimizing the value chain.
  • Minimizing the impact of critical situations.

The project took an unprecedented amount of time - just 8 weeks. Sergey Mashin emphasizes:

"The main thing for such Center is to provide the right context for solving the right problems. Information from different disciplines of manufacturing and business is brought together to deliver information to the right people at the right time and in the right context."

In addition to a competent attitude to the context of information tasks, the project used an adaptive design toolkit that automatically adapts data visualization forms depending on the specifics of the end device (laptop, tablet, smartphone with specific screen dimensions and performance indicators).

Sergey Mashin emphasizes that the main face of this complex, deeply integrated information system is a person: “Ultimately, the system gives a person all kinds of tools that allow him to see the signs of risks in advance and take measures to minimize disruptions. For this purpose we "tie" to the notification of a possible problem:  the documentation for the equipment, the model of the production process, the video surveillance system, in order, for example, to see what is happening at this moment at the facility in reality. "

This is why the Control and Interaction Center, first of all, is a tool for human interaction.

Read more about remote access to all processes and data (which is very important in the current environment): here

Center-Driven Data Management - The Basis for Successful Digital Transformation

The development of information systems of an industrial enterprise along the path of creating a digital twin imposes special requirements on the quality of the data used. The stage of operation and modernization of production is associated with the processing of constant changes in data. All these processes lead to the fact that the task of managing corporate data acquires an independent value and becomes one of the parts of the AVEVA software eco-system.

Timur Kokhov, a leading specialist at AVEVA, says that a data management solution is equally useful both in the case when the customer is the owner of the enterprise, and in the case of a professional EPC company.

For the owner of the object, solutions work at the level of formation of requirements, and then are broadcast to contractors and project suppliers. In this case, we get uniform rules of the game for all project participants, which include checking the data received from contractors and suppliers for compliance with previously formed requirements, and management of changes at the operational stage. For EPC companies, the solution implies monitoring of the implementation of both their own data management standards and customer requirements in terms of creating and managing engineering data, and also timely tracking of changes, checking the received data and transferring data to the customer. Key elements of a data management solution:

  • AVEVA NET is a digital information center, the purpose of which is to combine all the necessary information on the project. This data can come in different modes and at different stages of the project.

For example, Greenfield projects are created "in the open field", which does not have any infrastructure, it appears during the implementation of the project. And then there is the Brownfield stage, corresponding to the operational stage of the existing infrastructure. A comprehensive data management solution helps ensure compliance in all cases, as well as completeness and consistency of data throughout the project.

  • Enterprise Information Standard. Today there are no industry standards for the collection of engineering data for the design of industrial facilities focused on design and subsequent operations. The de facto standard can be considered the CFIHOS specification, which is aimed at participants in the supply chain. With its help, specialists from different disciplines of the customer describe the requirements for the project, which in fact become the requirements for the digital asset.

With the participation of the company's information standard, a data model is formed in the AVEVA Information Standard Manager (AVEVA ISM) module, which is the same for all AVEVA solutions. This approach allows you to get guaranteed data at the right time in the required format and in the required volume.

"Our solution is based on an information standard, which is formed to describe the requirements, structure and classify data," emphasizes Timur Kokhov. "The solution provides all the necessary tools for managing changes for data obtained at the early stages of a project."

Integration with third-party systems such as technical document management systems, maintenance and repair systems and many other systems, as well as with specialized AVEVA solutions that match the nature of the enterprise.

AVEVA Data Management Solution Architecture

The base solution is AVEVA ISM, a tool for managing the company's information standard, which allows not only to form a data model for all components of the solution, but also to receive all configured configurations, both for transfer to a subcontractor and for reuse as best practices in other projects.

The AVEVA Gateways component is a collection of batch processing applications that collect engineering data, collect metadata and document files and, of course, 3D models.

AVEVA Preprocessor is responsible for processing the received engineering data and metadata of documents, pre-preparing them for subsequent verification, which takes place directly in the next AVEVA NET Gatekeeper module. It checks the received and processed data for compliance with the business rules described again in the information standard.

AVEVA Change Manager is a change management tool.

AVEVA Workhub & Dashboard is a module that consolidates all received data, documents, three-dimensional models, and is also a convenient tool for searching and presenting all available information on a project.

Information Management Process Using AVEVA Solution

Data for processing in AVEVA Preprocessor comes from various sources: registers in Excel, CSV format, as well as using AVEVA Engineering. The source can also be any CAD system, for example, a flow diagram development system, a 3D design system, etc.

Next, data comparison is performed. At this stage, duplicate objects are cut off, and the inconsistency of attributes is revealed. In particular, mapping is performed, that is the comparison of attributes and classes from sources with attributes and classes of the data model with an information standard. A problematic situation may arise, for example, if a company historically uses a certain CAD system with classes, attributes which have already been introduced in it, but the information standard was developed later. In this case, mapping is required, which will be carried out on the basis of the rules laid down in AVEVA ISM.

Then, a basic check of main basic attributes, such as the class of the object and its belonging to the plant and system, is carried out. This set of attributes is the minimum of required attributes for processing of the received data and preparation for it verification in AVEVA Gatekeeper. All unprocessed data goes into a custom consolidated report.

Further, the processed data goes to the area of ​​checking for compliance with the business rules described in the information standard. It is carried out in the AVEVA NET Gatekeeper module and looks like this.

AVEVA NET Gatekeeper receives data prepared in a specific structure. Each object of the check has its own card, in which the received characteristics and the properties of the object are detailed, and also displays all errors received during the check. For each checked data package, a consolidated detailed report on errors and non-compliance with the requirements of the information standard is generated:

All reports received are processed by data management specialists. Errors are analyzed and transmitted to design disciplines or contractors for correction. All verified data are published in the AVEVA NET module.

AVEVA's approach to informatization of industrial enterprises in a concentrated form demonstrates the benefits and capabilities of data-driven IT architecture and an object-based approach to data management. Engineering data form the foundation of the data centric approach, on which all the mathematical, logical and business models necessary for a specific production are further built: from the creation of detailed mathematical models of specific technological processes to the digital twin of production and complex integrated solutions for business management of large industrial enterprises. At the same time, the platform approach guarantees flexible management of all informatization processes and maximum use of the vast opportunities that the digital twin of the enterprise can provide.

Date: 13 April 2020
Source: Tadvires.ru


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