“Plant Information Management - Installation and Commissioning”
“Handover to logistics and supply chain in capital projects”
“Plant Engineering meets Product Engineering in capital projects”
“Plant Information Management - What to manage?”
During operations and maintenance, the two main structures of information needed in order to operate the plant in a safe and reliable manner is the functional or tag structure and the physically installed structure.
The functional tag structure is a multidiscipline consolidated view of all design requirements and criteria, whereas the physically installed structure is a representation of what was actually installed and commissioned together with associated data. It is important to note that the physically installed structure evolves over time during operations and maintenance, so it is vital to make baselines of both structures together to obtain “As-Installed” and “As-Commissioned” documentation
Let’s zoom in on some of the typical use cases of the two structures.
The requirements in the blue tag structure are fulfilled by the physical installation, the yellow structures. In a previous post I promised to get back to why they are represented as separate objects. The reason for this is that during operations one would often like to replace a physical individual on site with another physical individual. This new physical individual still has to fulfill the tag requirements, as the tag requirements (system design) have not changed. In addition we need full traceability of not only what is currently installed, but also what used to be installed at that functional location (see figure 3).
Here we have replaced the vacuum pump during operations with another vacuum pump from another vendor. The new vacuum pump must comply with the same functional requirements as the old one even if they might have different product designs.
This is a very common use case where a product manufacturing company comes up with a new design a few years later. The product might be a lot cheaper and still fulfills the requirements, so if the operator of the plant has 500 instances of such products in the facility, it makes perfect sense to replace them when the old product nears end of life or have extensive maintenance programs.
Another very important reason to keep the tag requirements and physically installed as separate objects is if….or rather when the operator wishes to execute a modification or extension project to the plant.
In such cases one must still manage and record the day to day operation of the plant (work requests and work orders performed on physical equipment in the plant) while at the same time performing a plant design and execution project. This entails Design, Engineering, Procurement, Construction and Commissioning all over again.
The figure shows, that when the blue functional tag structure is kept separate from the yellow physically installed structure we can still operate the current plant on a day to day basis, and at the same time perform new design on the revised system (Revision B).
This allows us to execute all the processes right up until commissioning on the new revision, and when successfully commissioned, the revision B becomes operational.
This all sounds very good in theory, but in practice it is a bit more challenging, as there in the meantime might have been made change orders that effected the design of the previous revision as a result of operations. This is one of the use cases where structured or linked data instead of a document centric approach really pays off, because such a change order would immediately indicate that it would affect the new design, and thus, appropriate measures can be taken at an early stage instead of nasty surprises popping up during installation and commissioning of the new system.
The header image used in this post is by nightman1965 and purchased at dreamstime.com