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Is data integration best suited to a closed enterprise system or should it be an evolutionary process?

In today’s move from a digital environment into a data centric design environment, engineering companies and owner operators are faced with the challenges of either moving its operation systems into a closed enterprise system, or progressing cautiously in an evolutionary process. Both have their merits, thus the question on which way is best practice?

My experience is predominantly in the EPC design of plant, energy and mining industry where the evolutionary process was preferred. Allowing for project work to continue and evolve while the new skills (creation of mechanical, civil and structural equipment libraries with attributes and piping specifications to suit the local market) are learnt, implemented and shared across disciplines.

This process distributes its information (line list, valve list, IO lists and tag numbers) through the P&ID’s to both E&CI, as well as to the Mechanical, Piping departments, keeping a common data environment that can be rapidly deployed and becomes immediately relevant and useful between P&ID’s and Piping through Tags and Line numbers whereas the link to E&CI was done through Tags in the data sheets.

Making it a flexible application with a quick ROI, still allowing for an open loop. The downfall here is that it requires weekly project reviews in order to address manual revision control of the model, where one requires to plug in any new change orders for compounding or existing errors without ever being aware there was an error to begin with. This means productivity can fall on missed operations because of the open loop.

When focusing in on 2/3D design workflow (engineering integration and errors in design for all disciplines) and review (without looking at audits, for both internal and remote teams. This process must still happen but the results and necessary actions have to be shared differently.

Existing processes that worked in a single location will have to be reviewed and amended, but very quickly together with 4D and web collaboration is a subject question for the future) and approve cycle of the work-flow remains important allowing for the extraction of all multi-disciplinary 2D layouts and the generation of isometric piping drawings from the models. It leads to the big question. What’s the best practice when moving to a data generated platform with software platforms by differing vendors?

For your views please feel free to contact Manny on administrator@caddman.co.za.

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  1. John Marshall

    Interesting question, would like feedback from clients on there companies choice and experiences

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