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Home > Posts > AVEVA and the Future of Plant Design
January 17

AVEVA and the Future of Plant Design

Keywords: Plant Design, AVEVA Everything3D, Lean Construction, Laser Scanning, Mobility, Owner-Operators.

AVEVA executives recently briefed ARC Advisory Group on the company's just-released, "AVEVA Everything3D" plant design software. The company wants to make it clear that the market for plant design software is changing and that both the EPCs and owner-operators are driving these changes.

Global demand for new plants and infrastructure is increasing steadily with the growth of regional economies and the business and industrial requirements that accompany this growth. Along with this demand, comes increased risk for new projects that tend to be larger and more complex, making it more difficult to meet time and cost constraints and deliver plants that can operate with maximum efficiency and safety.

Examples of technology that drives change in plant design are affordable and more portable laser scanning systems, mobility technology applied to design/build collaboration, and cloud computing that enable designers and owner-operators to access applications and tools that allow faster and more efficient design and operations. AVEVA is addressing the changing face of plant design and construction projects with the company's most significant design application since the introduction of PDMS over three decades ago: AVEVA Everything3D (AVEVA E3D).

The engineering workforce for plant design is also changing. Retiring engineers are taking design knowledge out the door with them, while new engineers entering the workforce bring with them a completely new set of expectations regarding the software design tools they will be using. According to the company, AVEVA E3D addresses both sides of this issue with a knowledge-based engineering approach and a 3D design environment that the next-generation of engineers expects in the design workspace.

Plant Design for Lean Construction
In defining the future of plant design, AVEVA developed a vision for plant design and lean construction. The company embraced the basic tenets of lean manufacturing conceived and implemented decades ago. The three basic principles of lean are: 1) Respect for people, 2) Eliminate all non-value added activity, i.e. waste, and 3) Maximize the efficiency of value-added activities. For lean construction, the company adapted traditional lean manufacturing concepts to enable feedback from construction activities to design as an on-going and routine part of the design/build process, as opposed to feedback forced by crisis.

In today's plant design environment design concepts and detail design are partially unified. However, when progressing through to the fabrication stages and, ultimately, to the project construction stage; there is often a disconnect between the design and physical construction.

The company's vision, enabled by AVEVA E3D, is to use next-generation technologies such as laser point cloud modeling to capture the exact virtual state of the construction project and feed back 3D virtual models to compare to the original design models. This would enable EPCs and construction contractors to incorporate and compare actual construction states with original designs and update or revise as required. The company anticipates that this would result in significant reduction in project duration and costly late-stage revisions, as well as shortening the time to project completion and handover to the owner-operator. ARC believes that this approach could potentially reduce construction rework and minimize risk and the associated project duration and cost overruns.

AVEVA Everything3D in Action
With AVEVA E3D, the company offers its PDMS customer base migration options for engineering, design, and project management. Users will be able to adopt a migration plan that enables parallel use of PDMS design functionality, engineering, and diagrams along with the advanced AVEVA E3D modeling functionality. AVEVA E3D offers new technology features such as 3D laser scanning integrated into modeling; 3D graphics optimized for modeling; new, easier- to-use user interfaces; 2D and 3D geometry interfaces; drafting integrated with the 3D model; and high performance for large network collaboration.

In addition to laser scanning technology, the solution includes mobility technology to enable plant design for lean construction. Incorporating these transformative technologies into the new solution set will enable users to gain access to design/build solutions specific to their project requirements remotely from the design office. AVEVA E3D mobile apps will allow engineers and construction technicians to use mobile smart devices to gain access to design models and project information on site.

Today, industries such as oil & gas and energy in general are clearly in a growth mode, particularly in the emerging economies. The demands for new assets and facilities across both upstream and downstream oil & gas are significant on a global scale. With AVEVA's long-term experience providing plant design tools to these industries, the company is well-positioned for growth in the selected industries it serves.

With the introduction of AVEVA Everything3D, the company has attempted to address what it believes will be the future of plant design and the virtual design tools that the next generation of plant designers will require. This appears to be very much in keeping with the company's philosophy: "For every physical asset there should exist a digital one."

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