If you think upstream data managers have problems with multiple datasets and the need to disseminate and share data with a wide range of players, think for a moment about what this means for the construction industry. As a large offshore platform is designed, built, operated and eventually decommissioned, hundreds of contractors are involved and need to access and share the same information. Traditional solutions to managing the myriad documents and part specifications involved muddling though, with a ‘start-over’ approach at each new phase of the project.
Data modelers have been working on these issues for some time (see the three part series by Nigel Goodwin in PDM Vol. 4 N° 2-4) and will soon be in a position to offer an asset data repository that can be loaded and used by the multiplicity of operating and contracting companies involved in such a project. The nature of the construction business, with the owner-operator, partners, contractors and subcontractors makes this a perfect target for e-commerce solutions offering distributed access to the central data store. This is the target market for the new e-Asset offering from EDS, PrismTech and Oracle Corp.
e-Asset is a combined software and services offering from Oracle, PrismTech and EDS. e-Asset is ‘an on-line, web-hosted e-commerce-enabled data management solution for capital intensive asset development and management.’ Which, being interpreted means that you will not have to buy and own either the software or the IT infrastructure necessary to reap the fruits of Project Synergy. Owner-operators can set-up an e-Asset based data management system using off-site IT infrastructure, shared by the joint-venture throughout the life-cycle of the project.
Oracle’s Project Synergy (see PDM Vol. 4 N° 2) was announced as a data modeling exercise destined to produce THE definitive versions of the POSC Epicentre data model, and the POSC/CAESAR facilities data model for the construction industry. In the last few months, data modelers working in the facilities arena have agreed to converge plant data models from POSC/CAESAR with those from other standards groups such as ISO/STEP and Epistle. The new merged model – Epistle V3.0 has been deployed by Oracle and PrismTech as the "Synergy EPISTLE Primary Model." This is now in beta testing and forms the heart of the facilities-oriented half of Synergy.
Oracle brings the new Synergy Data Cartridge to the table along with the internet functionality of Oracle 8i and also, components of Oracle’s generic e-business solution Oracle Exchange. EDS’ experience in the field of upstream asset management comes largely from the North Sea’s Eastern Area Trough Project (ETAP). This BP-sponsored initiative applied Business Process Reengineering to seven marginal North Sea fields which would not have been developed without technological innovation. At the heart of ETAP was a data model developed around an early POSC/CAESAR ‘snapshot’. PrismTech contributes the OpenBase asset management tool, which is the process of incorporating the new Oracle 8i-based Synergy Data Cartridge. e-Asset will be going live in the second quarter of year 2000, but services will be available before then.
Coverage of facilities IT is a new venture for PDM and we will be augmenting this with a report from the Plant Information Management conference – PIM’99 held this month in The Hague. e-Asset may be a tough entry point for those seeking to comprehend what may be a new field. Lets recap the constituent parts of e-Asset. Oracle – Project Synergy, Oracle 8i, Oracle Exchange. EDS – IT infrastructure and services. PrismTech – Open Synergy, Open Base. Also served – ISO 15926, AP 221, POSC/CAESAR and Epistle. Hope you’ve got it now ;-).
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