FIATECH Conference 2009, Las Vegas

ISO 15926 center stage, BP ‘safety from data,’ ISO X3D, Equipment Information Exchange, more...

The FIATECH Conference* held last month is now the show for use of the ISO 15926 construction data standard. ISO 15926 was cited in no less than nine presentations. Petronas Carigali reported enthusiastically on the use of the standard which, along with other ISO, NIST and IEC standards, underpin the company’s PCIM project (OITJ May 2007) and its Virtual Facilities Data Center (VFDC), an engineering data portal and simulation environment that leverages technology from AVEVA. For Petronas, the road to information interoperability is via standardization, meta data and data structures. The VFDC was deployed on Petronas’ Angsi field, a joint venture with ExxonMobil (also a FIATECH member).

As we reported earlier (OITJ January 2009), the Camelot/iRing ISO 15926 demonstrator showed how, with publicly available tools, legacy systems have been mapped to ISO 15926. Data exchange scenarios involved engineering companies located in Athens, Brisbane, Houston, Pune and elsewhere. ISO 15926-compliant apps involved include SmartPlant, PlantSpace P&ID, OpenPlant PowerPID and even Excel. The public iRing should be up and running by the time you read this at

Fiatech is also working on a standard for automated procurement and supply of process equipment. Current projects using this Automating Equipment Information Exchange (AEX) include Heat Exchanger datasheets (KBR), and a global valve cross-reference e-Catalog (GVCC). The GVCC incorporates work done by the Process Industry Practices (PIP) organization. GVCC/PIP members include Aramco, AVEVA, Chevron, Conoco-Phillips, FMC, Honeywell, Intergraph and Sunoco. Deliverables include a web based valve selector (due for Q4 2009) and a migration path for valve manufacturers from existing Word/PDF files to the AEX Schema.

Deborah Grubbe, VP Safety with BP explained how Fiatech was helping companies ‘use data to enhance safety.’ Various initiatives are working to make it easier to do hazard and risk analyses through standard methodologies –when to use what tool. The workgroup is also investigating computer assisted FMEA, FTA, HAZOP analyses and how to ‘build’ maintenance into a facility. Engineering applications can be extended for diagnostics—for instance, process hazard analysis changes can be tied to design documentation.

John Arthur, CTO of Norwegian high-end visualization specialist Octaga, outlined how standards and 3D gaming technology have been used in asset life cycle management. Octaga has built high-end virtual reality environments for use on major capital projects such as Chevron’s Agbami FPSO and StatoilHydro’s OrmenLang. The ISO X3D standard provides a rich toolkit for industrial visualization. Octaga has combined X3D with domain specific ISO standards, notably the uniquitous ISO 15926 to create interactive 3D models coupled with engineering design data. The result is that asset data becomes more accessible to operations and maintenance and development and prototyping are quicker. X3D provides ‘game quality’ visualization that can be used in CAD Models. ECMA scripting provides logic and interactive 2D overlays and cinematic camera paths for fly-throughs. Asset information within the models are searchable by tag.

Don Jacob, VP Engineering with Bluebeam Software suggested an alternative, pragmatic alternative to the full-blown business information model. Jacob described Adobe’s PDF format as the ‘overlooked stepchild’ of new technologies. PDF can ‘grease the wheels’ of engineering projects by providing a natural extension to current work practices.

Moreover, few users today are aware of PDF’s rich feature set.

Kopin Corp. was showing its ‘Golden-i’ head mounted display. This embeds a cell phone, wireless networks and ‘Nuance’ natural speech control. Golden-i displays interactive plant models to field engineers that can be shared with remote subject matter experts. Target workflows include live daily reports, red-lining, monitoring field work and ‘instant access’ to maintenance data.

* Presentations available on

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