USPI-NL Annual Management Board meeting

Shell’s engineering information management on Kashagan. EU-backed maintenance knowledge management project. AixCAPE/Bayer—ISO 15926 ‘viable technology, but technically complex.’

Speaking at a meeting of the USPI-NL plant standards body in The Netherlands earlier this year, Shell Global Solutions Jason Roberts provided an insight into Shell’s current engineering information management (EIM) with a case history of engineering handover on the giant Kashagan development in Kazakhstan. EIM enables project information workflows and also consolidates asset information from multiple repositories such as SAP, Aspen HySys, Aveva PDMS and many more. But the real drivers for EIM are time (a week saved on Kashagan equates to around $35 million) and asset integrity. Because asset integrity is a life-of-facility issue, so too is EIM, which spans design build, handover, operations and maintenance. Kashagan’s build involved operations across the western hemisphere, from Aberdeen to Yokogawa. These produced millions of equipment tags and engineering documents. Great consideration was given to exactly what was required from vendors and to the format of information delivered.

Shell’s standardization effort centers on the Shell reference data library (RDL), a web based application holding engineering objects, relations, properties and reference data. The application allows stakeholders to drill down through the engineering hierarchy, cloning and modifying existing objects to suit requirements and output specifications in Excel or Word for use by members of the front-end engineering design team.

Bas Kimpel (Momentive Specialties) described progress on the EU-backed maintenance knowledge management (MKM) project whose goal is to publish EU-guidelines for consistent, complete and timely information required for maintenance activities. The idea is to capture maintenance knowledge into modules so that maintenance is ‘less dependant on the individual carrying out the work.’ A tested knowledge base will be made available to companies in the process industry supply chain. Modules will be available under NEN/CEN/ISO and will be maintained by industry as required—there should be ‘no need to re-invent these all the time.’ The project interviewed maintenance specialists in Shell, SABIC, BP and Dow and has established minimum information, knowledge and competence requirements for use cases such as repairing a process control valve. The study has established that it is possible to define a common repair methodology that can be made available as a standard process. Work orders are likewise amenable to standardization—preferably using a common maintenance dictionary. The work embeds the Orchid plant engineering information standard and will ultimately inform PAS 55/ISO 55000 maintenance standards. Visit the embryonic MyMaintenancePortal (in Dutch).

Manfred Theissen introduced the Aix la Chapelle (Aachen) computer aided process engineering organization AixCAPE (1102), an ‘application-oriented platform for research transfer.’ AixCAPE member Bayer has been testing the ISO 15926 plant information standard for information exchange across tools and companies. Bayer concluded that ‘ISO 15926 is a viable technology, but technically complex.’ Today the project has achieved ‘lab scale status’ and more work is required to use at-scale. A common understanding of modeling issues has yet to be reached to avoid ‘starting from scratch every time.’ ISO 15926 needs more take-up in commercial tools and better support from CAE providers. Read the presentations on USPI-NL.

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