Access Made Simple and Fast Efficient Digital Process Documentation for an Indian Oil Company

Editor: Dominik Stephan

The Indian Oil Corporation (IOCL) wanted to be able to store and document and access all its technical data and drawings using a documentation node. Here is an overview of the initial scenario, the solution and results obtained by the Group that allowed for efficient access to all the data at any given time.

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FIG 1: Documents individually stored as hard copies or as diverse file formats on different systems
FIG 1: Documents individually stored as hard copies or as diverse file formats on different systems
(Picture: Rösberg Engineering)

The Indian Oil Corporation (IOCL) owning and operating 10 of India’s 22 refineries had many new projects coming up, with huge quantities of Instrumentation and Controls (I&C) technical data and drawings like Piping and Instrumentation Diagrams (P&ID), loop diagrams, interconnecting wiring diagrams, instruments specifications etc., with the average number of loops in each project ranging from 5,000 to 30,000.

To add to this, the groups’ existing refineries had huge amounts of I&C data which were scattered, and managed as hard copies or different file formats on different systems that were individually stored (refer figure 1).


FIG 1: Documents individually stored as hard copies or as diverse file formats on different systems
FIG 1: Documents individually stored as hard copies or as diverse file formats on different systems
(Picture: Rösberg Engineering)

Keeping Data Up–to–Date: Problems with Paper Documentation

It is not unusual for several files to have to examined when carrying out engineering and searching for particular information. For any modification, several files need to be updated manually. With paper documentation there is no efficient, intelligent search method. Documents are removed from files and modified, but may be put back in the wrong place, or not replaced at all.

Requirements for a Digital Documentation Node

To overcome these problems, IOCL drew up the specification for a dedicated documentation node system to integrate I&C drawings and documents into a single database, so that time and effort could be saved when collecting the desired data during maintenance. The requirements highlighted were as follows. The vendor appointed would be responsible for supplying a completely engineered documentation node, including the necessary software to meet the requirements for the node.

The vendor was also to generate the database to display and print out all unit documentation from the documentation node. The node was to consist of a workstation or PC together with accessories such as a CD writer and a storage device such as streamer tape / external hard disk.

As a minimum requirement, the node had to store complete unit documentation for all units with instrument specification sheets, including all field devices and P&IDs for all the units. The specifications would essentially consist of a loop name, tag number, location, service and all major attributes to uniquely identify the instruments in the plant.

The node also had to be able to generate new drawings and documents and load these into the system as required. It had to enable information to be converted to and from MS Access and Excel formats, to be transferred to and accessed from other PCs on the network. It had to print out various documents as required.

Designing a Documentation Node Software for an Oil Compnay

After proper evaluation of different I&C software systems available in the market, IOCL, in consultation with the Project Management Consultants and DCS vendors for the respective projects, decided to use PRODOK as the documentation node software. The I&C CAE system PRODOK ensures efficient and thorough project engineering, consistent documentation of process instruments and control equipment, and standardization of the engineering process.

PRODOK interfaces with other applications
PRODOK interfaces with other applications
(Picture: Rösberg Engineering)

It also functions as a comprehensive engineering database management software platform for a particular project, so that after the plant has been commissioned, maintenance of the plant engineering documentation becomes easier, facilitating healthy plant maintenance. The I&C CAE system PRODOK integrates all I&C technical data and drawings such as loop diagrams, interconnecting wiring diagrams, instrument specifications etc. into a single database, saving time and effort in collecting the desired data during maintenance.

Systematic and Flexible – Useful Features

One especially useful feature of PRODOK is that it provides a systematic and flexible document management structure. It also provides powerful search features capable of searching not only keywords, but also the contents of the documents and drawings for information such as tag names, JB numbers, cable numbers, instrument make and model, etc. The most useful feature, however, has to be the principle ‘Change Once – Update All’. Any change or editing that is carried out in the database updates the document or drawing in the entire system.

Other benefits are the ease of obtaining extracts from the database by queries, easy input of as-built data and documentation, and reinforcement of engineering and customer standards by the master libraries. The electronic documentation enables access by all entitled users. The interface to SAP MM and SAP PM is a very useful feature. Redline, markups and notes support maintenance tasks, and greatly simplify the task of keeping plant information up to date.

* First published in PROCESS India October 2013