Engineering Software From Integrated Engineering to Integrated Operations

Editor: Dominik Stephan

Software does not only bring ease in operations but also add safety and cost efficiency and help in time management. Siemens’ Comos software is the good examples of this, which brings value addition along with the plant automation – form integrated engineering to integrated operations...

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COMOS’ graphic showing holistic approach between all disciplines across the complete plant lifecycle
COMOS’ graphic showing holistic approach between all disciplines across the complete plant lifecycle
(Source: Siemens)

While operating a process plant, companies face the immediate challenge of operating with outdated documentation. This fact does not appear significantly important due to error-free running production in the initial phase. But outdated or even missing documentation while operating or revising a plant lead to concerns. This challenge is even more obvious while scheduling a plant shut-down. Prior a scheduled shut-down, plant operators spent weeks to update their documentation.

This small example indicates only one challenge companies’ face in today’s plant operation business. Furthermore, debottlenecking, basic data to take decision for expanding production or even documentation for any authorities form the challenges of any operating company. It is not always important to look for new machinery to solve problems, even installation of right software helps reduce challenges being faced in day to day plant operations. Siemen’s Comos is one of the such solution, which offers holistic approach between all disciplines across the complete plant lifecycle.


Facing the Engineering Challenges

Deliverables from Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) form the basis for any plant operation. Various structures and formats of the deliverables challenge all operators and pretend them to do efficient maintenance because it is too cumbersome to merge all information and to enable them in the operators’ structure. This raises the question for deliverables from EPC’s in a structure that allows using the information in operation and maintenance phases of plant lifecycle.

Operators should request the deliverables in a common structure, which enables faster commissioning and reduces the operation cost. Due to CAPEX pressure this is mostly not considered by the operators, but leads to higher OPEX.

Since there is no compulsory regulation for standards and structures of deliverables, the software companies promote engineering solutions as standalone tools, which result in not integrated ‘information islands’.