26AVEVA World Magazine 2011|Issue 2A very wise commentator once wrote that the biggest revenue loss in all plants around the world is human error. This, he said, was not because operators or maintainers make mistakes, but, instead, because they do not have the information to hand to make the right decisions.Such absence of information presents a huge problem in process plant environments. The whole plant lifecycle, from design, to brownfield activity, to shutdown, turns on the availability, exchange and update of all kinds of data and information. Yet many brownfield plants, particularly older ones, are still using non-integrated forms of information. These may be electronic, or simply paper. The barriers to 'converting' to an integrated, digital data set, where the right information is always available in electronic form, are high. The process is slow and costly.Examining the risksYet if you don't have this fully 'digital plant', the accessibility of all your data - 2D and 3D, documents, enterprise, and many more - suffers immensely. In any brownfield environment, there is significant divergence between the as-designed and the as-built plant. If this divergence is tracked, recorded and understood, it presents no danger, but if it is allowed to continue undetected and unexplored, it generates great potential risk. Operational costs increase as operators battle with inaccurate, out of date, or simply unavailable data and records. There is also an increased probability of an incident that could lead to excursions outside of the plant's operational perimeter, and create the potential for injury and fatalities, to both operator and the public. Regrettably, history has given us some powerful examples of this. In one facility, failure to capture and model a one-inch pipe run, and understand the dependencies on it, ultimately led to an incident that resulted in eight days' loss of operations, worth approximately $50m.The reality is that the teams involved in this incident probably did have access to at least some of the information in digital, rather than paper, form. But the real problem was the absence of any integrated digital data structure that could tie all this information together, across the many different applications and databases in which it was stored, and across all the different teams for which it had relevance. In the digital plant, integration is a must-have. Brownfield asset capture - at light speed!Paul Spring VP Product Business Management, AVEVA'In one facility, failure to capture and model a one-inch pipe run, and understand the dependencies on it, ultimately led to an incident that resulted in eight days' loss of operations, worth approximately $50m...'An equipment nozzle, showing the intelligent 3D modelling that has been produced directly from the laser scan data.
AVEVA World Magazine 2011|Issue 227As-built information - the challengesThe key challenge for the brownfield operator is that building up a comprehensive set of as-built information, particularly for older facilities where there is little or nothing in the way of an existing electronic record of the plant, has involved sending personnel on-site to carry out slow, hazardous and expensive manual surveys.More recently, the use of laser modelling has provided a more economical and comprehensive solution to the problem. Scanning hardware is positioned at strategic points in the site that is being surveyed and rapidly 'scans' the environment using a laser beam, to produce a photo-realistic representation. However, laser scanning has not been without its limitations. The resultant laser scans tend to be used only once, and then they are disposed of. They could deliver far more value and be used as the basis of many different activities, but this requires integrating the laser data with an existing 3D plant model. Unfortunately, if there is no 3D model available, building one has typically been an expensive and lengthy undertaking. Essentially, the laser data has to go through two very labour-intensive processes, after it has been captured. Firstly, it has to be converted into intermediate geometry. Secondly, it has to be converted from geometry into the 3D model. Using these conventional techniques, it has been estimated that each hour of scanning time can require as much as 20 hours of back-office processing. AVEVA Laser Modeller and AVEVA IntelliLaserThe answer appears simple: get rid of the intermediate geometry stage. In other words, take the laser scan data, and convert it straight into a 3D model. This is exactly what AVEVA has now achieved with AVEVA Laser Modeller. This product links laser scan data with 3D component catalogues, enabling the creation, from scratch, of an intelligent and validated 3D model. The 3D model accurately reflects the as-built facility, but the manual intervention (and associated cost) is reduced to a fraction of what was previously required. AVEVA also enables laser scan data to be used to create a rapid asset management tool, via AVEVA IntelliLaser. This product ties together laser scan data, the intelligent 3D model, and all the associated data and documents, creating a common digital infrastructure for all as-built information and deliverables. For example, by clicking on a pump that has been captured by laser scanning, and then converted directly into an element within a 3D model, the IntelliLaser user can access every single piece of digital or scanned information relating to that pump - whatever format it is in, and wherever it is stored.All this benefit flows from the ability to link laser scan data and 3D model data together effectively - and cheaply. The journey to brownfield 3D has been a slow one for many in the industry. Our message to these communities now is this: you'll get there a lot quicker on a laser beam.AVEVA is revolutionising how laser scanning data is transformed into intelligent, as-built 3D modelling, by removing the slow and expensive intermediate geometry stage.