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Digital tools revolutionise global engineering

Greg Pada, vice-president, head of engineering business, AVEVA. (Image source: AVEVA)

Industrial cooperation de-risks design and build processes to unlock value and sustainability gains for capital projects, says Greg Pada, vice-president, head of engineering business, AVEVA

In the face of supply chain issues, geopolitical tensions, and environmental crises, engineers are tasked with designing and building a sustainable future for generations to come.

They must execute capital projects within razor-thin margins, prevent cost overruns, adhere to tight schedules, and navigate intricate workflows. These challenges apply to both brownfield and new projects and increasingly factor in newer challenges, such as lower-carbon processes and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.

Digital transformation technologies, especially industrial intelligence tools, are revolutionising how these challenges are tackled, unlocking competitive advantages for both business owner-operators and engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) companies.

With a single source of truth for all stakeholders, teams can collaborate seamlessly across the industrial lifecycle, ensuring projects are delivered on time and within budget. Engineering operations are optimised at scale, and innovation becomes easier.

Collaboration transforms value

Within an integrated, intelligent ecosystem, internal and external teams can unite to transform value chains into agile, profitable, and sustainable networks.
Across geographies, industrial teams are already collaborating on common problems with colleagues from within their companies and from partner organizations. However, they must frequently contend with data silos and a diverse mix of tools and disciplines.

An open, agnostic digital backbone can help break down these barriers.

Such a connected ecosystem enhances real-time collaboration and builds communities that can access the same intelligence to build solutions for complex, multifaceted problems together.

With increased transparency, the design, build, and handover stages of capital projects become less risky. In turn, businesses can reduce time to market for new products.

Secure data sharing is the game-changer

In a connected industrial ecosystem, engineering data becomes accessible to teams at all levels, regardless of where they are based—often with tools such as the digital twin. While maintaining security and confidentiality requirements, these united workflows foster a flexible, collaborative work culture and help attract new talent.
Business stakeholders likewise gain timely access to the information they need, promoting efficient collaboration.

Several industrial enterprises are realising tangible benefits from just such connected, data-centric approaches to design and build.

Engineering processes become simpler

Teams at Commonwealth Fusion Systems, the US-based energy innovator, work to deliver clean, limitless power to the world. By sharing essential 1D, 2D, and 3D engineering data in the cloud, remote and hybrid teams can design and build simultaneously. As they develop data models, they can add complex details specifying how each component relates to the next. This has improved accuracy, reduced re-work, and slashed project times, while eliminating IT overheads.

Real-time collaboration helps optimise industrial operations. Yinson Production helps the energy services industry improve safety and sustainability with its autonomous floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) units. The maritime contractor is involved across the entire project lifecycle, from engineering and build to operations and decommissioning. As business has expanded, Yinson has required more control of its data and the ability to structure it better. Using a cloud-based data management system together with a digital engineering suite, Yinson teams can now collaborate around real-time data dashboards and view operational assets in context. This speeds up maintenance and execution, all within the same solution. With the software, greenhouse gas emissions are now monitored daily instead of monthly, putting Yinson on track for reductions of 30% by 2030.

Sharing data with external partners improves the entire ecosystem. When enterprise and industrial data is securely shared with external partners, teams can come together to solve operational challenges, generate value, and drive project efficiencies for mutual benefit. Wood, the leading global EPC, has created an innovative Connected Build strategy that revolves around a unified, cloud-based capital project execution suite. Materials and construction management information is now shared among its project and customer teams in real time, improving financial and sustainability outcomes.

Capital projects can easily be executed on time and within budget. That’s the experience of Vista Projects in the field of oil and gas. When it implemented a suite of integrated digital engineering solutions on a large-scale greenfield energy project, the Canadian engineering firm saved 16% of project costs and reduced engineering manhours by 10-15%.

Industrial intelligence transforms capital project deliveries

Connected data solutions offer the competitive advantages needed amid an increasingly complex engineering landscape. They can help avoid the time and budget delays that are common to capital projects while improving project sustainability.

Accenture estimates that 95% of all billion-dollar projects are delivered late or over budget.

EPC 4.0—digital transformation of EPC companies using Industry 4.0 technologies—fosters innovation and empowers teams to deliver projects on time and within budget. Their benefits encompass cost-effectiveness, sustainability, and innovation, all of which are vital for the growth and prosperity of EPCs and owner-operators in today’s competitive market.

As markets continue to grow more challenging, building a collaborative environment to support data-centric engineering and design teams is the way forward for simplified engineering.

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