This article first appeared in the Winter 2015 issue of OnWindows.
Cost overruns reflect the fact that whatever is being built, from a power plant, to pipeline, to refinery, is usually a major engineering challenge extending over many years. However, outdated approaches to project management may be making things worse.
We think that the energy sector needs to establish a better way to manage projects. A single system to take care of two key requirements. The first is capturing data in documents and drawings including technical information created in different applications. The second is sharing this important information with suppliers across the initiative – and across the globe. The system will also need to hold the project plan, track and trace every milestone, capture all documents and drawings in workflows and provide a single repository for every file relating to every component.
It should also provide a complete audit trail for regulatory requirements, warn managers where overruns are – and help them find out why – and provide real-time data throughout the project to help them make better decisions. To achieve this goal, we believe a new approach – a smart innovation approach – to project management is needed. One that uses digitisation to capture innovation.
An enterprise solution like Siemens Teamcenter provides these capabilities through a digital master project environment. The benefits of this type of solution are many. With a digital master document platform – as provided by Teamcenter – all suppliers can provide their CAD files in neutral formats like ISO 14306 to be used to securely store and keep with the project’s other documents and drawings. Not only are the files easy to search, but they can be reused in future projects to accelerate innovation and save time and money.
What’s more, having an end-to-end lifecycle approach makes the connections across the project and different teams to pull everything together in a single, controllable place accessible to all project personnel. And, with a complete picture of where projects are, teams can make better decisions.
Overall, the complete visibility provided by a PLM solution like Teamcenter creates a smart innovation platform. It equips product teams to gain unprecedented control over huge projects with the ability to capture, analyse and systematically trace and resolve project issues in a timely and cost-effective manner. Capturing all workflows and designs will also accelerate innovation in future plant builds and will help ensure that more projects are delivered on time, on budget – and profitably.
Eduard Marfa is director of EMEA Marketing for Teamcenter at Siemens PLM Software
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