Facility Assets in the energy industry are characterized by an increasing complexity. There is a need for better communication between organizations, people, and IT systems. Actors in the industry use different methods, tools, and work processes to develop a Facility Asset. This misalignment is seen:
- Along with the Capital Value Process (CVP).
- Along the supply chain.
- Between Disciplines and Systems within the same Facility Asset.
The consequences of this, is loss of information are risk of safety and quality breaches, need for work to be done twice, a lot of manual mapping, reduced possibilities for re-use of concepts and design, lock-in in a portfolio of applications, and a lot of company-specific requirements that are tuned to fulfill needs for a certain portfolio of applications.Figure 1 summarizes the problem of today’s way of working. The figure illustrates the logical flow of value creation during an industrial investment and development project, whereas the actual execution schedule will have many overlaps and iterations that are intentionally left out.
When a Facility Asset is developed today, the work begins by defining the overall requirements and functionality (DG0). The result is typically contained in a few documents, which means that at this stage a holistic description is feasible ❶. As the work progresses into the design phase of the Facility Asset, more specialization and discipline expertise are necessary to develop the details (DG1 and DG2). Since the way of working is document-based, the result is an increasing number of documents. This leads to a fragmentation of information spread across documents, due to the inherent features of their format. Because of this fragmentation, it becomes gradually impossible to keep up a holistic description of the Facility Asset. The result is extensive interface coordination between the discipline experts ❷.
When the investment decision is made to execute the construction of the Facility Asset (DG3) ❸, the number of documents fabricated grows exponentially as the supply chain involving both contractors, suppliers, and manufacturers ramp up their deliveries for construction, installation, and commissioning of the Facility Asset ❹. At this stage, and likely to have started earlier in the CVP, a lot of information in documents is duplicated, resulting in several sources of the same information. The consequence of this is labor-intensive work to prevent safety and quality breaches.
When the operation (DG4) and handover to the Operator takes place ❺, the fragmentation has grown to an extreme. Information about individual parts of the Facility Asset is provided, but very little about how they relate and are part of a whole. This often results in a need to ‘re-engineer’ the solution to establish the complete picture necessary to operate, control, maintain, and later do modifications on the Facility Asset ❻. Going into the operation phase of the Facility Asset, the Operator is left with an enormous amount of information that is hard to maintain ❼.
It should also be mentioned that a lack of overview at the decision gates will in many cases decrease the quality of decisions, as an overview is hard to attain when most information resides in unrelated fragments.