Taking engineering from document-centric to data-centric

Posted: December 1, 2023

Talking to owner-operators at AVEVA’s yearly global user conference this year, I got a clear message: everyone’s looking for a way to make engineering collaborations go more smoothly. Companies across different industries are contending with:

  • Missing, siloed and incomplete engineering data
  • A lack of project transparency
  • Poor communication
  • Slow and costly cross-functional collaboration

But—and this is the exciting part—companies at AVEVA World 2023 showed us how they’re overcoming these challenges by transitioning from document-centric engineering to data-centric engineering. By putting engineering data in the cloud—where both operators and EPCs can access it securely—enterprises from oil and gas, chemicals, and mining are making engineering projects significantly more efficient.

Collaborating with EPCs at Wacker Chemie

Wacker Chemie has started using AVEVA™ Unified Engineering to collaborate more efficiently with its engineering partners. Before deploying AVEVA Unified Engineering in the cloud, Wacker Chemie used to work with engineering partners through on-premises servers. Often, the engineering partners would have different versions than Wacker—which led to incompatibilities and disagreements about whether Wacker or its partners were on the hook to resolve the mismatch.

AVEVA Unified Engineering eliminates those disputes because Wacker and its partners now work off of the same cloud-accessible database and can create multiple layers for each project. That transparency lets Wacker onboard new designers quickly and lets it easily verify information from its engineering partners—so it can address discrepancies as they crop up rather than dealing with them after handover.

Standardization at Rio Tinto

Rio Tinto had also been contending with custom project designs that EPCMs manually processed, which made them inaccessible during the project and often led to surprises after hand-off—in addition to inconsistencies in cost, schedules and quality.

Rio Tinto has overcome those challenges by adopting an all-AVEVA suite of tools that gives it complete control of its mining projects. In particular, AVEVA™ Asset Information Management and AVEVA™ E3D Design have moved Rio Tinto from document-centric engineering to a data-centric approach that lets it standardize its projects across the globe.

Because every project gets done in Rio Tinto’s own suite of cloud-accessible tools—no matter who’s doing it—the company holds on to every design in a digital library, where engineers can re-use it for future projects across the globe. Engineers employ automated, rules-based design in AVEVA E3D Design to assemble brand new designs out of those previous design components and other standard design assemblies that are in Rio Tinto’s library. So, designs that used to take huge amounts of time now take just hours—and also automatically conform to Rio Tinto’s design standards.

These examples just touch the surface of the exciting things that companies are doing with data-centric engineering in the cloud. To learn more about how digital twins can help you create, own and manage digital assets—and future-proof your organization.

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