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An Instrument Data Base for a Large Project

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000219846D
Publication Date: 2012-Jul-17
Document File: 4 page(s) / 180K

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An Instrument Data Base for a Large Project

Richard von Brecht

M. W. Kellogg

Houston, Texas

The Information Explosion

There has been a tremendous increase in the information required to build a process plant. An instrument data base has been developed to help manage this problem. The reason a data base is necessary is that technology, complexity and risk reduction have created an information overload. Technology has advanced significantly. However, greatly expanded information production has been the cost of applying these advances. Increases are also due to compound- ing complexity. In the past, equipment had been designed to receive an input from one source under narrow design conditions. Today, flexibility is demanded. Inputs and outputs are being used by many different devices, often at the same time. Equipment is expected to operate over much wider conditions. Risk reduction to avoid potential plant outages and construction delays has further compounded information needs. Even small startup delays and short producti-on-.~hutdowns represent enormous-losses of revenues. Daily l-osses of more than a million dollars are common. Reliability is improved by doing more engineering. This, in turn, boosts the output of information. All of this has resulted in a significant expansion of information requirements.

The problem of information management is most felt in instrumentation work. Technology improvements made possible by advanced microelectronics have been rapid and the instrument area has felt the effects of these advancements. Secondly, complexity has grown due to the possibilities from these improve- ments. Control schemes that were considered impractical a few years ago are now routine. Lastly, risk reduction of plant shutdowns has often fallen upon control systems, As a result, the quantity of paper produced and received in the instrument area to deal with these problems is tremendous and growing.

The Instrument Engineering Group is the largest user and ~roducer of infor- mation on a project, Over half of the information produced and issued is instrument drawings and specification sheets. Existing paper based systems are inadequate. On one project, 6,000 of the 10,000 drawings released for construc- tion and operation were instrument drawings. A typical project of half a billion dollars has over 557,000 data items. Approximately fifty percent of the data or 335,000 items are on instrument data sheets. Approximately half of this data or a quarter of the total is common information. The use of a computer data base can help manage the information.

~,f~icienc~ Improvement

An instrument information system can improve efficiency two ways. First, the amount of effort can be reduced. .This can done by entering data once rather than recopying from document to document. Likewise, standard loop and data sheet patterns that serve as starting points can raise efficiency by supply prefilled out data.

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Overall efficiency is als...