January 31, 2005
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A weekly news magazine featuring important industry news profiles, a summary of recently published AEC product and company news, customer wins, and coming events. Brought to you by AECCafe.
Welcome to AECWeekly! I have never attended daratechPLANT before, so I have nothing to compare it to in terms of how many attendees are generally present or the excitement over particular trends. Some things remain in common with all other conferences, however; it did boast the highest pre-reg that had been seen in years, and the trends revealed themselves quite clearly within the first day of conference. It is attended by a specific culture, that of owner/operators and EPCs from the oil and gas and pharmaceutical companies, companies that are generally very successful. Read about it in this week's Industry News.
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Susan Smith, Managing Editor
By Susan Smith
State of the industry
I have never attended daratechPLANT before, so I have nothing to compare it to in terms of how many attendees are generally present or the excitement over particular trends. Some things remain in common with all other conferences, however; it did boast the highest pre-reg that had been seen in years, and the trends revealed themselves quite clearly within the first day of conference. It is attended by a specific culture, that of owner/operators and EPCs from the oil and gas and pharmaceutical companies, companies that are generally very successful.
Since oil companies are among those that are doing well, there was a proliferation of them speaking at this year's daratechPLANT, as well as pharmaceutical giants. According to one attendee, last year was a transition year for Daratech, and this year we're seeing rejuvenation and a focus on the operator side.
Charles Foundyller, CEO, Daratech
The introductory address delivered by Charles Foundyller, CEO of Daratech, on Monday, January 24, gave an overview of the role of Daratech in the plant and process industry, a offering "knowledge, research and services" based on 25 years in the business of engineering IT markets, culture and technologies. Foundyller pointed to the functionality of Plant Lifecycle Management (PLM) or Asset Lifecycle Management (ALM). Owner/operators and EPC CIOs say that operational efficiency is their prime objective, and that their #1 issue is inadequate interoperability.
In an National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) study, it was found that inadequate interoperability cost the U.S. capital facilities industry $15.8 billion per year. This is 1%-2% of industry revenue. According to NIST, two-thirds of these costs are borne by the owner/operators directly.
The industry's response to this study is Asset Lifecycle Management, which seeks to streamline and integrate all asset lifecycle processes. Asset lifecycle management components include data-centric systems, information backbones, data management, assorted data-centric applications, solutions for creation, construction, operations, maintenance and legacy data. Foundyller said that investment ultimately is required from all departments, functions and processes in order to be successful. The benefits include cost, safety, quality and schedule.
Hidden costs include:
Tools are available to minimize these problems. Some departments may not see benefits for a long time, if ever.
Obstacles and challenges:
Credibility and cost
Broad buy-in necessary
Pain and gain not equal
Traditional department performance measures need revision
Adoption of new standards
Technical challenges include:
More complete APIs
Credibility and cost challenge
Long term investment
High perceived costs
ROI mostly intuitive (it is difficult to quantify and takes years to realize)
Investors only loosely connected to beneficiaries
Challenges to suppliers are to:
At the same time companies are revising business strategy to support interoperability, companies must consider customers' needs. But as Foundyller quoted from some unknown industry expert, "Once you have them by the data, their hearts and minds will follow."
The key characteristics of a supplier are: personality, leadership and technology.
Leadership really means having a leading edge vision of the future which resonates among customers. It can also mean that the company leads in the market, has the biggest revenue, or has great vision.
Personality involves quality of management, trust and customer friendliness. Organizations with personality think of what the customer really wants, research customer needs and view everything from the customer's point of view.
Technology pointers are benchmark, quality (stability), and value (what does it provide for the cost).
Foundyller said that a successful supplier must succeed in at least there of these domains in order to be successful. Suppliers must also be around for a long time in order to serve plant lifecycles. Being a leader in technology is probably the most difficult position to maintain as something new or better comes along very quickly to depose the leader.
Personality and technology are the best combination, said Foundyller, as "customers will be loyal to you." Leadership and personality are also very good, but it was made clear that any combination without personality was not going to do well.
Looking into the future, Foundyller spoke of the next five years in which we will see:
IT industry changes
Disruptive technologies include
Technology to support as built
"Wireless is unique because it can collect information where access is now impossible or not practical. The cost of instrumenting is gone," said Foundyller. "Wireless can do performance monitoring, detect incipient failures, sensors can be used in concrete and other materials, organizations can optimize preventive maintenance, and practice condition based maintenance, among other advantages."
As built will benefit from
Real time as built will offer real savings for companies for verification during construction as they will be able to compare the capture of the real world while continually scanning the worksite, and be able to maintain a digital model of the plant throughout its lifetime. To do a revamp today, a plant must be resurveyed, but this will not be an issue in the near future.
Search engines provide data correlation for unstructured data. The use of the internet makes it possible already for us to be able to work with unstructured data.
Behavioral modeling and intelligent P&IDs
Behavior model of plant or equipment and its topology
There has been an enormous growth in P&ID solutions. "there is $69 million spent on P&ID now, and by 2010, there could be a steep rise," Foundyller noted.
IT industry changes include:
Growing ALM market opportunities
VC-funded startups focusing on a growing number of tools
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-- Susan Smith, AECCafe.com Managing Editor.
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