This project focuses on an improved plant design process for saving costs and time and increasing quality, leading to better results in general.
In most cases a plant is designed and built by a consortium of companies at different locations, frequently also of diverse nationalities. Each company is specialised in certain engineering areas, with a main contractor holding responsibility for the composition of the consortium and the execution of the project. During the design process, technical drawings and documents must be modified and adopted among the partners. In an ongoing project this becomes increasingly time-consuming and binds significant resources. The organisation of these processes, termed revision management, constitutes the main focus of this proposal.
The intention is to provide a distributed revision management system for plant design based on distributed databases and allowing distributed teams to work on their individual tasks with the ability to access all relevant data concerning their project. Revisions can be made at any time and are visible to all partners immediately, thus enabling concurrent engineering on a level not available in plant design at present and therefore making significant cost and time savings possible.
The revision management system requires an open and extensible kernel model in order to allow for the development of new, dedicated applications directly based on the kernel, as well as the connectivity of existing applications to the system. For the latter, an interface must be provided that is based on a STEP application protocol adopted for plant design purposes. Furthermore, the system kernel constitutes the link to the distributed database and must include revisioning and versioning capabilities. Due to the heterogeneous composition of plant design consortia, the functioning of the system in a wide area network is obligatory.
Five areas can be identified as connecting threads running through the entire project:
- Working in a wide area network;
- Provision of a Data Representation Model offering online access to all data;
- Revisioning and versioning functionality;
- Development of STEP interfaces for online data access;
- Development of Rapid Plant Design applications.
The results of the research and development work are to be verified in a pilot project prepared and realised by the final user partners, who will also play a major role in the definition of system requirements. The pilot project is partly performed simultaneously to the development phases in order to allow for a steady optimisation of the results.
The software supplier partners will work together closely throughout the duration of the project. ISO-9000-based standards for software development and product design as well as new communication techniques will be used to assure a high degree of system quality.
The outcome of the project will be a software prototype of the REMAP system. The software supplier partners will, together with the final users, continue to commercialise the system subsequent to termination of the project. In addition, exploitation of the core technologies in other technical software domains is planned in order to strengthen the position of the partners in their market areas.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts