Reimagining Plant

Civil 3D

While technology may be constantly evolving and improving, the one constant is the rationale for these improvements.  In order to minimize costs, maximize uptime, and maintain safety, you must have better control over the design, construction, and management of the facility throughout the project lifecycle.

Reimagining Plant is part of that initiative, to ask the “what if” questions in order to find solutions to improve productivity, quality, and collaboration. Key benefits of these 3D model based workflows are as follows:

Efficiency and Productivity

STC Constructor

Imagery courtesy of STC Constructor

Many have said BIM has been around for over 30 years in the Plant space, as the nature of the data collected throughout the PFD, P&ID, and piping design process constitutes the “I” in BIM.  Taking that into account, using this data in the 3D model development process leads to a better understanding of your project which results in better decision making.

  • Streamline design by taking advantage of connectivity between the P&ID and Piping Design Software to ensure accuracy of lines, pumps, valves, associated tags, and more.
  • Accurate budgeting since information in the models can be used to generate BOMs.
  • Ability to quickly and easily visualize your project resulting in a better understanding of how complex systems go together and conveying that knowledge to key project stakeholders.

Improved Quality

Southeast Water Treatment Plant

Imagery courtesy of Tetra Tech, Inc. and Huntsville Utilities

Today, many disciplines are delivering 3D models of the project.  These models can be combined to analyze and simulate the performance of the project, promoting better decision making and project outcomes.

  • Minimize project risk by combining discipline models to run clash detection and identify errors in the office instead of the field.
  • Make better decisions by interpreting and evaluating all project models together.
  • Maintain schedules by simulating project phasing and construction sequencing resulting in better understanding of site logistics.

Improved Collaboration

Collaboration is a key challenge for most within project teams.  The demand placed on IT Staff to provide a secure, accessible, redundant storage space to access data continues to be a challenge with no clear cost-effective solution.  Cloud Hosted Project workflows promote easy sharing of files and data to provide a single source of truth eliminating manual version tracking.  Figure A and B below depict a Typical Network Project (Current State) vs. the Cloud Hosted Project which promotes efficiently sharing data in the Cloud.

Typical and Cloud Hosted Project Types


  • Simplified IT administration and reduced hardware requirements result in lower total cost of ownership.
  • Version control is essentially eliminated through the use of the Cloud which promotes a single source of truth for easy sharing of files and data.
  • Cloud hosted solutions typically offer secure, redundant, limitless storage with price predictability which facilitates IT budgeting.

The approach to Reimagining Plant is a constant, ongoing process of trial, error, and improvement.  It’s never too late for those just beginning the journey to embrace technology.  For those already on board, it’s important to continue the investment in order to maintain your competitive edge.

To put it simply:  “Great things never came from comfort zones.” Anonymous

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