Plant Design Innovators Recap: I&C with David Wolfe

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David Wolfe of Applied Software led this week’s installment of the Plant Design Innovators virtual event series and discussed common challenges that come with Instrumentation and Controls (I&C) integration.

“Off the top of my head, I came up with a few things that we see,” he began. “I know a lot of times, people start adopting a P&ID package and… think they’ll get all of their lists out of it. All the data is going to be there. It’s going to start there. It’s all going to live there and with most of our disciplines. That’s a great way to go.”

However, there are several limitations to consider. “The software has some limitations around objects having to exist in the drawing file,” David said. “So a lot of times, what we see as far as the design process is that I&C might control your equipment or asset lists. They might define those well ahead of something getting placed or drawn in the P&ID. That is a big area of concern.”

Secondly, quantity of data sheets was mentioned as a concern. “For all your instruments on the job, you almost never use only one variation of an instrument. Maybe four or five times, but that’s it. But there’s not a lot of reuse like with valves, which we use about 500 times. It just creates more information and trackable material that we have to talk about and keep up with.”

Third, David described quantity of fields as another main issue. “If you look at a data sheet, there’s going to be 100 or 200 cells,” he said. “Do you put all of those in your projects, or do you put in a limited set of them?”

An attendee spoke to this topic with personal experience and said, “Something actually came up [with us] pretty early. One thing that’s risky too is when you have a lot of people working in a big project. If you’re storing all that data in one item and someone substitutes it or deletes it… they inadvertently delete all of that additional data, and it’s not represented on the P&ID that was being used in the data sheets. You could have just killed an hour or two of someone’s time inputting data very easily.”

The attendees discussed integration of “motor horsepower” with “wiring and documentation;” the different sides of pricing and processing; and the problem of accessibility when it comes to project management. In addition, they talked about ways they personally had overcome software issues, ways they had come together through collaboration, and success stories from their respective companies.

Even though collaboration brings with it challenges, the technology is improving every day. There’s a bright future for plant collaboration. Contact Applied Software today to talk with a plant design innovation expert and learn more about how collaboration can make your plant design workflow more efficient. Check out the Applied Software Guide to Plant 3D for indepth information on the application, answers to challenges, system performance, worksharing, and more.

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