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Digging into the digital workspace: part two

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Read part one of this article here.

Collaborative input

The ability to collaborate digitally around the globe, eliminates the need to have team members physically in the same place at the same time. In many instances, Bantrel Co. engineers work closely with counterparts via a shared screen within the office space or communicate changes directly on the drawing using Revu’s integrated cloud-based collaboration solution, Bluebeam Studio. Typically, a drawing is passed from one discipline to another for review within a specified time input for each; however, in many cases, the review is now carried out concurrently. Revu’s markup capabilities allow the users to effectively track their decisions within the drawing itself, avoiding email chains altogether and providing built-in accountability of who made which changes and when.

Bantrel Co.’s design group collaboration success now extends to clients and vendors who leverage an online review platform. The new review process allows clients, including key operational personnel, to be active participants, regardless of their location. The review platform facilitates work front planning by initiating automated tasks to the participants, reminding them of reviews requiring their attention. In one example, the length of the review cycle was reduced from 28 days to just eight by shifting the review process online.

Single source

The push to get to a paperless workflow is about establishing a single source of truth: the elimination of any rogue copies of key design documents and supporting documentation to ensure that any and all changes on the project are captured in one location. Having a single master document set ensures that the project team, and the inspector, are referencing the most up to date information. Changes from the home office are shown in advance to the construction team, allowing it to anticipate any challenges before construction begins. Field walks can then identify potential deficiencies, which are marked up and recorded on the master files. A designer adding a control valve bypass, for instance, would get real time input from the operator responsible for the unit/area, perhaps indicating space limitations, thereby allowing for the right solution to be developed when solutions are most cost effective, before building starts.

Revolutionising communication

Moving to centralised digital documentation management not only improves efficiency, consistency and accuracy, but applications such as Revu allows users to send notifications to team members to inform them of new tasks. This capability enables active-passive engagement so that individuals remain informed and are able to track and schedule activities with ease. Team members can extend this notification and scheduling feature across multiple projects, allowing for consolidation and tracking of all projects through a dashboard. Task assignment can happen within a drawing itself, from a project portal or the collaborative review platforms.

Like all solutions, if deployed with the ultimate objective of saving time and maximising resources, new digital communication platforms can have substantial benefits to how a project develops. The capacity to keep the conversations on the documents within the project files themselves, rather than in emails, enables team members to get the most up to date information they need in order to minimise errors, avoid potential costly reworks, and keep project teams on the same page throughout the lifetime of their projects.

Written by Omar Sheikh, Bluebeam Software, Inc., USA. This is an abridged article taken from the December 2015 issue of Hydrocarbon Engineering. Subscribers can sign in to access the complete version.

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