Мoscow, 6 aug - ИА Neftegaz.RU. NIPIGAS are leaders in the Russian design, supply and construction management area.
They are part of SIBUR, the largest integrated gas processing and petrochemical company in Russia, and also participate in projects: Amursky GPP, ZapSibNeftekhim, Moscow Refinery, Yamal LNG, Arctic SPG-2 and others.
Specialised CAD systems first came onto the market at the same time as personal computers. Different software was used at different stages of NIPIGAS’ development. They decided to look for an electrical automation system in 2012. At that time, various CAD systems were analysed in terms of the most effective application for the management of automation, communications and power supply. As an alternative, programs such as AVEVA Instrumentation, Smart Plant Instrumentation, E3.Series were considered. As a result, EPLAN was chosen - and the first license was bought in 2012, because of its design documentation capabilities, which enabled them to automate the work processes.
The main reason for EPLAN being chosen was because it satisfied most of the technical requirements; it’s very flexible in configuration, and adapts to the requirements of NIPIGAZ for the design documentation. The standard tools of EPLAN, stood out from its competitors with qualitative and frequent updates, including the possibility to obtain catalogues from the world's leading manufacturers for electrical equipment through the EPLAN Data Portal.
The Control and Automation and Control System departments were chosen to implement the software first, because they expected the largest impact in these specialties. They also attempted to include the Electrical Engineering Department in the first stage of the process. This implementation wasn’t successful until a later stage in the process. The implementation was phased in gradually over several projects. Even though there were many difficulties and obstacles, it was clear that EPLAN could be used and that the right choice had been made. With each of the following projects, the degree of automation increased. It must be said that work is still ongoing and that they are still creating various type designs to ensure the most effective application of EPLAN.
The EPLAN Preplanning module is currently being implemented for the basic engineering - the concept of its application is being developed for design work in the Electrical, Telecommunications and Control System departments. They are currently assessing the best way to implement the FieldSys module and they are currently looking at the possibility of using the Configurator and EPLAN ERP-PDM Integration Suite. The transition from the standard Autocad to EPLAN was different for everyone; some immediately understood the essence of the program, whilst it was difficult for some to adapt the standard approaches to design. We are looking forward to completing this project and starting other forms of integration with adjacent systems such as Aveva – for transferring cable information for their automatic routing.
As the employees of The Control and Automation department in NIPIGAS work in two geographical locations (Krasnodar and Tyumen), it was of utmost importance to them to work effectively. In the Krasnodar office, they solved the problem of multi-user work within one project with the built-in module Multiuser Management. The solution allows a large number of users to work in the project database. The number of simultaneous users inside the design space is limited by the capacity of the servers. At the moment, up to 8 engineers work simultaneously in the same project database.
The number of licenses used in each area is not limited programmatically and is determined based on the requirements and mobilisation of employees on the project - these often change due to different design, volumes and timing stages. Work projects are completed by each project office on its server with its main data and product databases. Basic data and databases are synchronised on a nightly basis. Projects are administrated – created and rights are granted - from Krasnodar, who also archive and transfer all completed projects to the Krasnodar server.
At the very beginning of the EPLAN implementation, a strategy was created, which only required the minimal work from programmers to write various macros for EPLAN. It was discovered that using standard EPLAN functionality solved all their problems. The introduction of end-to-end design into their strategy is still at the early stages of coordinating the principles of system interaction. EPLAN is fully ready for data exchange with AVEVA. At present, the client information is being prepared to enable the data of P&ID to be exchanged and created in AVEVA to then go to EPLAN.
Digitising engineering work often requires the engineer to have extensive engineering knowledge. When there is an engineer with an extensive knowledge, they are able to produce the documentation 4 times faster than the average engineer is. The EPLAN program is designed to use unified, technical schematic solutions (macros), so it may take some time initially to develop a unique solution compared to working in a graphical environment. One of the main advantages of EPLAN over a graphical environment is the receipt of reports from the Automation, Communication and Power Supply department: "Specification", "Cable Tube Journal", "Cover Sheet&Table of Content.", "Signal Table", "Instrument List", and various " Bill of Materials ". At this stage, we have to balance the development of unique solutions and standard ones.
Based on the results from implementing EPLAN, I would single out a few basic points, which, in my opinion, must be adhered to:
- It is very important in the implementation process to first analyse all of the documentation produced to develop a concept – which will need time investing into to develop it properly - and only after that, start using EPLAN
- If the software needs to be integrated with a third-party software, the integration should be discussed at the beginning- basic principles, structure, list of data that will be transferred from one software to another
- Work with a single parts database
- It is worth starting to create macros after the final configuration of the project template and successfully testing that the integration with third-party software works
- When creating a database of products and macros, it is necessary for a user to check this data. Additionally, it is important to consider the storage structure and rules for changes before replenishing the database.
EPLAN is not the same as it was 5 years ago. For example, a very powerful Preplanning module has been created and the functionality has changed significantly. New modules are emerging that replace mandraulic and laborious tasks by automating them. The general understanding of a modern designer’s project differs significantly now to what it was 5-10 years ago.
In SIBUR, the digital transformation program is gaining momentum. EPLAN fits perfectly into this concept; it can be used in a wide variety of industries - for operation, logistics, integration with many other systems. EPLAN is one of the active participants in Industry 4.0. The Control and Automation department have planned all of the new projects which involve schematic design, and have found that EPLAN is the solution. The engineering centre of NIPIGAS in Krasnodar has decided to use EPLAN for all new projects in the Control and Automation department.
In the department, 95% of their specialists are trained in the EPLAN software. At present, only one group of specialists are working with EPLAN completely. Of the remaining project groups, approximately 2-3 people are involved in the project (approximately 10 people). As the use of EPLAN is increasing, and the number of trained and working users is increasing every year, to strengthen such dynamics for 2018, it has been planned to increase the pool of user licenses by 50%.
The IT department are developing a new design concept in EPLAN using the Preplanning module. Moreover, it should be noted that EPLAN specialists are currently creating a settlement module expected to be released at the end of Q3 2018. In the long term, this module will allow IT staff to use EPLAN more effectively, which will increase their involvement in a single working process for designing schematic solutions along with other Automation, Communication and Power Supply disciplines. The Control and Automation department were one of the first to start projects in EPLAN, using additional modules ProPanel and FieldSys. At the moment, 97% of the specialists in the Control and Automation department are trained to work in EPLAN. All new projects for the development of control systems are completed in EPLAN.
Control cabinets are created in 3D using the ProPanel module. The possibility to implement projects on LAN and interplanetary Control and Automation networks is being considered in EPLAN. The work is also underway to implement the PrePlanning module. In the Telecommunications department, they have developed design concept and preparatory work to implement the pilot project is underway - the TOR to move the data transfer module from AVEVA to EPLAN is being coordinated, because according to the agreed concept, the Telecommunications work starts with the arranging equipment in 3D models.
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