Since its founding in 1895, Hertel Group has grown from an industrial insulation contractor to a vanguard company with a full range of services in the field of industrial plant construction and maintenance. As an industry leader, Hertel has witnessed a growing need to greatly improve the methods, workflows, processes, and tools for the piping discipline throughout the entire plant life cycle.
Disparate systems were in place for all phases of field engineering, fabrication, erection, documentation, and maintenance. Due to the absence of common standards for data formats, contents, and interfaces, conventional data handover between contractors was usually paper-based. This obsolete methodology resulted in additional work, documentation errors, and expensive mistakes – even in a "successful" handover.
After an exhaustive search and benchmark process, Hertel chose and collaborated with Intergraph and a major German O/O to develop an integrated, digital project execution system as a common piping industry standard. The goal was to:
- Deliver accurate digital piping documentation to the end customer (O/O) after the project
- Execute piping maintenance activities based on the digital as-built data from the last project using the same integrated system
- Provide digital as-built documentation to plant changes
- Reduce costs
Despite the fact that "out-of-the-box" Intergraph products covered many specified requirements, some desired functionality was missing for the adaptation of the solution in Hertel’s overall piping project execution, both in the project and operations phases.
Hertel’s missing pieces related to such issues as quality assurance and on-site revision, progress, and change management; welding documentation; change and pressure circuit management; and spool progress. After two years in development, Hertel tested the system in live revamp and turnaround projects. Positive project experiences and excellent customer feedback prompted Hertel to also implement this concept for maintenance.
Thanks to this innovative, comprehensive software solution, substantially better documentation can be handed over to owners on-site. Hertel experienced a variety of benefits in the pilot phase, including:
- Digital documentation handover according to industry standards (PED and ANSI)
- Digital execution of all piping management processes during engineering, fabrication, erection, startup, documentation, and maintenance
- Increased effectiveness and profitability in projects and maintenance
- Excellent support for quality assurance and logistics systems
- High flexibility
- Integration with every established 3D system (ISOGEN®-based), all plant visualization systems, and laser scanning technologies
- Different output formats – SmartSketch®, MicroStation, and AutoCAD
- Potential to be an industry standard – thousands of companies worldwide use ISOGEN
Hertel and Intergraph entered a cooperative contract in which Intergraph took control of this solution, comprised mainly of PICODA (Piping Controlling Database), SmartPlant Isometrics, and SmartPlant Spoolgen. The solution is actively developed and offered worldwide as an industry-leading solution within the framework of a cooperative agreement between Hertel and Intergraph.