Mercury Engineering Improves Design, Construction Efficiency with CAD, As-Built Point Cloud Data

Irish engineering services provider enhances design schedule certainty with Intergraph® CADWorx® & Analysis Solutions

The Challenge

Mercury Engineering was contracted to upgrade an existing process plant located near to Groningen in the Netherlands. The project scope was the design of a new process plant with product pipelines that needed to connect into an existing facility. To achieve this, it was necessary to route the new pipelines along an existing pipe bridge, across the roof of the existing structure, and into a new building.

The main goal of the project was to shorten the project schedule by maximizing the amount of piping pre-fabrication that could be completed offsite before piping installation was performed onsite. To meet this goal and ensure that the new piping would fit when erected, Mercury Engineering needed as-built information of the existing facility.

Because existing information was lacking, the initial challenge was how to capture the as-built situation quickly and accurately. To ensure successful on-time project delivery, Mercury Engineering determined that it would be necessary to laser scan the existing building, roof space, and pipe bridge. This would provide an accurate design basis for the new pipe routes and tie-ins that had to be designed. Having this information available would also help to ensure that the new piping would fit on the pipe bridge and could be constructed inside the existing building without clashing.

The Solution

Extra scans were made in the tie-in areas to ensure that enough detail was captured for accurate design. After this, Leica CloudWorx and CADWorx Plant Professional were used to manipulate the piping route to match the scanned as-built positions of the new tie-ins. Visualization of the pipe bridge inside the CAD system helped to identify space for the new pipelines, enabling them to be routed easily alongside other existing services, which made connecting the old and new building seamless.

For this project, Mercury Engineering needed a solution that was able to detail mechanical, electrical, and HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) design as well as produce trusted, high-quality, industry standard piping isometrics. The company selected Intergraph CADWorx Plant Professional due to this breadth of modelling capabilities, cost-effectiveness, and its ability to produce 2D deliverables in DWG formats. 

Another key reason was the short learning curve and ease of use; Mercury’s staff new to the product required only three days of training before they were productive. In addition, Mercury Engineering was already familiar with the ease-of-use of CADWorx solutions as the company’s BIM (Building Information Modelling) group had successfully used the solution for more than three years.

Additionally, Mercury had previously developed industry-specific CADWorx format catalog and specification content for other projects, which included their SAP part coding. Due to this, Mercury was also able to accelerate the procurement process and take delivery of materials for the project using the material control (BOM) reports produced by Isogen.

Mercury Engineering enjoyed these benefits from using Intergraph’s CADWorx solution:

  • Schedule certainty due to ability to track progress better
  • Ability to design and build Right First Time due to access to accurate as-built data inside the CAD environment
  • Reduced labor onsite due to the ability to generate high quality isometrics, which helped to avoid the need for on-site fabrication

Ciaran McCreary, 3D VC / BIM engineer at Mercury Engineering, commented on the company’s experience of Intergraph CADWorx tools: “We were very happy with the Intergraph staff who performed our training and implementation services. Using CADWorx tools enabled us to get started immediately – we were able to produce fabrication isometrics immediately after completing our coordination process.”

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