In many cases, parts of any new facility are fabricated away from the construction site by many different sub-contractors. Complex operations which require high standards can be carried out in the safety and comfort of a specialist work shop, rather than outdoors in the middle of a construction site, perhaps in difficult weather conditions. Hexagon PPM solutions to support these work flows cover both pipe and steel or structural fabrication and focus on achieving true digital workflows, aiming to minimize manual data entry and maximize automation of work processes (for example to enable the use of robotic cutting, bending, and welding machines). Further, our objective is to maintain integrity and transparency of data so that all parties can have a clear and accurate picture of progress and what has changed during fabrication.
These are significant challenges, but meeting them is necessary to deliver the potential of the Industry 4.0 initiative to transform process industry fabrication. After mechanization, mass production, and automation comes the “smart factory,” where processes are modeled and monitored in real time, and decision making is de-centralized through provision of accurate information and work instructions to workers.
For the fabricator, this means the ability to receive design data (instead of documents) from any client (regardless of design tool) and to use that data to drive cost estimation, material inventory, documentation production, workshop planning, optimization of material and resources and non-destructive testing.