Version 6 (modified by gordonrachar, 13 years ago)

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FIATECH


Contents

  1. Abstract
  2. The Origin of FIATECH
  3. 1983 Construction Industry Institute (CII)
    1. Breakthrough Strategy Committee
  4. Owner Operator Forum (OOF)
  5. Fully Integrated and Automated Technology (FIATECH)
    1. Capital Projects Technology Roadmap
    2. Completed Projects
    3. Active Projects
    4. Automating Equipment Information Exchange (AEX)
    5. Global Valve Cross-Reference eCatalog (GVCC)
  6. Next
    1. Acknowledgements

Abstract

FIATECH is a North American organization who's purpose is to increase the productivity in the capital projects industry by introducing technology. It is one of the two sponsors of ISO 15926.

As of this writing, early summer 2009, FIATECH is in the midst of redesigning their website. Some of the links below may not work correctly, and some may lead only to a stub, with no actual content yet. Keep trying.


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Fig 1. The Origin of FIATECH


The Origin of FIATECH

The name, Fully Integrated and Automated Technology, describes what FIATECH is all about. FIATECH intends to streamline the capital projects industry by introducing technology. In this definition, "Capital Projects Industry" includes all manner of capital construction, from roads and sewers, commercial buildings and shopping centers, ships, pipelines, and manufacturing and industrial plants. Although only eight years old, FIATECH has a long pedigree.

FIATECH's immediate forebears are the Life Cycle Management Project of the Owner Operator Forum, and the Breakthrough Strategy Committee of the Construction Industry Institute. Both of these organizations membership lists includes many of the same facility owners, consulting engineers, and constructors.

1983 Construction Industry Institute (CII)

The Construction Industry Institute is a research center in the College of Engineering in the University of Texas at Austin. It is a collaborative research organization of over 100 members representing Owner/Operators, Contractors and Suppliers from the engineering and construction industry, as well as over thirty Universities. Its mission is to carry out research projects to identify, disseminate, and educate its members and the public on best practices in the U.S. construction industry. In the late 1990s CII identified a critical need for the engineering and construction industry--the integration of technologies to bring about significant improvement in the effectiveness of construction and operation of large capital facilities through Fully Integrated and Automated Project Processes, or FIAPP.

References

Breakthrough Strategy Committee

The Construction Industry Institute formed the Breakthrough Strategy Committee with the mandate to identify research projects that may have a breakthrough potential for the construction industry.

In 1999, the Breakthrough Strategy Committee identified that efforts to realize the breakthrough promise of Fully Integrated and Automated Project Processes in the construction industry have produced only modest progress due to:

  1. The character of the industry:
    • Highly fragmented
    • Project-oriented
    • Multiple stakeholders
    • Low R&D investment
  1. The approach of FIAPP:
    • Sporadic
    • Independent
    • No critical mass

As a result, progress was stymied by a lack of common standards and protocols and by the inability to effectively integrate software and systems improvements.

With its unique position as a mature collaborative research organization of nearly 100 members representing owners, contractors, and suppliers, CII believed that it was up to the huge challenge of bringing the industry together and building the needed consensus for FIAPP to succeed. With that belief and commitment, along with the initial funding support from CII and its partner in the initiative, the national institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), FIATECH was founded in late 1999.

Owner Operator Forum (OOF)

In late 1999, coincident to the formation of FIATECH, the Dow Chemical Company, DuPont Company, with Air Products & Chemicals, Inc., BASF Corporation, and Merk & Co., Inc., convened as a group, calling itself the Owner Operator Forum. They established a strategy to define and communicate software requirements related to plant life cycle activities in a manner that would encourage technology (software) vendors to adopt the recommendations as part of their ongoing technology development initiatives and investments. This effort was appropriately called the Life Cycle Data Management (LCDM) project.

Fortunately, both of the DuPont and Dow representatives were part of the leadership of both OOF and FIATECH. The two groups realized very quickly that they had very similar goals and decided to merge.

Fully Integrated and Automated Technology (FIATECH)

FIATECH's original staff was largely made up of volunteers from the member organizations. One notable original employee is the managing director, Dr. Richard (Ric) Jackson. With his 25 years at NIST and its predecessor, the National Bureau of Standards, he brought valuable, relevant, experience. In his position at NIST as Directory of the Manufacturing Engineering Laboratory he had responsibility for developing and deploying advanced technology to assist U.S. manufacturers in their efforts to integrate and automate their manufacturing processes. He brought considerable experience with completely integrated, fully flexible, automated manufacturing facilities.

FIATECH's membership roster includes many of the largest Owner/Operators, EPCs, Constructors, Equipment Manufacturers, Software Developers, and Universities. The most compelling reason for any of these organizations to join FIATECH is that at FIATECH they can get something done. Outside of FIATECH they are fierce competitors and must guard what they say to each other. But on a FIATECH project, top experts in a field can work together across organizational boundaries. For a portion of the development costs, all members can participate in all results.

Owner Operators (OOs) want to improve their bottom line. Collectively, OOs fund the entire operations of the other players, EPCs, OEMs, Software Developers, Constructors, and Universities, but they lack the expertise to do the basic research and apply it to day-to-day operations. In FIATECH they have a forum where they can explain their needs and work with others on solutions.

Engineer, Procurement and Construction organizations (EPCs) get involved with FIATECH to solve problems that their competitors and clients also have. Everyone can work together, share the costs, and share the results. EPCs can take research from universities, prove it in tests, then recast it in terms that others in their industry can understand.

Software Developers join FIATECH to assist on standards that make software development easier. For instance, on the subject of interoperability, software developers must be responsive to their customers and provide conversion between many competing standards. But if all industry players agree on a single standard, the work of the software developers will suddenly get much easier.

Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), with tighter margins, join FIATECH to participate in projects they would never be able to fund on their own.

Universities participate in FIATECH so they can see their research applied in the real world.

Capital Projects Technology Roadmap

The Roadmap, as it is known, is the primary tool FIATCH uses to organize projects. Member organizations can use the Roadmap as an aid to decide where they can participate. The Roadmap has nine elements

  • Element 1: Scenario-based Project Planning
  • Element 2: Automated Design
  • Element 3: Integrated, Automated Procurement and Supply Network
  • Element 4: Intelligent & Automated Construction Job Site
  • Element 5: Intelligent Self-maintaining and Repairing Operational Facility
  • Element 6: Real-time Project and Facility Management, Coordination and Control
  • Element 7: New Materials, Methods, Products & Equipment
  • Element 8: Technology- & Knowledge-enabled Workforce
  • Element 9: Lifecycle Data Management & Information Integration

For More Information

Completed Projects

FIATECH publishes a description of all current, proposed, and past projects. Here are some of the most interesting:

Smart Chips Project Field Trial

This project, completed in 2004, built on research from the University of Texas that showed that concrete actually cures faster than current rules of thumb predict. This project used smart chips embedded in concrete during placement that accurately predict in-situ strength of concrete using the concrete maturity method. The trial was conducted in realistic field conditions by Fluor personnel over two months during the main concrete placement phases of the Amgen Opus Program Project in Puerto Rico.

As a result of this study, construction firms that use this technology can strip forms from concrete pours an average of two days sooner than current practice. Given that foundation pours occur in series, two days saving per pour add up to substantial schedule savings.

Because of this study, smart chips technology is now standard practice with Fluor.

The report is available to FIATECH members at no charge; $125.00 for non-members.

Emerging Construction Technologies

Published in 2005, this is a catalogue of emerging construction technologies. It focuses on applications that were expected to have significant impact on the construction industry in the foreseeable future. The catalogue describes these applications at the time, and predicts how they were likely to improve the way we build and maintain our physical facility infrastructure. As well, the entries in this catalogue identify some of the important technical and business issues that needed to be addressed in order to realize the substantial economic benefit these applications offer us.

Four years later, as this Primer is written, it is interesting to see the accuracy of FIATECH's crystal ball.

Active Projects

Automating Equipment Information Exchange (AEX)

The design, procurement, delivery, installation, operation and maintenance of capital facilities equipment is hindered by the lack of interoperability among the many different software systems used to support these work processes. Many different disciplines and collaborating companies in these work processes use different software systems. This currently requires labor-intensive re-entry of data into multiple systems introducing additional cost, schedule delay and the risk of introducing costly transcription errors

The Automating Equipment Information Exchange (AEX) project is developing, demonstrating and deploying XML specifications to automate information exchange for the design, procurement, delivery, operation and maintenance of engineered equipment. The AEX project is part of FIATECH's Roadmap Element 3. It it being developed in conjunction with the IDS-ADI project because of the large overlap between them.

Global Valve Cross-Reference eCatalog (GVCC)

*Global Valve Cross-Reference e-Catalog (GVCC) - Roadmap Element 3

At the beginning of every detailed engineering project, materials engineers have the task of reconciling their internal valve descriptions with those of valve manufacturers. In this project, valve manufacturers will cross-reference their valves to the descriptions of the Process Industries Practices (PIP) reference valve catalog using FIATECH’s automation equipment information exchange (AEX) XML protocols. The resulting cross-reference tool will be available to project sponsors on a GVCC website. The GVCC web site will enable participating companies to automatically cross-match their internal valve catalogs and technical specifications with their business collaboration partners via a common cross-match to an electronic version of the PIP valve catalog.

  • Users will enjoy an estimated 95% reduction in labor cost and schedule of the technical verification required for valve quotes and purchases.
  • There will be a reduction of errors and rework because of the automatic exchange of information.
  • There is the potential to automatically exchange valve weight and geometry data for 3D CAD and asset management systems.
  • Suppliers will benefit through increased exposure to potential customers.
  • Owners and EPCs will realize increased awareness of potential suppliers.

Next

Any time an ISO working group wants to subdivide its work it can create a "Part". Subdivisions, or "Parts" of an ISO standard are worked on and approved separately. Since ISO does not impose any rules on what any particular part should consist of, the Part numbers of ISO 15926 reflect only the order they were subdivided, not their relative importance.

Acknowledgements

Thanks to FIATECH for documents that this page is based on.


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