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Direct Savings: US$ 1,000,000/year (1% annual gross revenue)

Indirect Savings: US$ 2,000,000/year (2% annual gross revenue)

Other:  + Asset Control

            + Reliability

            + Productivity

            + Responsiveness

            - Downtime

            + Safety



This is not too much to say that the history of BRASKEM confuses itself with the history of Brazilian petrochemical industry. BRASKEM origins dates back to 1972 when the first Brazilian large-scale petrochemical complex (Petroquímica União  S/A - PQU) was built by PETROQUISA (PETROBRAS petrochemical arm at the time). In 1978, PETROQUISA in association with the construction conglomerate ODEBRECHT group to build the second large-scale Brazilian petrochemical complex known as Companhia Petroquímica do Nordeste (COPENE). The partnership was so successful that in 1982 they joined again to build the third complex named Companhia Petroquimica do Sul (COPESUL). Along the 3 subsequent decades, the ODEBRECHT group slowly consolidated its participation in the Brazilian petrochemical industry into one single entity called BRASKEM.


BRASKEM was officially founded in 2002 and today is the largest supplier of 1° and 2° generation petrochemicals in Brazil and global leader in the field of renewable polymers and plastics. With net sales of US$22 billion, 36 industrial units (29 in Brazil, 5 in the US and 2 in Germany) it sells its products to more than 100 countries and employs 8100 workers as of today.

By 1995, COPESUL (currently BRASKEM largest unit) decided to set forth an ambitious expasion program of the South Petrochemical Complex adding an entire 1° generation ethylene-cracker (OLEFINS2), two aromatics units (BENZENE and BUTENE), one gas-recovery unit (PROPANE) and one co-generation thermopower unit (GAS TURBINE), the  world´s largest industrial expansion program at the time.



The expansion program was in charge of a pool of E&C companies lead by STONE & WEBSTER CO. (SWEC) which developed all basic and detailed engineering at the HOUSTON, TX office.




The expansion program worth US$700million (in 1996 values) was finished in 2000. Together, OLEFINS1 (1982) and OLEFINS2 (2000) were able to supply 40% of all basic petrochemicals demand by Brazil.


At project close-out, two curious project by-products attracted the attention of COPESUL engineering department: the project databases and the 3D models. 


















Sending such information-rich material, which have contributed so much to entrepreneurship success, to common archiving seemed complete nonsense.

However, to bring the databases and models into as-built status and make them useful would require an update of nearly 450 recorded field changes (MCs).


Even more complex would be to keep the databases and models up-to-date while several other project changes (SPs) were being implemented and required to adapt the "standard" technology supplied by SWEC to the Brazilian operational conditions (i.e.: Raw-material fluctuations, energy cost, parts replacement and so on).

Despite attracting great interest among the largest Operators, the concept of Plant Information Management (PIM) was still at its infancy. Nowhere in the world there was a single PIM process implemented and engineering systems (which stored the information) were viewed as not user-friendly outside design offices.

Even though, COPESUL decided to face all this hardships and invest in the concept. Gathered a small group of highly experienced professionals and set for them the challenge to create a reliable PIM process capable to address all project information demand for the new units based on the databases (PDS, PID, INTOOLS) turned-over by SWEC. Out of this challenge IATEC Plant Solutions was born.



Without any reference to draw upon, IATEC Plant Solutions had to dive deep into the day-to-day operation of one of the largest industrial operations in the world to understand the features, procedures, risks, demands, limitations and hopes and out of this conceive something completely new.


Even harder, to implement a work process based on digital information in an environment dominated by old technologies (like microfilm) and paper would not mount simply to a technological challenge but also a managerial one, once it would require a profound cultural change in areas of the company that had not participated in the expansion task-force, and thus, were completely unaware of these technologies.


The challenge required that IATEC Plant Solutions acted in several fronts. One group became responsible to update the 450MCs (field changes) as fast as possible to ensure that the reliability of the databases would be quickly recovered. Another group became responsible to design a process that would make any project change (SPs) to go through the databases and in doing this preserved the accuracy of the project information stored.


After sometime following standard activities, meetings, and interviewing several areas, IATEC Plant Solutions came up with a procedure that not only would guarantee the reliability of the project information but would also create demand for this very same information. The ingenious method works like this:























For all new units of the expansion program, COPESUL banned revisable documents from paper format (PLANTs, ISOMETRICs, LISTSs...) from the technical document center (CEDOT). The only exception remained with the P&IDs which could still be reviewed in paper or PDF through the electronic document management system (MASTER COPY). Editable P&ID versions, however, were kept only in SmartPlant P&ID, which remained as the only means by which they could be revised. No CAD-editable version of any document whatsoever was allowed in the document management system from the new units.

This measure forced the professionals that would work with future project changes (SPs) to source the basic design information they needed from the databases and 3D models (1), and thus, become used to these tools.



P&ID paper copies for studies were supplied by the PIM group in A3 format (2) to avoid that they could be ink changed and eventually used to replace the MASTER COPIES which were A1 size.


Once the preliminary studies based on the information extracted from the databases and models were over, a formal project change request (3) was opened. A circulation folder was created containing all information regarding the change what included red-lined P&IDs signed by the responsible process engineer (5) and eventually a draft of the change, in case there was any preferential piping arrangement (4).

















































After all due examination and approval, the change request was sent back to the PIM group for direct detailing into the project databases and drafting for final approval and construction. P&IDs were revised within SmartPlant PID (9) and received marks to indicated revision points. Models were revised within PDS (6) and out of these changes tailor-made ISOMETRICS (7) and PLANTs (8) were extracted and issued for approval carrying a temporary number that attached these documents to the request in process.

































































Once documents received final approval from required departments of COPESUL, they were uploaded to the document management system for access and future reference (10). For the new units, only documents generated from the databases could be uploaded. Only in a emergence authorized by the plant engineering manager documents from other sources could be temporarily uploaded to the document management systems.

Now in the document management system, change documents could be reviewed and printed by the contractors in charge of the field modifications with the help of operation and maintenance teams (11).







At the end of the construction, field changes were marked upon the very same documents created through the databases (12) and returned to the PIM group for AS-BUILT. In the absence of any AS-BUILT documents signed by the contractors a PIM member dislocated to the field to check if all changes were done according to the documentation extracted to enforce maximum reliability to database information. 

In the end, 3D review sessions available at the intranet were updated (13), closing the cycle that ensured the integrity and reliability of the project database information.

This process end up revealing a completely revolutionary PIM approach no longer based in REVISING documents, but in PUBLISHING them. The great advantage of this approach is that while the revision process fragments information along time, increasing the risk of inconsistencies across documents and revisions, the publishing process works in the opposite direction, progressively consolidating the information in a single source from which all necessary documents can be generated whenever required.

The contrast between the two approaches became even more evident comparing the elder unit OLEFINS1, which followed traditional change management procedures. While any change at OLEFINS1 required a complex navigation through fragmented and not rarely conflicting information, which frequently required a long and risky work of field survey, at the units of the OLEFINS2 the change process flowed faster and in a entirely safe and convenient manner.






































While changes at OLEFINS1 (traditional method) took on average 160hours to be planned and have all necessary documentation generated, and involved the coordination of several professionals (coordinator, draftsmen, designer...) at OLEFINS2 and units under the PIM systematic (created by IATEC Plant Solutions) changes took on average 60Hours (-65%) and demand only one professional to go forward (3D designer).

Extending this to the almost 200 project changes that happened per year on each plant it is easy to conclude that the new PIM systematic saved on the new units 20,000MH per year compared to OLEFINS1, reflecting in direct savings up to US$ 1,000,000/year for COPESUL.

Indirectly, however, there were additional benefits brought by the PIM methodology like a larger number of better quality studies, more careful change analysis, more precise projects and material take-offs, diminished plant downtime due to imprecise information, all difficult to measure gains but that can easily reach the mark of US$2,000,000/year in indirect economies.

With the reliability level of the database information higher than 95%, thanks to the continuous work of information update and maintenance, IATEC Plant Solutions changed the focus to how distribute this information across the company in order to improve its work processes at large, leverage the gains enabled by the PIM systematic.

























The first step was a company-wide campaign to inform about the availability and ease of access of this information in order to break with the impression that only those few that knew how to use PDS, SmartPlantPI&D and SmartPlant Instrumentation could access the databases. Training on how to use SmartPlant Review and other tools available was offered to stimulated the autonomous search of information. A "snow-ball approach" was used with key COPESUL personnel which after receiving training were in charge to multiply this knowledge to their colleagues.  




In some occasions, ineficient work procedures persisted in the PROCESS, OPERATION and MAINTENANCE teams due to long-learned limitations from paper/CAD documentation. Progressively, IATEC Plant Solutions showed how these duties could be done faster, safer and more efficiently using de project databases and the available tools.









































Once many areas of the company became more used and more confident with the integrity of the database information their usage grew exponentially. At certain point, operation classes began to use specially created SmartPlant Review sessions.















































As well as to simulate required operational maneuvers.







Nevertheless, one of the most important and hard to measure gains arising from using a PIM systematic was the progressive withdrawal of personnel from the industrial area. Many surveys and analysis that exposed professional to unhealthy conditions  such as extreme heat/cold, height, electrical shocks, noise and dangerous chemical contaminants, could be held from CEDOT, operation rooms and administrative offices, drastically reducing the health and safety risks to which both COPESUL and contractors employees were subject.  With less people on the field it became far easier to control the presence of personnel in the industrial area as well as to require work permission (PT) to their access, strongly reducing the risk of injuries and casualties in case of an accident.



Also, the quality of the studies increased dramatically, because through the use of 3D models it was far easier to reach and indentify equipments, pipes and instruments, as well as measure distances, dimensions without the need to stay for long periods amidst the industrial area. 






In July 2002, the PIM systematic created by IATEC Plant Solutions surprised and amazed the attendance of the International Power & Process (event in the US that gathered the elite of process and power companies and their contractors) for its simplicity, low cost and efficiency.  

Such a positive result encouraged COPESUL to order IATEC Plant Solutions the 3D and 2D AS-BUILT  of the two remaining units of the expansion project (BENZENE and PROPANE), which were designed in CAD by other companies, and their inclusion in the PIM systematic.


For this work,  IATEC Plant Solutions convinced COPESUL to resist to the laser-scanning tendency (today still expensive and ineficient). Using its experience in industrial projects IATEC Plant Solutions created a proprietary methodology to 3D AS-BUILT based on high-precision photogrammetry. As a result of this choice AS-BUILT costs for these two units were reduced by -60% to US$100,000 from US$250,000.

The new models were delivered one month ahead of schedule with the advantage of  being completely intelligent, preserving the integrity of the material information what would be impossible through laser scanning.  





































IATEC Plant Solutions greatest challenge was still to come. After 4 years working on the PIM systematic the gigantic general maintenance shutdown was looming. Once again, IATEC Plant Solutions was challenged to create the entire scoping systematic which would orientate the approximately 6000 professionals to shutdown, clean-up, test and start-up once again all expansion units. Even more challenging was the reduction to 25 days from 30 days to retake production. Once again IATEC Plant Solutions did not disappointed.

With support of the maintenance team, more than 453P&IDs were prepared not only to reflect all scoping areas but also make them traceable, easily visible, quickly revisable and a permanent reference for future maintenance breaks.

Using a color/line code, IATEC Plant Solutions managed to transfer all the apparently chaotic information registered in paper copies into digital documents based on intelligent P&IDs.





















Next step seemed even bolder. Transfer all information from the scoping drawings to the 3D model in order to make it easier to locate the racketing points and save precious shutdown hours. For this, more than 125.000 elements of the models have been attributed and thus easily traceable, colored and visualized in 3D. The exact racketing points had their views saved to make it even more easily to locate and avoid mistakes that could result in accidents and start-up delays. Each day of OLEFINS2 out of operation would represent US$2,000,000 of lost revenue for COPESUL.














OLEFINS2 shutdown and complete racketing took only 48hours, 24 hours less than scheduled. The complete maintenance break took only 23 days resulting alone in savings of approximately US$ 4,000,000 for COPESUL.  



Even though the use of engineering systems has somehow become standard for projects of all sizes, until present days it is still incipient the usage of project information through the subsequent phases of a plant life cycle. An immense amount of project information is neglected just at the point it has the potential to be nurtured to bring increasingly bigger long-term gains. IATEC Plant Solutions work along 5 years with BRASKEM demonstrates that a lot of value can be extracted out of the information that usually is left behind after commissioning. To reap all the benefits that this databases can bring it is just to have will and to find the right partner.

Generally speaking, the partnership between IATEC Plant Solutions and BRASKEM generated direct and indirect savings of US$ 1,000,000/year, result of improved work processes, higher productivity in the technical areas, reduced downtime and in the quality of plant interventions, or roughly 1% annual gross revenue. The indirect gains in terms of safety, health, and well-being of its workers and partners, however, are uncountable.

The works developed by IATEC Plant Solutions at COPESUL helped BRASKEM to become a world leader in the management of industrial assets, technology, safety and health in the workplace. They also credentiate IATEC Plant Solutions as a trustworthy long-time partner and a preferential consultant for its next large scale projects.

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