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Case Studies

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  1. Abstract
  2. Owner/Operator
    1. Shell - Oman LNG
    2. Shell/CNPC - Nanhai Petrochem
  3. EPC Company
  4. Original Equipment Manufacturer
  5. Software Developer
    1. AVEVA
    2. Bentley Systems
    3. Intergraph
    4. General


[Enter abstract]


These case studies focus on the information asset that was developed along with the physical plant. Emphasis is on how much of the information asset used ISO 15926 and which parts.

Shell - Oman LNG

Owner Shell
EPC Chaioda, Foster Wheeler
Detail Engineering 1996

Owner Requirements for the Information Asset:

  • A data warehouse in which to store certain information about plant objects.
  • The data warehouse was to be standardized against STEP. (Later, standardized against ISO 15926.)
  • The data warehouse was to be in a neutral format, not optimized for any vendor's software.
  • The prime purpose of the database was to be able to validate that the handover information was complete.
  • A secondary purpose was to be able to query information about plant objects outside of any engineering software or document retreival system.

Included in the data warehouse:

  • Engineering data about equipment attributes.
  • Schematic data including P&IDs, Line Lists, Wiring & Control Schematics, Cable Schedules.

Not included:

  • 3D data

Q. What is value of standardizing a data warehouse against a standard?
Q. How does one go about standardizing a data warehouse against something like STEP?

Shell envisioned a big repository where all the suppliers could post information. None of the production engineering tools of the day had any provision for working with a data warehouse, so the purpose of the data store was simply easy access to plant information.

The first step was to figure out how to make the data warehouse inderstand the Part 2 data model. Part 2 requires a different kind of data model than a normal relational database.

Q. If this project started before ISO 15926 was born, how could Part 2 exist?

ISO 15926 Part 2 data objects are very fine grained. They are definitions of atomic concepts that can be assembled together in various combinations to make pretty well anything. They are stored as simple statements:

  • This pump has this property
  • This vessel has this nozzle
  • This equipment has this part

Q. Why does this help?
- Handover data validation
- Storing summary information on the equivalent of 4"x6" card

To work with this sort of information, the project used a language called General Engineering Language, or Gellish. Gellish takes the simple statements and stores them as triples which consist of two objects joined by a relationship.

So one major task for the information handover was mapping all of the plant data in this form. But understanding how to work with Part 2 objects directly, was, and still is, very specialized. What the project found was that whatever the fine grained Part 2 object was being represented, there was a more business-friendly view. This spawned the concept of a Business Object which was later called a Usage Factor, and today is called a Template.

The database that was handed over did not, nor was it ever intended to, replicate all the information about all of the plant objects. A good metephor is a 4"x6" card containing the most used information about each equipment. About two dozen attributes of plant objects were tracked. For further information, references were made to data sheets and vendor information.

The database that was eventually handed over was built in Microsoft Access.

Q. If the database that was turned over was Access, what happened to Prism?

Significance of this project to ISO 15926:

  • This project started at about the time people were talking about STEP AP221 (a.k.a ISO 10303 Application Protocol 221), and were thinking there should be something more. It was out of these ideas, and on this project, that ISO 15926 was probably born.
  • Much of the learning on this project has been distilled into Part 7 and Part 8.
  • Development of the concept of Templates to make it easier to use Part 2 data types.

(As an aside, one result is that Oracle Corp. spun off a seperate project, called "Synergy", to develop software along these lines.)

To be continued...

Shell/CNPC - Nanhai Petrochem

Owner Shell, Chinese National Petroleum Company
EPC ??
Detail Engineering 2003-2004

EPC Company

Original Equipment Manufacturer

Software Developer


Bentley Systems




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