July 21, 2020

EPC’s Project challenges

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IS³ - Industry Software, Solutions and Support

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Learn how you can overcome EPC challenges, a blog written by our EPC lead Dene Nel.


A typical engineering project would start off as a concept. This concept is developed through various project phases and finally handed over to the Owner Operator at the end of the construction phase.


These project phases don’t always run as smoothly as you would like.

If you had to take a typical brown fields project for example, each engineering discipline would require specific information related to the existing plant. In most cases, this information is either not available or is illegible. Obtaining and verifying the as-built information can be a costly activity and can take a considerable amount of time.

The safest, quickest and most reliable means of verifying the as-built status of the plant is to perform 3D laser scanning. The point cloud data from the laser scan can be used as your as-built model or you could re-model over the point cloud to produce an intelligent 3D model. This model can be used across all disciplines to verify the existing information they require. Each engineering discipline can now start populating the 3D model with the modifications that are required for the project. As the project progresses through 30%, 60%, and 90%, milestones, the model data are further refined and matured. A model review is normally conducted at each milestone.


An internal model review is conducted first to ensure that all engineering disciplines are aligned before presenting to the client. More often than not, there are discrepancies between the engineering disciplines. For example, while conducting the 30% internal model review, you could pick up a discrepancy between the process documentation and the 3D model. The process engineer has increased some line sizes to improve the process efficiency, but for whatever reason this information was not relayed to the design team and the 3D model does not reflect these changes. There is a short time period to update the model before the client review and as a result, it becomes a mad rush to update the model.

It is not uncommon for an EC to outsource the structural steel detailing. The structural steel detailer will receive structural drawings from the EC and will return detailed drawings for approval. This creates a disconnect between the 3D model and the construction drawings, increasing the risk of clashes going undetected. A clash could be caused by a simple angle adjustment on the bracing while generating the connection details for the bracing.

The construction team also has challenges that they need to deal with. The construction team might need to make some adjustments as they implement the modifications on site. The engineering drawings are redlined and sent back to the engineering team, but often the redlined drawings are difficult to read. This presents a number of challenges when producing the as-built documentation.

These are just some of the challenges an EPC project could face over the life cycle of the project and these challenges can have a negative impact on the overall quality, cost and schedule of the project. By using AVEVA Unified Engineering and AVEVA Unified Project Execution, you can reduce project challenges, improve the overall quality of the project and reduce the risk budget overruns.



Written by - Dene Nel 
EPC Lead at IS³,These are just some of the challenges I have personally encountered in my time as an EPC. If you have faced similar or other challenges, lets chat about it in the comment section below