Technical complexity of new offshore installations continues to increase, as can be seen in recent large projects where sophisticated data handling, control and safety systems prevail and are used in abundance. Moreover, the higher efficiency, reliability, and safety expected from new plants, as well as the aggressive offshore environments in which they are located, challenge the system designers and construction teams as never before.
A number of techniques have been developed over the past few years to overcome the problems that these demanding conditions create, among which are the tools required to conduct a project through its final completion phases. Few of these techniques or products have met all requirements simultaneously. None are able to manage large applications within these requirements.
Since 1995, the Alstom Group has developed, with a major oil company Ciscom, a user-friendly and validated commissioning tool. In its multi-discipline format (instrumentation, electrical, mechanical, telecom, process and so on) it provides a support for the preparation and control of commissioning activities on oil and gas installations. The quality of service relies on validated software and experienced staff who build a tailor-made solution to any complex commissioning operation (upstream or downstream).
Ciscom has been benchmarked as providing the user with a dramatic reduction in the commissioning schedule (up to 30%), in total commissioning costs (up to 40% reduction in manpower required to perform these operations) and reliability (the underlying methodology is approved by Lloyds).
On the principle of pre-planning and using the engineering documentation, a database is established, in which information is compiled relating to the instrumention, electrical and mechanical equipment to be installed on the project. The Ciscom program:
- Defines the testing tasks to be carried out for each dedicated discipline
- Enables the equipment testing progress to be monitored
- Provides easy access to the current commissioning status
- Facilitates forecasting of commissioning planning
- Allows time and manpower scheduling to be established, and reporting and historic archiving to be undertaken in the form of test and check sheets. These sheets may be generated either automatically or on request, and in individual or group form.
The program is also able to manage all import/export Excel files to keep links with all standard office programs. Ciscom allows the monitoring and the reporting of all Punch List activities for all disciplines and for the total project. Alstom provides a commissioning service through its large staff network, with all essential backup through hot line assistance and training. The package has been successfully implemented since 1995 in Myanmar, Thailand, Iran, Indonesia, Poland, Turkey and Argentina.