Exhibition & Conference

13-16 September 2021

Singapore EXPO, Singapore

Strategic Programme

Wassim Ghadban

Global Director, Innovation & Intelligence, Operational Intelligence


16:25 - 16:50

Wednesday, 18 September 2019

S1.6 Reinvent Process Design Reviews with Virtual Reality Methods - a Case Study

Digitalisation and virtual reality (VR) tools are new concepts for E&C processes. These innovations afford opportunities to reinvent engineering design and ensure successful capital project execution. Oil and gas (O&G) operating companies are pressuring EPC companies to reduce costs and shorten project timelines for construction, commissioning, and startup. Consequently, EPC companies view VR as an innovative tool to improve the quality and accuracy of initial design, thereby controlling (reducing) project costs and schedules. Through VR technologies, project engineers and designers can collaborate with clients in a more in-depth level during the design phase. Also, VR reviews can discover design problems earlier and limit rework during construction.

This paper will discuss the benefits and value gained by leveraging VR during the design-review process for a gas processing facility. In particular, the authors will discuss specific advantages attained through VR applications as compared to using the traditional paper-based reviews. More importantly, this paper details how design engineers and clients achieved deeper communication and understandings on project goals through VR reviews.

Case history. SNC-Lavalin used VR to enhance the traditional design review on a gas-processing facility. This review resulted in positive and tangible results. As part of an initial engineering review, nine operations an maintenance staff members used VR to scrutinize plant design from a more practical perspective. The operators leveraged their everyday knowledge of what works or does not work in an operating gas-processing plant. Having no previous VR experience, the operators identified 29 actionable improvements or defects in the approved design, representing a potential savings of more than USD$ 2.4 M. Such results prove that VR technology allows cost-effective democratization of design input and improves design outcomes.

More results. SNC-Lavalin has applied VR technology in other sectors. In another project, the company incorporated VR into the design review process with a key client before the traditional paper-based review. This method resulted in rapid verification of clearances, layouts, and ergonomics within the plant and yielded a more comprehensive review during the initial design.

Other innovations. The authors will also discuss future digital developments now underway such as, 4-dimensional construction animation and a 5-dimensional heat map that calculates the installed value of the constructed plant at any project milestone.