Full Scope Piping Management Using HVECs
A seminar was held by the Houston, Midwest and Calgary SPED Chapters to discuss how the extensive
use of High Value Engineering Centers (HVECs) would affect SPED’s requirements for certification.
Specifically, SPED’s highest level of Professional Piping Designers (PPD) certification is at Level IV, Full
Scope Management, will have to address the extra costing, scheduling, vetting, staffing and oversight
burdens, imposed by engineering work done remotely from the engineers who seal the designs.
Presentations were made by Ronald Waldon, William Beazley and Bruce Fraser, representing the
Midwest, Houston and Calgary Chapters, respectively. Mr. Waldon also chairs the PPD Advisory
Committee (PPDAC), which has oversight responsibility for the PPD program. Mr. Waldon gave an
overview of the PPD program and the requirements for Level IV. Dr. Beazley reviewed how the Level IV
requirements are tested and Mr. Fraser listed the challenges that using HVECs present on real projects.
Attendee input followed.
Summary of Findings
HVECs can be made to work
Properly planned and executed, High Value Engineering Centers for process plant design can be profitable. Working remotely
from plant sites, clients and engineering authorities is not new but the degree of remoteness and time
differences is much more extreme. Engineers-in-charge and managements responsibilities have grown
and depend on higher levels of vetting, communication and checking to validate the endorsement of
overseen work. When the sun never sets on the project, the sun never sets on its management.
HVECs must have careful vetting
HVECs must pre-qualify themselves before they get assigned work. According to Bruce Fraser, “our DOR
or division of responsibilities and the percent cut between the two office (Sarnia and Mumbai) is now
based on stated capabilities/ So, if the HVEC convinces management that they have a stated capability in
a certain area, the majority of the work in that area is going to go over there.” This means that there is a
greater burden of proof on HVECs that they have qualified and fully vetted personnel. It also means they
have to develop a compatible business culture regarding self-checking, personal responsibility
HVEC Projects must be managed differently
Projects with high HVEC content must be more carefully managed to profit from the Division of
Responsibility (DOR). The correct DOR is established in the Project Statement of Work (SOW). Manhour
budgets must include extra hours for communication and coordination.
HVECs must Include a local voice of the customer
Someone in the HVEC must enforce the intentions of the main office and the ultimate customer. That
person is a proxy for the managers and engineers who are, in turn, answering to the client and other
stakeholders. Bruce Fraser said, “we've turned up a focal point or a single point of contact who kind of
runs the crew there in a way, and helps coordinate the work locally on the floor. The leads are in regular
communication with this deputy.”