By William G. Beazley, PhD, PE


EPCs are preparing to deliver data because their clients want it, say many users of AVEVA’s suite of plant design and construction software. Firms specializing in Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPCs) traditionally create documents for use in quotation, bidding and construction and this has been paper or pdfs. EPCs now say that clients want the underlying data.  The reason for this demand, say some owner/operators is $50 oil.  In adjusting to lower priced commodities, refiners and processors are looking for greater efficiency in operations and maintenance.  The systems that support that efficiency rely on data about the plant and much of that data is created at design time.  EPCs and Owner/Operators discussed this data requirement at the AVEVA North American User Meeting, January, 2017 in The Woodlands, TX.



About 200 AVEVA users, partners and technical professionals converged for this annual meeting.  The meeting is noted for its technical content with a strategic focus. “About 140 are EPCs, owner/operators and partners,” said Amish Sabharwal, AVEVA Executive Vice President, Americas, “and the remaining AVEVA staff are mostly technical support staff.” The meeting was designed as a highly technical conference to showcase their strategic role as data-centric project platform.

AVEVA’s revenues remain steady despite oil price drops, says Sabharwal, because a lot of its continuing revenues come from non-petroleum industries like power, mining and marine.  Sabharwal observed that, “our North American business grew 45%, with over 40% among owners and over 30% among EPCs and Marine.”


Eastman Chemical Company is implementing one shared data application in Instrumentation according to David Thompson, Senior Engineering Associate.   Their application, Seamless Engineering Information Global Access (SEIGA), is their first step in a cultural change to data-centric work practices.  It encodes a standard instrument datasheet across all their sites.  It also implemented a smart phone app interface to simplify data access across platforms and allowed access sessions to persist as users left their PCs to work in the field.  This data would be obtained from vendors and contractors who supply their plants or who build and modify them.


Get Ready for CFIHOS


This type of Owner/Operator consumption of data for efficiency purposes has led to a new standard, CFIHOS (Capital Facilities Information HandOver Specification) for process industries.  According to Bob Watson, Chevron’s Manager of Engineering Information Systems, the CFIHOS project has built on the engineering information specification as developed by the Owner Operator Shell. Shell had used this specification already for about 8 years to specify the information handed over by contractors to populate their O&M systems. Shell asked the Dutch standards body USPI to widen the spec into an industry specification standard, now called CFIHOS (pronounced SEE-FOS). Once the CFIHOS standard has been enriched with missing elements as found by the project partners, it will be proposed as ISO 15926-10X standard under TC 184/SC 4/WG 3.


Currently the following companies have joined the CFIHOS project:


Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Toshiba, JGC, Shell, KHNP, EDF, Q8, Chevron, Croon TBI, Cure Maintenance Consultants, KAIST, HighSino, BlueCielo, Versatec Energy, Amec Foster Wheeler, Datum 360, Petrofac, AVEVA, Bentley Systems, Unisys, L&T Technology Services, PhusionIM, INPEX, PLM Consultancy, BP, KNU, KinsmenGroup.


Following companies are in the process of or considering joining the project: ExxonMobil, SAIPEM, Woodside, SAP, Dassault Systèmes


The demand for data delivery at hand over has been precited before, without follow through but this initiative seems serious.  Watson said that, “there is a degree of maturity among the owner-operators that is making the difference.” Chevron’s management supports CFIHOS because they recognized that, “managing our facilities means that we need the information associated with each piece of equipment. This allows us to maintain the facilities, ensure safe operations and manage changes within the facilities as required. Chevron values its information.” Chevron had already issued company specifications for information to be delivered with equipment for use in the operational phase but clearly prefers an international standard.


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This standardization is welcomed by EPC’s.  Engineering Procurement and Construction (EPC) contractors receive requests for information from different clients in different formats, requiring them to manage information differently on each piece of work they perform. This leads to complication of their work processes and the potential for confusion. Differences in client Reference Data Libraries (RDL) also means that our EPC’s are less able to automate information transfer processes which introduces cost and delays in the exchange of information. According to Marc-Henri Cerar, Jacobs, Project Information Manager, “it can cost millions of dollars to convert project data to conform to a unique specification.”  Jacobs had developed a specialized system to manage and track the status of project data while it resides on the multiple, unique platform that authors and maintains it.


Corporate Information Governance and the Digital Twin


This new corporate function, termed Information Governance, by Jim Purvis WorleyParsons’ Director Digital Enterprise. Information Governance is the management of information at an enterprise level, supporting an organization's immediate and future regulatory, legal, risk, environmental and operational requirements.  This central focus on information is in reaction to lower commodity price, i.e., “lower for longer,” says Purvis.  “these companies have to look elsewhere for improvement such as operations and maintenance.  These improvements drive their need for more data.”


More and more, corporations realize that every physical capital assets needs a “digital twin”.  This digital twin is a geometric, functional and logistical model where operational and maintenance processes can be planned and executed remotely, away from the physical plant.  Good information governance would maintain this digital twin so these new efficiencies work properly.


See more about AVEVA’s NAUM17 at:


AVEVA has a report available on handover at: