Procurement & Supply Networks

FT-14 Topic Summary
FT 14


In May 2001, FIATECH launched a Strategic Focus Area on eBusiness for Capital Facilities, (eB4CF). This program group investigated the barriers to achieving successful eBusiness capabilities and conducted a detailed analysis of work processes, information flows, and data transfers to support the engineering, procurement, construction, operations, and maintenance (EPCOM) life cycle for configurable and engineered process plant equipment.

The XML schema development guidelines summarize the background, rationale, and guiding principles that the FIATECH program is using to produce XML domain schemas for automating information exchanges in the capital facilities industries and over the life cycle of equipment used in capital facilities. The guiding schema development principles, which are based on the work of the ebXML initiative and participants’ experience with other software and standards development activities, are presented as a working draft. This data exchange standards enable multiple software tools to use software-neutral file formats that can then be used by other software packages and provide recommendations on industry collaboration and deployment of eBusiness standards (E3-4 page 7).

To further illustrate the development of interoperable XML Schemas, FIATECH started the project Automating Equipment Information Exchange (AEX) in May 2002. The AEX project builds on this guideline document in devising specific re-useable components of such data transfers using XML technology. The AEX team investigated the use of activity diagrams and UML (Unified Modeling Language) use cases, time sequence, and action diagrams to model the relevant transactions and orchestrations. This makes the sharing, reuse and long-term archival of digital information over the facility life cycle difficult, time-consuming, and expensive and estimated to cost the capital facilities industry at least a billion dollars a year (E3-6, page 8).

FIATECH, DIPPR, and ePlantData have initiated an open industry cooperative effort and have adopted an umbrella name of Capital Facilities Industry XML (cfiXML). It is a voluntary collaborative and cooperative effort undertaken by these organizations that are aimed towards achieving a industry consensus around the use of XML technology to achieve the noted economic benefits for capital facilities equipment and material properties. These industry groups share a common vision of the collaborative development by multiple organizations of a cohesive set of XML schemas to support automating the information exchanges over the life cycle of capital facilities (E3-4, page 6).

In essence, based on the research study done by National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) for the automotive industry, identified costs associated with lack of interoperability in that industry at upwards of $1 billion annually. Other studies have also estimated that significant improvements in the automation and integration of software systems in the capital facilities industry could be worth up to 8% of total project capital cost as well as 14% reduction in the project schedule with 5-15% reduction in annual maintenance costs. Applying these percentages to the estimated $100 billion annual capital facilities investment suggests that $1 billion per year is a reasonable, if not conservative estimate for industry-wide benefits. For any one large company engaged in capital projects, the benefits are potentially millions of dollars annually. For example, a large chemical company recently estimated that $375,000 savings per year could be achieved just for pump procurement in their process plant facilities (E3-4, page 6).

Key Findings and Implementation Tools

1 : Layers of XML

The “layers” of XML required to reach effective industry solutions (E3-6, page 9).

2 : eBusiness Key Features Comparison Table

This table includes a few selected vertical XML efforts directly relevant to capital facilities and several of the horizontal XML efforts developed by the FIATECH AEX project (E3-6, page 17).

3 : FEL-3 Preliminary Design

Planning work flow diagrams shows very simple and concise form that can be readily reviewed by engineers, the simultaneous relationships of key actors (roles and programs), workflows, and data flows (E3-6, page 75).

4 : Equipment Life Cycle – Software Data Flow Description

The preliminary software data flow shows very simple and concise way from engineering to operations and maintenance (E3-4, page 11).

Key Performance Indicators

Increased significant improvements in the automation and integration of software systems, Reduction in project schedule, Reduction in annual maintenance costs

Related Resources

XML Schema Development Guidelines (E3-6)

Publication Date: 02/2004 Resource Type: Fiatech Publication Source: FT-14

Using XML Schemas for Facilities Equipment (E3-4)

Publication Date: 07/2004 Resource Type: Fiatech Publication Source: FT-14

AEX Working Release 3.01 (E3-1)

Publication Date: 06/2009 Resource Type: Fiatech Publication Source: FT-14