In this article, published in Hydrocarbon Engineering's March 2009 issue, I wanted to outline the benefits of plant design solutions that seamlessly share information. I felt it also important to highlight how the loss of information adversely effects the design and engineering process, and the accurate and timely production of deliverables.
Often for information transfer the words 'interoperability' and 'integration' are used interchangeably. We believe that both methods of sharing information are very different and both vital to the design process. Even so certain tasks are best suited to one or the other form of information transfer.
For example, if you wanted to produce an accurate piping isometric from a piping or plant design system, the best way would be to output that information in a format that would be accurately read by an isometric package. This is a good example of 'interoperability', as demonstrated between COADE CADWorx Plant Professional and ISOGEN by Alias.
On the other hand the bi-directional link that exists between COADE CAESAR II and COADE CADWorx Plant is fundamentally different. In this case information is seamlessly transferred both to and from the pipe stress analysis package and the piping and plant design package, this method of information transfer accurately illustrates our definition of 'integration'.
COADE's goal is to move closer to an extensible world of integrated plant design and engineering solutions, and being authors of both design and engineering tools give us a great head start. Even so we realize that in any effective system both interoperability and integration have areas of operation within which they are most effective.