INOVX Solutions: 3D Visualisation Meets Oil and Gas

INOVX Solutions: 3D Visualisation Meets Oil and Gas

CIO VendorJohn Bell, CEO The American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) reliability and maintenance conference this year echoed a major concern around reliability of assets in the refining and petrochemical industries. The challenge hovering over the industry was clear: The inability to pinpoint vulnerabilities in the assets and rank them based on criticality for effective inspection and management. While the event witnessed many companies coming forth with a variety of solutions and services, a company that stood out with its simple, yet effective method for analyzing vulnerabilities is Irvine, CA-based INOVX Solutions.

The company’s expertise lies in creating a dynamic digital representation of an industrial asset, which will help facilities have a better understanding of their assets as well as predict their performance. “The industry has long realized that digital transformation can invariably aid facilities to assess and optimize the assets, leading to improved business performance and risk management,” says John Bell, CEO of INOVX. Although the term ‘digital twin’ has been making rounds for quite some time now, companies often lack a proper strategy to leverage its full potential. “Only recently is the industry starting to realize that 3D visualization—acting as a digital twin—helps to access, and visually interpret enormous amounts of data which is otherwise lost,” adds Bell. While 3D is not a recent concept, its use is traditionally limited to design and build of the plant. INOVX has pioneered the creation and deployment of 3D models in support of operations and maintenance activities. Today, the company is at the forefront of Digital Laser Scanning with a history of producing the most accurate 3D models of engineering quality tolerances. With a precision hard to match, INOVX’s 3D model accurately represents the plant’s ‘as-built’ conditions, and is often used as the ‘official’ as-built documentation that serves as a starting point for all revamp/retrofit projects.

Creating 3D Display of the Entire Plant

Since its inception in 1999, INOVX has stood by its commitment to achieving innovation excellence that can be seen in the state-of-the-art product profile offered by the company. Its flagship software platform V-Suite® is a 3D Asset Integrity Management solution, unique in its ability to integrate 3D plant models with the operational management of both inspection and maintenance processes. The solution delivers real time inspection plans or maintenance routines directly to the mobile device, ensuring the execution of Risk Based Inspection (RBI) with up to the minute detailed asset condition information, geospatial location and maintenance history from a single application interface. Based on the RBI exceptions, V-Suite displays the entire plant in color-coded figures which give an immediate visual impact of urgency to the engineer, bringing down the inspection planning duration from weeks to minutes.

Further, V-Suite users need not worry about printing hundreds of pages of an inspection routine which often comes in the form of 2D isometrics, asset history, and shut down procedures, as they can create a portable V-Suite Knowledge Book for online access via a browser or mobile device. It can also be accessed offline when packaged into a portable file to a mobile device, even when there is no network connectivity. V-Suite leverages its fundamentals of being designed on Relational Database technology that further enhances its ability to query the entire model with simple templated SQL queries. A simple query such as “show all inspection points due in the next thirty days” will generate a task defined intelligent workbook with all data necessary including 3D isometrics within 5 minutes.

Only recently is the industry starting to realize that 3D visualization—acting as a digital twin—helps to access, and visually interpret enormous amounts of data

The effectiveness of INOVX’s solution can be attributed to its design to interoperate with all of the major business applications, allowing users to engage with assets using the device of their choice—ranging from the desktop in the engineering office, a notebook or tablet used by a field inspector, to any mobile device. “Mobile should not mean lack of functionality and that’s why we ensure that all of the functions that we have on a desktop application are made available on the user’s device with a simple log-on through a browser,” says Bell.

The Intelligent Tool Set

The powerful V-Suite solution including V-Suite Core, V- Inspection, V- Maintenance, and V-Engineer is enabling unparalleled accuracy of asset information in a dynamic and integrated 3D environment. V-Suite Core is the platform that lays the foundation for management, integration, and interoperability of 3D virtual assets. It has an open service oriented infrastructure that adds end user value to the inspection and maintenance operations by allowing INOVX applications and 3rd party applications to interoperate.

V-Inspection displays the entire plant or individual asset models of specific plant machinery through the ultimate 3D rendition on the inspection engineer’s device of choice. From facilitating the access of inspection history, adding a narrative of current condition analysis, reviewing trends, and annotating recommended actions and maintenance advisories, V-Inspection is a must have application for every plant inspector.

"V-Engineer is the first of its kind Artificial Intelligence business application"

Further, V-Maintenance brings together planned, exception and emergency maintenance into one application and provides single aggregate view of current condition analysis, asset history, planned actions, remedies and location access point advisories. It offers interoperable links to SAP, Meridium, Real Time Historian and many other supporting applications.

Lastly, offering predictive maintenance reporting is V-Engineer, the Artificial Intelligence based program designed for Asset Integrity Management. Like any other business, oil and gas plants often encounter an overwhelming amount of data, making it almost impossible for humans to analyze and interpret. V-Engineer solves this issue by applying Natural Language Technology to extract rapid value from vast volumes of real time data and automating the mundane task of accessing multiple systems to collate data. This helps recognize issues before they become a critical problem. “V-Engineer is the first of its kind Artificial Intelligence business application designed specifically to improve time to remedy, demonstrate measurable reductions in downtime, improve operator safety, and capture knowledge throughout the maintenance workflow,” says Bell.

Saving the Millions

The 17 years of INOVX has been marked by continuous development. Most recently the company introduced another groundbreaking solution—V-Safe. A location monitoring system, V-Safe allows clients to monitor any asset, be it human or physical, in the plant. “We effectively tag every asset, which enables us to geo-locate that asset anywhere in the plant. With the click of a button, V-Safe can tell the location of the concerned asset and the time it will take to get there.”

According to Mr. Bell, INOVX’s continued commitment to revolutionizing the industry by offering unique tools including its Management of Change (MoC) tool that allows plant operators to efficiently manage physical changes and stay up to date with the present situation in the plant in a dynamic 3D environment. While all these solutions keep a facility running smoothly, the one aspect that could prevent a plant running into millions of dollars of lost production is a shorter incident to resolution workflow. INOVX’s 3D-Business Intelligence solutions have been known to reduce the incident to resolution time from an industry average of three hours to less than 10 minutes. By employing the company’s solution, clients can gain instant insight into asset location and dependencies, required tooling, shut down procedures, permitting instructions, case histories, and isometric drawings, all within a single Active 3D Plant Model.

Creating a Digital World for Oil and Gas

Having worked for some of the prominent names in the industrial space including Shell, Saudi Kayan, BP, and CHS, INOVX has created a niche for itself in the oil and gas industry. The company is strengthening its position with the recent agreement with SGS, one of the world's leading inspection, verification, testing and certification companies. Geographic expansion will include the U.K, followed by Germany and France. On the technology end, INOVX has always brought about continuous enhancements and new features into its applications driven by its user community. In line with Gartner’s prediction, Bell says that by 2020, 40 percent of field assets will be monitored and managed by interactions with virtual 3D models. 3D visualization will no longer remain a luxury then, but a necessity to every oil and gas company around the world. INOVX has already positioned itself for this exciting future, leading the transformation of the industry’s asset integrity management landscape.

- Syeda Tina Tabin
    August 01, 2017