3D Visualization: Advancing the Future of Facility Integrity Management

By Scott Keller and Daniel Sawyer, 3-D Visualization Consultants at CTG

Oil and gas companies spend billions of dollars each year analyzing their assets to understand integrity threats and where those threats can create risk. A significant portion of this integrity analysis is composed of collating information from multiple silos about the physical arrangement of the asset as it relates to integrity and inspection data. 3-D visualization has the ability to cut cost, time and resources needed for this process.

An as-built 3-D model of the physical asset connected to the integrity and inspection data creates substantial opportunities for efficiencies and cost savings by anchoring data and documentation to a digital representation of the physical environment. Integrity management is a clear driver for 3D visualization in the oil and gas industry. Below are just a few of the many benefits of the process – and if you’re interested in more, you can find additional thoughts in our recent American Oil and Gas Reporter story.

Improving Efficiency and Accuracy

Users can leverage a facility’s 3-D representation to optimize inspections and effectively communicate important facility features to inspectors in ways that simply can’t be achieved using the traditional approach with drawings and images.  The ability to review this beforehand in the office can significantly reduce the amount of time inspectors spend in the facility, optimizing budget and resources while also reducing risk.

Maintaining Asset Integrity

Oil and gas facilities must be constantly maintained to prevent damage to assets or loss of containment and in a manner that is cost-effective and minimizes downtime. 

The key to this maintenance is visibility. The ability to track and visualize the results of previous inspections in the context of the physical asset enables comprehension of system-wide impacts versus a collection of individual inspection points. For example, combining process temperature and pressure data with inspection results provides higher level views into cause and effect, allowing preventative rather than remedial actions.

Reducing Risk

Last but not least, a strong benefit of 3-D visualization is how it enables better understanding and communication of risks; with visibility to hazards and threats associated with physical assets. This promotes informed decision making to mitigate the many risks within oil and gas facilities.

3D visualization is evolving from a technique only used during facility design to one that is critical to everyday operations. Companies that invest the resources now to implement the solution will be well positioned to proceed with a Digital Twin based on their as-built 3-D model. As this happens, facility monitoring will become a much less costly, complicated, and arduous process.

If you want to learn more about how CTG is helping clients across a variety of industries check out our case studies online here. If you would like to know how CTG can help your company explore 3D visualization, contact us for more information.

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