Engineering Documentation - Business Opportunity or Technical Challenge

Companies that operate and maintain large physical assets like oil refineries, power stations, water distribution infrastructure, factories and airports, face a number of challenges and opportunities relating to the management and control of engineering documents.

In this paper, we will discuss good working practices for assuring the integrity of asset documentation. What this means is that, in addition to making asset documentation readily available, you must also guarantee they are accurate, relevant and compliant.

If you are the owner/operator of any large physical asset you will be under pressure to "get more for less" (extract more value from the assets next year while reducing operational and capital expenditure). The value of your assets may well be measured in billions of dollars and without doubt output and costs measured in hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Assets are renovated, reconfigured, extended and eventually decommissioned to meet changing business demands or external regulatory requirements. It is vitally important that documentation is controlled so that it complies with industry regulations and is reliable and accurate for safety and efficiency. Documentation must be available for operational and inspection purposes for the life of the asset. Effective operation is impossible without accurate up-to-date health and safety documents, policies, procedures, and as-built (or "best so far") engineering documents and drawings.

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