The Automation of Document-Based Codes and Design Rules

We’ve all heard our parents or elders quote this at some time in our lives: “Any job worth doing is worth doing right.”

In our industry, building large capital assets is definitely a job worth doing right for many reasons, including energy needs, investment return, community welfare, personnel health and safety, and environmental care. Our industry has developed a complex process of documentation and manual checks so that our large projects are, in theory, always designed and executed better than the last one. That’s continuous improvement, right?

I think the answer to that question is maybe. Satisfying the many constraints that result from financial, engineering, construction, operations and maintenance disciplines has simply become overwhelming for even the smartest of us. I’ve personally witnessed bid specifications go out to contractors that referenced more rules and requirements than the contractor could possibly afford to master in order to make a fully detailed response. Quite simply, our industry is drowning in details from industry codes, owner operator requirements, and EPC best practices. This is beginning to hinder the continuous improvement that we all envisaged when these old processes were institutionalized.

Intergraph has recently released a technology solution to start simplifying this complexity. The Engineering Integrity module was first released this year as an add-on module to our SmartPlant® P&ID module. We thought that P&ID best practices would be a good place to start, though we plan to eventually broaden this capability across the enterprise. The Engineering Integrity module contains over 3,000 different coded rules (source API 14C) out of the box. More importantly, the Engineering Integrity module has the capability to enable any engineer to create custom rule sets for their company or process with a simple point-and-click interface. This means that we now have a technology in place that can begin to replace the intimidating thick volumes of codes and rules with a memory stick that contains the logic checks that are required to be run against the P&ID design.

We’ve just started with this automation of engineering and design rules, and will keep you informed as we progress. The one thing I can tell you already is that the people we speak to in the industry really like the idea of automating some of the thousands of pages of requirements and automating the associated quality assurance.  By automating some of this, we can better support real continuous improvement from one project to the next.

If you’re getting tired of sweating over all the details and reading long, dry design requirements books, or if you’re just tired of issuing all those codes and then manually checking all the work done by the EPCs, then you might be interested to learn more.  Just search for “Engineering Integrity” on the Intergraph website for more information, or use this link:

I hope you like it, and I look forward to hearing what you have to say.

The automation of Engineering Integrity – that’s shaping change.


Patrick Holcomb
EVP Global Business Development
Intergraph Process, Power & Marine  ( PP&M)


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