Mikko Juopperi reports on how an operational way to deliver plants has high impact on total costs.
Modularisation of products is a well known way to reduce engineering, logistics and installation costs. However, its positive effects on total EPC project delivery efficiency have unfortunately often been forgotten.
The playground between traditional one-off projects to serial production is wide and project management methodology is seldom truly connected to each midway product structure.
Modularisation and management
Typically, product modularisation is based on functional, manufacturing, transportation or installation aspects whereas the project management process has been seen as a completely separate activity with no connection to a changed product structure.
Product modularisation, however, can not generate its full benefits if the project organisation, management methodology and way of working do not match with the improved product characteristics.
Clearly, one important aspect for development of modularisation is increased project management efficiency.
The organisational change to a new way of working is sometimes taught to be done by updating quality management processes and by investing in intensive training to shift the personnel's attitude.
Sadly, the old way to re-inventing solutions and keeping false focus areas is tough to get rid of.
A more straight forward way to change the way of delivering is to include delivery management aspects as a part of the product.
This, in turn, leads to a true need to change the way of working and builds good soil for the shift.
If the strategic goal is set to more 'serial like' plant deliveries, the product structure should be changed step by step in order to let the project teams familiarise and enjoy new pre-selected parts of the project.
At the same time, the speed and steps of the change must be managed and the reduction of project management scope must be made visible to reach cost savings.
Including delivery management aspects as a part of the product, requires great understanding of where the project team shall invest their time and energy.
It is very common that basic functionality has a surprisingly low priority and the project team focus is instead related to connectivity, combinations, quality management and localisation of product.
In the early phases of the change, the project teams have large needs to understand and trust new modularised partial products in their own project.
Utilisation of guiding configurations tools has been found as an effective way to provide visibility of status, responsibilities and effects for project product delivery chain.
Tools must provide, not only technical, but also delivery management related data and documents. These tools should be implemented at an early phase even though all data would not yet be in place.
Configuration tools should be also used to communicate the modularisation status of various parts of products.
Modularisation has been successfully used to change delivery management's ways of working for enhanced efficiency.
Key to this success has been matching product structure with delivery management processes, building details of project management to part of product data and by providing clear visibility of products characteristics and modularisation status to project teams.
Citec Engineering provides multi-discipline engineering and consulting services for the power industry.
During the past 25 years Citec has been involved in more than 1000 power plant projects worldwide. In close co-operation with its customers Citec will provide everything from single discipline engineering to turnkey designs.
Citec's product development team has successfully developed and implemented the modularisation of power plants.
The modularised solutions make project management more efficient by:
- Making sales more efficient by accurate prices and earlier deliveries.
- Right targeted technical expertise and more customer-orientated project groups.
- Fast purchases, less orders and less risks in on-time deliveries.
- High grade of pre-fabrication.
- Pre-tested solutions make product development more efficient.
- Minimum of work at site: less risks, better quality, low costs, fast deliveries.
- Planning and documentation on the early phase of a project saves both time and money.
Citec also provides multi-discipline technical solutions and project services for the civil, rail vehicles and process industries.
Enter X at www.engineerlive.com/ipe
Mikko Juopperi is Business Area Manager, Citec Engineering Oy Ab, Vaasa, Finland. www.citec.com