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Plant Explorer


Plant Explorer

Plant Explorer(PE) is an integrated system for storage and retrieval of a wide range of plant documents in electronic form, intelligently linked and maintained on a central server.


What is Plant Explorer?
Plant Explorer is a value-added information resource for an operating plant, where integrated, equipment-centric information on drawings, data sheets, vendor data and procedure manuals is maintained centrally in electronic form on a suitable computing environment. PE provides a convenient and fast information retrieval to the authorised users geographically spread across an operating plant facilitating reduction in equipment down – time and improvement in productivity. Further, it also facilitates regular updations so that as – built plant information is readily available.


The key features include:


• Integration of heterogeneous plant information like
   - Drawings in vector form
   - Text documents
   - Manuals in word form,
   - Data in spread - sheets or Explorer tables
   - Scanned images of drawings and documents.
• Windows based Graphic User Interface (GUI),
• Client server LAN based RDBMS environment, flexibility of information
• Retrieval through multiple navigational paths
• Security and access control through user-password
• RDBMS and network level controls
• Provision to update the Explorer contents


Major issues concerning plant documentation
Some of the issues concerning the traditional system of plant documentation etc.

• Documents available in paper form leading to difficulties in their upkeep.
• Large number as well as variety of drawings, design documents manuals, catalogues and vendor
• Difficulties in access and tractability.
• Inadequate co-ordination between various functional group in the plant.
• As built data and documents may not be available.
• Difficulties encountered in revamping and expansion work due inadequate data.


Need for electronic plant documentation
During the plant operations, maintenance, revamping and expansion, the documents related to process design, Engineering, procurement, commissioning and operations are referred time and again by various functional groups e.g. Technical services, Maintenance, Material and Operations. As the same information needs to be referred by different functional groups, it is essential to maintain integrity and consistency of data. Therefore, an integrated plant data on a central system, which can be easily accessed by the plant users, is extremely important. Moreover, information related to the design of the plant is a valuable asset which needs to be preserved for future reference.


Plant Explorer details
Some of the major functional groups typical to any plant could be: Technical Services, Maintenance, Materials and Operations. PE caters to some of the requirements of all these groups. However, these may be suitably customized to incorporate the specific requirements of the client.


PE contents may cover the entire plant data life cycle, i.e. Basic Engineering, Detailed Engineering, Procurement, Construction, Commissioning, Operations and Maintenance. An indicative list of documents which can be included in the PE system is given as follows. Further deliberation with the client will help in identifying other priority documents for inclusion in PE. 


Basic Engineering

• Process Design Basis
• Heat and Material Balance
• Equipment List
• Line Schedule
• Process Description
• Effluent Summary
• Safety Criteria

• Process Flow Diagrams (PFDs)
• Piping and Instruments Diagrams (P&IDs)
• Instrument List
• Process Data Sheets
• Utility Summary
• Flare Load
• Piping Material Specification


Detailed Engineering

• Engineering Drawings
• Engineering Datasheets
• Vendor Drawing References



• Purchase Orders
• Vendor Data
• Catalogue Reference



• Operating Procedures
• Safety and Regulatory Procedures

Plant Explorer