Project controls for electrical, instrumentation and control systems: Enabling role of digital system information modelling

Accurate assessment of a project’s progress enables managers to control and manage costs and schedule.

Automating the processes to monitor and inspect the progress of works in construction, and ensure that the data acquired and retrieved are able to produce an accurate ‘as-built’ model is an issue that has received ubiquitous attention in the literature. Emphasis has been placed on utilizing technologies such as mobile augmented reality, laser scanners, and computer visions to monitor and control physical objects that possess geometrical properties.

Connected systems such as Electrical, Instrumentation and Control Systems (EICS), however, do not possess geometrical properties and as a result have been overlooked, receiving limited attention. This paper utilizes a digital System Information Model (SIM) to enable a project control system based on human-machine interactions, to be developed, in order to monitor progress during the construction of connected systems. By incorporating the design, schedules, activities, and tasks into a digital, cloud-based model, the system enables different parties involved in a project to synchronously work together. Information can be recorded, distributed and shared in real-time therefore significantly improving decision-making, the approvals process, and management
of information.

A SIM is discipline-specific and there is a need to ensure its interoperability with building information modeling software. Therefore, a bi-directional link between the SIM and the project’s
overall schedule and three-dimensional model needs to be developed in the future.

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