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From EPC to EPCOM (EPC + Operation & Maintenance)


From EPC to EPCOM (EPC + Operation & Maintenance)

The process of engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) and project execution uses a vast amount of diversified technical information from multiple entities and software applications/ platforms. A means to seamlessly integrate the various sources of data, including licensor data and display this information on a real time basis is needed. Intelligent systems enable the business through information and technology with necessary IT infrastructure/ operations technology (OT), make it easier to separate IT from the rest of the business applications, for successful implementation to drive operational excellence, quality, efficiency, capture all data (Big Data) and hence productivity and operational excellence, aligning with Industry 4.0 standard.

Process Industry and process plants have a challenging task of monitoring and sustaining productivity; improving plant efficiency, plant reliability and profitability margins; optimizing operational expenditures (OPEX) over capital expenditures (CAPEX); and capturing operational knowledge. The journey of digital transformation needs a holistic approach, to be extended and Integrated from EPC (Engineering, Procurement, Construction), to EPCOM (EPC + Operation & Maintenance) for SMART plants, through information and operational technology (IT-OT) convergence, Industrial IoT connected technologies, such as smart sensors, cloud, Big Data and Analytics, with traditional on-premises solution or an off-premises solution, to facilitate real time assessment of the processes, performance of assets and equipment; to improve plant operational Efficiency, Safety , Reliability and Sustainability.

Technology enabling this transition


Blockchain technology gives digital engineering designers or approvers  from the regional design centres the opportunity and ability to create value and authenticate digital information and the review comments and changes recorded during the process. The new business application has opportunities for a meaningful approach to a successful execution of projects with quality, on time and within budget cost. The engineering process is actually a chain of processes or work modules across multidisciplinary teams that result in a design structure and process methodology. An engineer cannot be validated by anyone except another reviewer. It is essential that an Engineering Blockchain have a strong basis or proof, agreement or consensus with disciplines involved, and a validation algorithm meeting specification and design or industry standards.


The concept of digital twin is a virtual model of a process, product or service. This pairing of the virtual (with 3D Intelligent model) and physical worlds allows analysis of data and monitoring of systems to head off problems before they even occur, prevent downtime, develop new opportunities and even plan for the future by using simulations.


Cryptography or digital coding is associated with this process, converting ordinary plain text into unintelligible text and vice-versa, mainly based on mathematical theory and computer science practice. It is a method of storing and transmitting data in a particular form. Cryptography not only protects data from theft or alteration but can also be used for user authentication. On a typical EPCM project there could be several contractors and sub-contractors with multiple entities involved at the design stage.


Multicloud strategies are important enablers of enterprise digital transformation. Matching geographical workload requirements, Cyber security, cost, and compliance requirements with the capabilities of different on-premises and public cloud service options can help IT leadership teams ensure that developers and business teams are able to enable digital transformation while also addressing corporate risk management and spending priorities. However, the IT teams need to do so in a way that is reliable and consistent and can be scalable and ready to implement the on-demand nature of public/hybrid cloud services.


The technology is now trending more towards to edge computing, a distributed computing paradigm in which computation is largely or completely performed on distributed device nodes (regional design centres) known as smart devices or edge devices, moving from a centralized server/cloud environment. The term edge refers to the geographic distribution of computing nodes in the network as Internet of Things devices, which are on a connected enterprise network. The emphasis is to provide server resources, data analysis and artificial intelligence closer to data collection sources and cyber-physical systems such as smart sensors and actuators. Edge computing is seen as important in the realization of IIOT, and a secure computing.

Edge computing is related to the concepts of wireless sensor networks, intelligent networks and smart objects in the context of human–computer interaction, but edge computing is more about the computation performed at the edge of networks and systems whereas in turn allowing future products and product updates to be based on customer insights. Edge computing has been proposed as an alternative to the prevalence of cloud computing in data centres.

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