Bridging the Gap Between Design and InfrastructureTue, 01/22/2013 - 12:58
3D scans and modeling are vital tools in the construction, design, maintenance, and quality control processes of large infrastructure projects in the oil and gas industry. This technology has brought positive change to the industry in a variety of ways: by quickly capturing all of the measurements of any physical object, by saving time in design work, and by comparing “as-designed” models to the “as-built” condition of manufactured parts. Jorge De Dios Morales, CEO at Grupo Diarqco, believes that “3D scanning and modeling is a whole new style of engineering design that functions more as a database utilized in a variety of ways, than a simple visual representation of a structure.”
Grupo Diarqco started operating in 1993 as a small company focused in computer-aided design (CAD), and by obtaining state-of-the-art domestic and international safety technology and engineering design certifications is on track to become a leading firm in 3D scans and models in Mexico. The 3D scans and models help operators to optimize production of a platform: “Creating a model that is connected to software that functions like a brain utilizing state-of-the-art technology, allows you to access all the necessary information to successfully manage, control, and maintain a platform or any other type of oil and gas infrastructure,” De Dios Morales explains. “These 3D scans are used to detect changes to equipment and tools, and make it easier to detect the need for and manufacture replacement parts.” This is extremely important because tools in the oil and gas industry are usually hand-tuned. By using 3D scanning the deficiencies are digitally detected and transferred to software that gives the exact specifications for a new replacement part, helping to overcome potential discrepancies between the platform design and the end product.
Mexican engineering companies such as Grupo Diarqco have been successful in acquiring contracts in the Mexican oil and gas industry by creating strategic alliances with the leading technology companies from around the world. “This strategy has been successful because, even though we have been in the business for over 20 years, people are still skeptical about Mexican technology,” De Dios Morales
says. “To mitigate this, we offer proven international technology in the most important cities for oil and gas in Mexico: Villahermosa, Ciudad del Carmen, Reynosa, Paraíso, and even in Mexico City. Our location in these strategic oil cities, and our connections with key Pemex executives and private oil companies, allows us to be at the forefront of potential opportunities and interact with the most important and experienced design engineers in the country.”
In order to successfully maintain platforms using 3D design scans and models, it is extremely important to maintain clear lines of communication between the design team and the operator. “Communication between the construction and the design company is crucial, in order to successfully build and install all the necessary parts and prevent any discrepancies in the implementation of the original design,” De Dios Morales explains.
Besides optimizing the design, fabrication and maintenance of oil platforms, 3D scans and models allow oil companies to stay up-to-date on safety and regulatory compliance. The oil and gas industry is constantly evolving to prevent accidents and mitigate its environmental impact; therefore, having a mechanism that can rapidly capture all the data of a platform in its current condition, as opposed to the as-built condition, allows owners to update their platforms and adapt them to new safety and environmental standards. Additionally, these 3D scans and models allow operators to further improve safety and security on platforms by creating models and simulations to better understand personnel demand and capacity.
Although Grupo Diarqco has been very successful over the past 20 years, it is currently searching for new opportunities by creating alliances with international companies with expertise in designing well-management systems. These solutions measure the percentage of each fluid or gas coming out of a well and positively affect an oil company’s ability to optimize production through real- time decision making. De Dios Morales is certain that this will mark the new era of Grupo Diarqco.