"The biggest enemy of quality is the hurry," as Henry Ford recognized. AUCOTEC's remedy for the time pressure that creates this quality-damaging haste: quality! This sounds contradictory at first, but it's quite logical. The new energy suppliers quality management EVU from Engineering Base (EB) saves weeks of manual testing with its automatisms. The time saved results in less pressure, less haste – and thus more quality.
When planning and operating energy plants, everyone wants and needs to be sure that the data is correct. In certain sections, the engineering experts test whether the results of the previous work steps are correct and comply with all specifications. This ensures that the ongoing work is not based on false data and assumptions.
... Verification is better
When adopting the documentation from the supplier or the engineering department, operators usually recheck whether the entire documentation is error-free. This includes, for example, whether all energy suppliers' guidelines, which are often part of the contract, are complied with. In addition, it must be ensured that the material is correctly assigned, the device structure is correct, the correct templates have been used and the devices have been correctly installed.
If this complete check has to be carried out by "visual inspection", it usually takes weeks and is still no guarantee for complete correctness. Therefore, AUCOTEC has developed the quality management system that, at every stage of the plant planning, checks the respectively designed parts or the complete documentation to see that everything is as it should be.
For the users of AUCOTEC's classic energy suppliers system RUPLAN, the associated QA tools were already real highlights and time savers. The many years of experience gained have been incorporated into the quality management for the cooperative, data-centred Engineering Base (EB) platform. Here, in an up-to-date, much more flexible software framework, the QA tools also simplify and shorten testing enormously for EB users – initially in the energy suppliers sector.
Checklist: Pin accurately traceable
If a QA tool has detected errors, the seal on EB's test sheet is red. The corresponding list shows and describes each individual error. As of EB version 2022, not only the faulty object is listed, but also the exact faulty attribute or pin. EB can then be used to navigate directly from the checklist and back to the list, where the error can be ticked off as checked and corrected.
The test sheets with green seal, which proves absence of errors, also have a corresponding list. It can contain specific details as information or warnings if the documentation is correct but, for example, set material does not appear in the catalogue or the mounting form for a device with accessories is missing. Here, too, you can navigate directly from the list to the object and optimize the documentation. The test sheets and lists can be individually configured; error and warning messages as well as the information can also be defined as desired thanks to EB's XML understanding.
Everything must be in its place
Each area and each evaluation is given its own test folder with name, date and time. EB not only checks templates, symbols (shapes), devices, wiring and potentials for correct, EVU-compliant use, but also all subsequent documents (reports), such as layout and equipment diagrams or cable lists.
With EB version 2022, however, objects can also be explicitly excluded from the check. If a supplier excludes a project, for example, it is essential to receive this information. In EB, this can be seen directly in the certificate and everything can be traced in detail in the message objects. This is because all objects can be viewed individually there.
Planners can also check their own work steps and projects individually "under construction" at any time. These check runs, which cannot be overwritten by colleagues like the certificate checks, are also automatically given an ID and a folder with the name of the checker. This additional quality "booster" goes directly back to suggestions from AUCOTEC's EVU working group and met with broad approval when it was presented there.
Also new with version 2022 are the red entries in the cable list. With this check, planners can now directly view discrepancies between the cable overview and the wiring in the project.
Thus the quality management tools save suppliers and operators weeks of manual testing, ensure the highest data quality and give their users the assurance that rules and agreements are always complied with. This means that time pressure and haste are no longer a problem for quality.