‘Virtual Operations’ – Coming Soon to a Process Facility Near You

‘Virtual Operations’ – Coming Soon to a Process Facility Near You

In our last post, we discussed ‘Reality Capture’ – the basic application of 3D digital twins that sets the groundwork for virtual facilities for oil and gas, mining, pulp and paper and chemical production plants.

For simpler use cases such as remote walk-throughs and capital projects, an augmented 3D scan of the job site is enough. But for those with more intricate needs, there’s a higher track of AssetCare™ 3D that integrates key engineering and maintenance functions into the newly formed 3D model.

It’s all there in the name – “Virtual Operations.” This premium offering brings the full power of AssetCare to the forefront to streamline maintenance planning and operations tasks. This means a new approach to turnarounds, updating piping and instrumentation diagrams (P&IDs) or inspection isometrics and handling asset integrity management.

Particularly in the age of COVID-19, but also in the world that awaits us on the other side of the pandemic, there is enormous value in finding new connected ways to tackle old problems.

The Power of Integration

While Reality Capture stops at adding virtual asset labels and linking P&IDs to 3D scans of a facility, Virtual Operations leverages meta data from P&IDs and other existing engineering records to create a 3D virtual model, an intelligent navigator of the facility.


When viewed through our “AssetCare 3D viewer” – accessed remotely– this virtual model opens the door to both informative remote walkthroughs and an effective, augmented workflow in the field. In addition to the ability to go through the facility and quickly pull up information or key documents, as provided by Reality Capture, Virtual Operations enables users to view, integrate and access operational and maintenance data, P&IDs, equipment & instrument data and much more, quickly and easily.

Having all this information easily accessible in the field or when completely remote has proven to be a game changer for maintenance and operations, especially in complex facilities that would normally require processes to be checked and re-checked throughout the day.

A worker in the field, for example, can pull up detailed corrosion loops with the locations of inspection points or work packages, all referenced against the 3D model, to do a job that in more traditional settings would require tedious and time-consuming trips for the necessary documents. 

For remote workers, the changes are even more significant. Once constrained by access to a selection of static photos and explanations over the phone, Virtual Operations can be augmented with mCloud’s Connected Worker solution to enable remote personnel to see what the field worker is seeing. Off-site supervisors can be just a click away should the need arise. This is the new normal for remote productivity.

Enhancing Reality

Virtual Operations is a journey, and will continue to evolve. AssetCare’s roadmap includes augmented reality solutions that will bring this streamlined approach to an even higher level.

 Remote or onsite workers will be able to view overlays of equipment health, line and system information, maintenance procedures, and even identify and trace piping lines with just a glance. Operations and engineering personnel will be able to annotate 3D models and customize workflows and share with their teams. 

Facilities that have already embraced digital workflows and remote capabilities are navigating the pandemic much more smoothly due to the greatly enhanced remote toolkit of AssetCare. Of course, workers who remain onsite are still crucial to the equation, and have their capabilities greatly boosted by these new digital tools.

The next paradigm of maintenance and operations isn’t in the future – it’s already here, with more facilities embracing it by the day. To learn more about our cutting-edge solutions and what they can do for your facility, visit our AssetCare 3D Digital Twin page.  

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