Why is Non-Graphical Work Packaging Important?

Why is Non-Graphical Work Packaging Important?

By Andrew Foy, O3 Solutions VP of AWP & Construction

Non-graphical work packaging is the far less glamorous part of Workface Planning (WFP), but still a very crucial element in being able to deliver efficient work to the field crews.

Before we go any further, we should define what we are talking about. What is Non-Graphical Work Packaging?
It is the grouping and packaging of elements or components that are not included in the 3D model. Where graphical work packaging allows you to just click on components in the model and add them to packages, non-graphical packaging is typically derived from a list.

A good example of this would be the installation of cables. Typically, projects do not model cables. They model cable tray, but the cables themselves are just left as a list. So when you are building work packages for electrical cable pulling, you can select the cables from a list instead of clicking on the model.

So are we losing out by doing this?

The good news is that O3 is able to pull data from various sources and combine it into a powerful engine for your Planners. This means that, as long as the underlying data is available, the functionality can be very similar to graphical packaging.  

Selecting the elements to go into the IWP is really easy, but as soon as that is done O3 is able to automatically:

  • Pull the relevant drawings, ensuring that the latest revision is being used.
  • Create a material list for the work package that can be issued as a request to material management.
  • Estimate the installation hours for the work package, using pre-defined rates of placement.
  • Create execution tasks (actions) for all scope elements including pre-defined rules of credit.
  • Establish a list of relevant constraints for the package.

We have also been able to get very inventive with the use of the related data, meaning that in many cases you can treat non-graphical elements as though they are graphical. For example:

  • Piping components in the model are typically viewed as being an installation activity. But by combining the pipe data with line list information, we can use the same piece of pipe for multiple package types. That means a planner can graphically create an installation package, hydrotest package, painting package, heat trace package and insulation package. The paint, heat trace and insulation aren’t modelled, but they can be packaged as though they are.
  • Cable runs can often be complex and hard to visualize. But if you can persuade the Engineering contractor to map the cable runs to the cable trays, and have the cable tray runs broken down into discrete lengths, whenever you select an individual cable O3 can highlight the relevant cable tray runs to provide graphical display of a non-graphical element.

There will always be some less ‘glamorous’ components like earthwork or demolition that will remain resolutely non-graphical. But these can be packaged with simple descriptions, allowing you to extend your WFP practices to these disciplines and still get all the benefits of proper planning, constraint management, accurate progress, and performance reporting.

Graphical work packaging is definitely more widely used, and the visuals that come from it are invaluable. But don’t forget about non-graphical when you are planning your work, or you will always be leaving additional savings and efficiencies on the table.

To learn more, contact us at info@o3.solutions or visit our website at www.o3.solutions.

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