When Bold Is Not Beautiful!!!


By Anil Seth

Gurgaon, India



To Boldly Go Where No Man Has Gone Before……………………………   
~ Star Trek: The Original Series


In any of your Projects, have you ever experienced the feeling that being Bold is not always taken as a welcome step? [Which is not seen as beautiful by management?]

– many times even ugly scenarios and strategies win the race.

Recently in one of the projects we were asked to look into a peculiar scenario wherein the problem was made complex as both the teams (design and fabrication executor) were seeing a new process and hence each one was doubtful on the resolution and approach.

Any problem has three steps for recovery and resolution:

  1. Identification
  2. Rectification
  3. Modification of Rectification to avoid recurrence in future

Believe me we cannot add any other step in this.

Coming to the problem which was given to us; this was to eradicate an error in piping isometrics which is not visible to engineering designer and can only be seen once machine drawing of spools is being prepared. The challenge was to catch the [weld] error before fabrication planning team executes.

Going to the three steps listed, we went for identification.

One substantial list of [Weld] errors was generated by fabrication group. This gave designers Automation Team an opportunity to read the encrypted language in S3D environment.

The schedule between issuance of Isometrics file and identification of Errors by planning team was about 3-4 weeks. Hence it was important to know the Errors at time of issuance of Isometrics.

To explain the problem technically, the piping Isometrics when extracted from S3D system has generally three files:

  • .pdf
  • .sha
  • .pcf

Design team uses .pdf file for checking and back checking and that file is considered as face of Isometrics. The .pcf file is a machine language file and is generally use for spool preparation by fabrication group (this is considered as an input to spoolgen tool).The problem was found to be in .pcf file; there were lot of discrepancies found in reporting weld errors (in numbering, hierarchy, etc.).

The problem is solved if this is made visible to the team either manually or through Automation with target mitigation date highlighted.

The Step1 was started with the problem statement provided by the Fabrication team and mitigation was planned. Daily targets were given to designers to resolve the concern arose.

This approach could only solve the problem in hand but as I have explained earlier, we were not in a position to explore whether any issued Isometrics which had not reached fabrication team still had this error……?

Next ….to attack and rectify the wholesome problem, we approached our automation team.

Subsequently a tool called “PCF Validator” was developed within a weeks’ time.

!!…problem solved, NO! This tool was not at all tested, in fact we implemented βeta version directly. This was an UGLY calculated risk.

The first analysis had horrifying and conflicting numbers. And yes a concern was reported.


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About the Author

Anil Seth

Gurgaon, India



Mr. Anil Seth is working as Project Manager in Fluor’s Indian office at Gurgaon. Fluor Daniel India Private Limited (Fluor India) provides a full range of engineering, design, procurement, and construction management services to Indian and overseas clients. Fluor India is an established quality provider of engineering, procurement, construction management (EPC) and project management services for Fluor’s energy and chemicals, power, mining, and industrial projects, and is a key support office for Fluor facilities located in North America, Africa, the Middle East, Europe, and Asia Pacific

Earlier to Fluor, was in Larsen & Toubro Ltd. at Faridabad, India and managing the Project Engineering Manager Portfolio for hydrocarbon projects. Before joining Larsen & Toubro Engineering and construction division he has worked for Indian Petrochemicals Corporation Limited. He holds B.E. degree with Honors in CHEMICAL Engineering from Panjab University Chandigarh India and has also done Diploma in Environmental Management. He is certified for Harvard Manage Mentor and specializes in Building High Performance cross functional Task Force as well as Converting Breakeven Projects to Profitable scenario. He can be reached at mailto:[email protected]or [email protected]

To see other works by Anil Seth, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at http://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/mr-anil-seth/


About the Company

Fluor Corporation (NYSE: FLR) is a global engineering and construction firm that designs and builds some of the world’s most complex projects. The company creates and delivers innovative solutions for its clients in engineering, procurement, fabrication, construction, maintenance and project management on a global basis. For more than a century, Fluor has served clients in the energy, chemicals, government, industrial, infrastructure, mining and power market sectors. Headquartered in Irving, Texas, Fluor ranks 110 on the FORTUNE 500 list. With more than 40,000 employees worldwide, the company’s revenue for 2013 was $27.4 billion. For more information, visit www.fluor.com