Getting excited about FIATECH next week.
Monday, March 24, 2008 at 05:16AM
Toby Considine in BIM, Enterprise Interaction, Markets and Innovation

While I have attended a FIATECH charrette and teleconference or two, I am looking forward to my first FIATECH Conference down in New Orleans next week. It was very tempting to place the oBIX development process as a FIATECH project a few years back. In the end, we decided that it was more important to place oBIX among the e-commerce standards at OASIS, but I have long had a solid appreciation for the vision in the capital projects technology roadmap.

Several of the FIATECH projects are this year coming out of the woodwork after a quiet period. This is normal for new technologies and methods. Initial excitement is followed by disillusionment, which is followed by actual use.

A speaker observed last year at an OASIS conference that those of us who understand Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) should hunker down for a few years of abuse. Vendors have oversold products that may have a few symptoms of the approach, but substitute products and slogans for the hard work of thinking about the business. (Pretty much any product that includes the phrase “Enterprise Service Bus” fits this description.) The speaker went on to observe that the season of disillusionment was at hand.

Several FIATECH initiatives have gone through this cycle. FIATECH is now one of the main loci for ISO 15926 efforts. ISO 15926 started life as "Industrial automation systems and integration—Integration of life-cycle data for process plants including oil and gas production facilities" This work slowed when half done, only to be revived as a FIATECH project. There it has developed a generic data model and Reference Data Library for process plants, and has become the most compelling standard for modeling any state information. We have discussed within oBIX whether we can adopt some of the ISO 15926, now considered a general purpose standard for data integration, sharing, exchange, and hand-over between computer systems. I am looking forward to learning more about ISO 15926 this week.

By most accounts, BIM (Building Information Modeling) has also served its years in the wilderness, and come out of the crucible as buildingSmart. FIATECH remains one of the best forums to discuss real life BIM experiences across a wide range of construction activities.

This year, with FIATECH meeting in New Orleans, Kimon Onuma is launching BIMStorm New Orleans. I very much hope that he can carve out a little time to talk to me. His planning system provides an astonishing nexus for live data exchange between tools and purposes of BIM related information. When I look at OPS, however, I see a tool just as interesting for operating a building, for pulling modeled information out of building systems to produce building dashboards. I also see the potential for an integrated operations repository, particularly useful with outsourced maintenance and analytics.

I recently accepted a request to become co-champion of Element 5 of FIATECH’s Capital Projects Roadmap. Element 5 is titled Intelligent, Self-Maintaining and Repairing Operational Facilities. I will be presenting a talk aligned with that entitled “The Enterprise-Responsive Facility”

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