Vendor Modelling and Metadata

Author: Alina Tarshina, DBM Vircon
When I started working at DBMVircon a year ago as a trainee, I was assigned to a vendor modelling and metadata team on the South Flank Project. This is going to be the biggest iron ore processing facility ever built in Western Australia, including an 80 million tonnes per year crushing and screening plant, an overland conveyor system and rail-loading facilities.

On South Flank, we were required to provide precise vendor Navisworks models including accurate metadata specifications and quantities (Figure 1). The benefits of accuracy are the elimination of clashes in construction, less rework, minimisation of waste and developing an inventory for operations and maintenance.

Figure 1 – Metadata of a Gearbox Cooler

Figure 1 – Metadata of a Gearbox Cooler

South Flank was a design-assist project; therefore, it was not always easy to get access to specific and accurate vendor information. For example, we were provided with some generic past project drawings for the surge conveyor gravity take up which was then modelled as best as possible. Later, when more precise festoon, sheave, shackles and rope information was supplied, I re-modelled the corresponding objects and appended the correct data to them.

There were also cases when a detailed design of a vendor block was not available and I was required to model simplified placeholders. For instance, initially I modelled all idlers from revision A drawings which helped structural modellers to use them in their models. After receiving Approved For Construction drawings I was able to update related idler models.

Another challenge we overcame about half way into the project was revision control of vendor models. We had to ensure vendor models accurately matched their latest revision drawings. We introduced a new system, assigning revisions to 3D models which helped us to identify what vendor blocks have or have not been updated to reflect their latest revision drawings.

We were also able to successfully provide additional asset management IRCP (Internal Registration of Classified Plant) models and data.  It will be a significant benefit to see not only the location of all the IRCP plaques in a project’s 3D model but also the number of the engineering documents it is linked to (Figure 2).

 Figure 2 – IRCP metadata of a beam

Figure 2 – IRCP metadata of a beam

In my opinion, the most challenging part of IRCP management was to develop a new algorithm to be able to show the IRCP plaques with all required data in them in Tekla models without affecting existing IFC drawings. I’m very glad I had an opportunity to participate in the testing of such an interesting development.

I find being a trainee very enjoyable. I keep learning new things every day.  DBM Vircon gives its trainees opportunities to try different aspects of drafting. Over the past year, I have been exposed to both structural and piping disciplines and have undertaken 3D modelling, 2D drafting and vendor data modelling.

Being a trainee and also a woman in the construction industry I am encouraged to know that I always get a chance to express my opinion, suggest my ideas and get all the support I need to learn and develop my skills. It’s good that engineering companies have started hiring more females. Women bring their own perspective on everything including solving problems, creativity and leadership.

As a result of the knowledge I gained during my first year of traineeship, I believe my future career pathway has opened up and I’m looking forward to participating in many more interesting projects.