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Multiple Organizations Demonstrate XML-based Electronic Data Exchanges for Pump Data

AUSTIN, TX, May 10, 2005 — Eight organizations that support the pump supply chain demonstrated electronic data exchange using the results from FIATECH’s Automating Equipment Information Exchange (AEX) project's XML schemas for centrifugal pump information. The demonstration was presented at the FIATECH Spring Technology Conference held in Miami, Florida on April 19-20 during the conference plenary session and was followed up with in-person demonstrations for visitors to FIATECH’s Technology Showcase. The demonstration was a collaborative effort by the FIATECH AEX project and the Electronic Data Exchange (EDE) project of the Hydraulic Institute.

This interoperability demonstration proved to industry that the use of the AEX XML schemas can automate the information exchanges among all participants in the equipment supply chain, with significant savings in cost and time and improved quality. FIATECH member organizations (AVEVA, Bechtel, Bentley, DuPont, ePlantData, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology), members of the Hydraulic Institute and additional software suppliers collaborated on this demonstration of streamlining and automating equipment supply chain transactions.

Specifically, the owner-operator company (DuPont) exported centrifugal pump requirements in AEX XML format. Engineering procurement and construction (EPC) companies’ software applications imported this file and added mechanical specifications. The EPC software systems then exported a revised XML file, which was forwarded to two prospective pump supplier companies (Goulds Pumps and Sundyne) with a request for them to prepare a bid quotation. The pump suppliers completed the design and selection and transmitted the results back to the EPC and owner for the final selection through a bid comparison/evaluation tool. The entire process was completed in 20 minutes using the XML schemas developed in the AEX project. It would normally take several days or weeks using paper and fax.

Extensible Markup Language (XML) is an Internet standard published by the World Wide Web Consortium that makes it possible to exchange information among software systems. The XML schemas developed by the AEX project for facilities equipment, which include both project and technical information, are available, royalty-free, on the FIATECH web site.

“Building software implementations by several organizations in a relatively short period of time illustrates that XML-based data exchange is a pragmatic solution to a problem that the industry has been trying to solve for a long time,” says Tom Teague, AEX project technical lead and president of ePlantData, Inc. “The AEX project will continue to build upon these initial demonstration implementations to commercialize multi-system data exchange and migrate these solutions into industry standard work practices. The AEX project will build on this success and publish XML schemas for additional equipment types, including compressors, fans, tanks and valves.”

“DuPont is involved with FIATECH and the AEX project in particular because we believe it is time to move beyond talking about problems and take action,” explains James B. Porter, Jr., Vice President, Safety, Health, Environment and Engineering, DuPont. “The AEX project, with this demonstration, has responded to an industry-wide challenge regarding standards and interoperability, allowing owners like DuPont to work with contractors and technology developers to proactively solve problems in the most business effective ways. We are extremely pleased with the results of this work. We particularly applaud the agreement among the software developers on the team to implement the schemas in their products. We will continue to work with the AEX team to ensure successful implementation."

“Bechtel sees value when each company working together on capital projects can maintain and use their own work process and preferred systems using loosely-coupled electronic data exchanges. It is critically important that data exchanges become reusable across multiple data exchange partners, rather than creating custom-built solutions. The AEX project provides a pragmatic approach to achieving widespread adoption of reusable technical data exchange across the industry,” adds Robin Benjamins, Manager, Information Systems and Technology for Bechtel.

“Goulds Pumps supports initiatives that reduce process cycle time and lead times. We want to be "easy to do business with" for our customers. The AEX project is important to fulfilling the vision,” further adds Adrienne Burgess, Manager, Information Systems and Technology for the ITT Industrial & BioPharm Group.

"I'm on the board of FIATECH, along with representatives of Bentley Systems' competitors. It is a true consortium of owners, contractors, and vendors. Together we focus on high, quick ROI aspects of interoperability, not the development of standards. The focus of FIATECH is to work on proof-of-benefit cases. The AEX demonstration is a good example of this. I would encourage all organizations to join and participate in the FIATECH Consortium. It's very effective and affordable, and is part of the future in which we all cooperate," explains Greg Bentley, CEO, Bentley Systems Inc.

If you have specific questions on the AEX project, or its XML schemas for facilities equipment, please contact the AEX Project Leader, Mark Palmer, National Institute of Standards and Technology at 301-975-5858, or the AEX Project Technical Lead, Tom Teague, President, ePlantData, Inc. at 713-728-9140.