Losses in the U.S. capital facilities industry resulting from inadequate interoperability are an estimated $15.8 billion per year, according to the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

In short, interoperability is the ability of systems and devices to successfully exchange and interpret data. In a cost analysis survey, NIST found interoperability problems in the capital facilities industry stem from “the highly fragmented nature of the industry, the industry’s continued paper-based business practices, a lack of standardization, and inconsistent technology adoption among stakeholders.” According to NIST, two-thirds of the $15.8 billion wasted annually is borne by owners and operators, which incur most of these costs during ongoing facility operation and maintenance.

To help reduce such monetary losses and process inefficiencies in the pumping industry, the Hydraulic Institute began an initiative, which promotes a common standard for the digital exchange of technical data for pumping equipment. In 2010, it released the HI 50.7-2010 Standard for Electronic Data Exchange for Pumping Equipment, intended for use by business leaders, engineers, and information technologists at organizations involved in processing technical data for all types of pumping equipment.

Hydraulic Institute Technical Director Gregg Romanyshyn said this initiative provides guidance for the successful deployment of electronic data exchange within an enterprise and between various stakeholders in the design, purchase, manufacture, installation, operation, and maintenance of pumping equipment.

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According to HI, implementing HI 50.7-2010 can save up to 5.25 percent on total project costs. In practice, implementation will also help pump equipment companies stop wasting time reentering data and eliminate errors caused by multiple data entry sessions because data is only entered once and then transferred between companies in neutral XML files.

For example, as noted on the HI website, “Data is entered once in Company A software, exported to XML, imported through an XML interface to Company B software, processed, then exported to XML and on to the next party in the bidding, quoting or purchasing process. If you’ve specified the suction connection rating at 1500, it won’t get mistyped as 2500 when another person touches the data.”

HI 50.7-2010 was developed in collaboration with the Fiatech Automation Equipment Information Exchange (AEX) project and is endorsed by, and referenced within, API 610, 11th ed.; ISO 13709, 2nd ed.; Process Industry Practices (PIP) standards; and the ANSI/ASME B73 standards.

Fiatech’s role is to help promote the adoption of innovative industry practices and technologies that bring the most business value to capital assets. “The beneficiaries [of HI 50.7-2010] are any companies in pump and pumping systems industries that exchange technical information in the procurement process,” said Tyrg Dahl, Ph.D., P.E., technical lead for Fiatech’s Harmonizing Industry Standards to Exchange Equipment Data (HEED) project. “So, mainly it’s end-users, EPCs, pump OEMs, distributors, and even vendors who supply components, such as seals, motors, couplings, etc.”

Currently, companies that have successfully completed the testing procedures to certify compliance with HI-EDE include Intelliquip, ITT Goulds Pumps, and Sulzer Pumps.

“Going forward, the path towards adoption of the standard is expected to be driven by purchasers of pumping equipment and by software suppliers who make their products EDE-compliant,” Dahl said. “Therefore, there is ongoing work with purchasers including EPCs (Fluor, Bechtel) and end-users (DuPont) to help promote adoption. There are prototypical projects underway or in the planning stages with these purchasers.”

Amy W. Richardson is Flow Control’s Managing Editor. She can be reached at arichardson@grandviewmedia.com.Connect with Amy on LinkedIn.