PIP Chairman Says Piping Best Practices Lie in Codes, Standards, Author/Collaborator Networks
The new repositories of “Best Practices,” are in the professional codes, standards and the networks of authors that write them according to industry expert, Wayne Dolbec. Mr. Dolbec is a former SPED President and currently is Middough Manager of Engineering and 2012 Process Industry Practices (PIP) Chairman. He made his comments at SPED 2012 in October.
PIP is well known as a consortium of member companies harmonizing their internal standards for design, procurement, construction, and maintenance. PIP publishes these harmonized documents as “Practices” in multiple disciplines with many of them related to the piping, valves, fittings and equipment. (see chart below)
Dolbec went into particular detail on how PIP consensus standards are the result of the collaboration between multiple experts. These experts form a “Technical Networking” that can be consulted later for technical questions. “I’ve always felt uneasy calling someone at a competitor,” said Dolbec. “PIP clearly sets the boundaries of what’s non-proprietary. You can talk to contributors to PIP Practices. Not only can you talk to them, you are required discuss these practices with them and come up with the best solution.” PIP members collaborate along published lines of communication – phone numbers, email addresses, regularly scheduled off campus meetings. This forms long term relationships, “I’ve been working with some of these guys for 20 years.”
These consensus practices benefit projects in two major ways, less risk and lower costs. Risks are reduced when clients are citing standards and practices the contractor is already familiar with. This brings greater certainty to budgets and schedules. Costs are lowered through reduced deviations from missed requirements and less training of staff on new and unfamiliar standards. Referring to a recent job that had 4 volumes of proprietary piping standards and specs, Dolbec said, “each piper on that job had to become familiar with that client’s requirements.”
PIP collaborators study each standard together, the best way to learn the best functional methods in the industry. “we put it up on the screen,” said Dolbec. Then, “we read it and debate it.” If someone is looking for a functional method or practice, PIP provides a search feature.
Dolbec also reviewed his favorite reference books, some of which he personally contributed to. The talk is posted to the SPED society news playlist on youtube:
For more information on the Process Industry Practices consortium, go to:www.pip.org