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Proven Results in Modularization

By: Alan Lowrie, Technical Director, Fluor Canada Ltd.

April 10, 2017

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At Fluor, we pride ourselves on being innovative thinkers; generating ideas that speak to the needs of Clients and industry. Our employees have produced countless ideas that have led to project successes and contributed to the Fluor story, but an idea on paper is just an idea until it has quantifiable data behind it and proven results that back it up.

Fluor’s 3rd Gen Modular ExecutionSM began in 2008 as an idea in response to our Clients’ needs for improved project capital efficiency. Today, the 3rd Gen story is a constantly evolving narrative with many projects implementing this innovative approach in Canada and around the world.

At its core, 3rd Gen is a methodology that forces you to think differently about how a facility is laid out; it requires you to shift your thinking and focus on how modularization drives the layout instead of vice versa. It is a highly collaborative process whereby all stakeholders must participate to ensure their requirements are addressed and full value is being derived.

The importance of minimizing module interfaces for piping and mechanical in addition to power and control cable are key elements to a successful 3rd Gen layout. This is achieved through process block configuration and by distributing electrical and control equipment into local electrical-rooms within the modules. The result is a more efficient plot layout, reduced quantities and the relocation of work into controlled module yard locations while at the same time reducing site labor significantly.

Since its inception, Fluor has further enhanced the value a 3rd Gen modular solution can bring by using an execution approach that integrates engineering, procurement, fabrication/ module assembly and construction (EPFC). By integrating fabrication and modular assembly into the EPC strategy, Fluor is able to better control interfaces, reduce project risk and improve capital efficiency.

Fluor has executed several 3rd Gen projects through all phases of EPFC, with notable successes. These include downstream refinery units, gas processing, utilities and offsites.  With completion of another significant 3rd Gen project in sight, that list of successes continues to grow. On this latest project, Fluor provided the full scope of EPFC services and it is one of the first of its size to fully utilize 3rd Gen Modular ExecutionSM.

The 3rd Gen concepts and methodologies have been tested and, in some cases, have evolved throughout the many phases of the project and culminated in a successful module program evidenced by the rapid delivery of modules which quite literally changed the skyline overnight – thanks to a well-executed module program which was completed at four  Edmonton area module yards. This enabled the project to achieve a record 200 modules placed in 45 working days.

Last module placed to mechanical completion on this project is scheduled on-track for seven months. This is significantly reduced compared to a more conventional build, and similar reductions in schedule have been realized on other 3rd Gen projects.

A construction-driven execution approach was critical to the success of this program. Early in the front end engineering and design (FEED) phase, work breakdown structures were identified with equipment, steel fabrication and material deliveries sequenced to support path of module assembly and site construction. The importance of a holistic approach to project execution focusing on construction drivers cannot be overstated, with a fully integrated module program at the core utilizing innovative design concepts and advanced workface packaging that enables supply chain to deliver to path of fabrication and construction.

The value of a 3rd Gen modular approach such as this is continually being evidenced for Clients, not just in terms of schedule but also in capital efficiency. As the ideas around 3rd Gen grow to meet the needs of each Client and each unique project, we find ourselves evolving and redefining what it means to be innovative. Each challenge leads us to the next big idea, which in turn creates an opportunity to outperform.

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