Just over a year ago, I started designing in COMOS. With a moderately solid background in instrumentation, I encountered a few challenges in this multi-discipline database-based design package. Were it not for the instrumentation background, my introduction to COMOS would have most likely been tougher. The following are my COMOS introduction challenges in no particular order:
- New tool which is COMOS
Migrating from one design software tool to another can be challenging. COMOS is no exception to this. COMOS being a new tool, you will find that most of your time will be spent on learning about the software and navigating through it to get to useful solutions.
- No procedures
Normally, design packages and software have Drawing procedures as a guide on how to execute drawings and revise them. With COMOS, especially on your first attempts, you might find it difficult to navigate through the platform; thus, prevent you from getting the full benefits as it is a learning process only mastered through experience. But once COMOS is understood, the rewards will outweigh the effort and patience you invest.
- Numerous changes
As there is no clear scope on how to execute designs in your early COMOS usage stage, this can result in the wrong information being shared amongst your team and therefore, a lot of your time could potentially be lost in correcting designs that were done incorrectly. A lot of changes will have to be made to drawings and this can be a stressful, demotivating, and daunting task for you and your team until everyone is familiar with the COMOS platform.
- It is a test on team efficiency
Even the most qualified engineers experience some problems with COMOS and its uniqueness compared to other traditional software. The paradigm shift requires patience as it will test the relationships between Project Managers, Engineers, and the design team. As a result, you might not realise your return on the effort put in quickly enough for your satisfaction. The reason for this being that it is difficult for Engineers to give clear instructions to the design team as both parties are still in early stages of the learning curve with a lack of understanding of COMOS.
- Not enough Symbols in COMOS
In your journey with COMOS, you might find it to be lacking in symbols/graphics of the objects you need in various projects and discipline designs. In our journey, we had to learn and put in extra hours for us to be able to create the symbols and graphics we needed in the drafting of P&IDs and PFDs. Input from different minds and disciplines can speed up the rate at which we can all learn, fix problems and achieve more with COMOS.
In conclusion, we have found that collaboration of different disciplines is very important in overcoming these challenges. From an industry point of view, we all must work together if we are to develop and support the required COMOS Ecosystem. The industry needs more End Users and EPCMs choosing COMOS as a preferred Engineering design tool for a sustainable ecosystem that will lead to the industry realising the full benefits of COMOS. The truth is, COMOS does not come without challenges. But what we can vouch for, is that you can contribute towards a more sustainable future with COMOS in the African market by being one of the first organisations to make the decision to use COMOS in all your plant projects. Once the rest of the industry has followed suit, only then will we be able to realise and enjoy the full benefits of COMOS. It has become clear to me that COMOS is more than capable of delivering on SIEMENS’ promises regarding software capabilities and benefits.
Post by: Siyabonga Dladla (COMOS Process Designer/Internal Administrator)