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How can accessible, usable P&ID data improve equipment isolation?

Cerebre is excited to share more about our product, P&ID Connect! P&ID Connect transforms brownfield piping & instrumentation diagrams into accessible, usable data that supports advanced analytics and daily field operations.

This post is authored by our process engineer, Cindy Osuorji. It is part of a series that covers the history behind P&ID Connect, the benefits it provides to our customers, case studies, and field testimonials.




Equipment isolation occurs every day for many reasons: equipment repair, preventative maintenance, inspection, even larger-scale turnarounds.

Today, this is an involved process, and deservedly so. If an error occurs during equipment isolation, there can be costly and hazardous damage to personnel, the environment, and the site.

Our team at Cerebre strongly believes that accessible, usable P&ID data will reduce risk and improve isolation procedures for Operators.


For those unfamiliar, let’s start with generally what it takes to conduct equipment isolation today.

The isolation process begins by identifying and confirming the isolation bounds – a complete & accurate list of all inlets, outlets, and isolation hazards.

Operators use P&IDs to map out their initial isolation points. Trying to gather that information can be tedious. P&IDs often lack tag names for the miscellaneous pieces of equipment that are crucial in equipment isolation– such as valves, blinds, and flanges. Lack of annotation makes it difficult to create clear procedures.

Then, the isolation information must be confirmed. For smaller equipment isolations, this could manifest with a simple walk-out and inspection of a piece of equipment. For complex events like a turnaround, operators & supporting personnel perform a more in-depth walk down of the plant, verifying the initial P&ID isolation points.

After identifying and investigating the isolation area, operators convert information into a lock-out, tag-out (LOTO) procedure. LOTO procedures contain explanatory visualizations and guide collaboration between field operations, their supervisors, and supporting personnel. They are static and time-consuming, using basic Office applications to copy information from P&IDs.

To summarize...a critical plant process can:

  • Be based on incomplete, unlabeled, or inaccurate P&ID information

  • Be carried out with vague procedures (because of unlabeled information)

  • Require time-consuming transcription of information

These factors increase the risk of costly & hazardous errors.

There must be a better way.


We are big believers in the power of accessible and usable P&ID information. We put this at the core of our P&ID Connect solution, helping solve the industry’s common challenges including equipment isolation.

Here’s how:

  • Accessible & usable P&ID data is searchable. Operators can start the isolation process quickly and with confidence - being able to instantly locate the isolation area and discover all isolation points, even on difficult-to-read P&IDs.

  • Accessible & usable P&ID data is more up to date. When inaccuracies are found in a walk down, changelogs are created to inform future LOTO procedures and the management of change (MOC) process, enabling holistic P&ID updates.

  • Accessible & usable P&ID data is integratable. P&ID digitization automatically annotates all miscellaneous equipment for clear & concise procedures. With all equipment numbered, users can map and obtain relevant information from equipment databases. For example, an operator could see work order information on a historically faulty valve and factor that into their isolation planning.

  • Accessible & usable P&ID data is visualizable. Operators can generate visualizations for LOTO procedures without tedious transcription.

Have other thoughts or ideas on how P&ID data can be used to solve common equipment isolation challenges? Reach out to us today!


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