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Water Plant Soft Water Piping Replacement

Using virtual reality (VR) in water plant piping replacement

  • California


Using the VR platform provided the unique ability to bring the team together while reducing associated projects costs.

As facilities and equipment age, the mechanical integrity of the components reaches its end of life and replacement is required. In oil field water plants—key components in distributing soft water for steam generation and enhanced oil recovery in California—carbon steel piping will eventually corrode to the point of needing replacement. At a recent project, our team was contracted to perform the detailed engineering and design of the replacement piping, required support structures, and related instrumentation.

One challenge with this project was that all piping replacements had to be installed while existing piping and high-pressure pumps stayed in service. It was critical to minimize any downtime. On top of operational challenges, we were faced with COVID-19 restrictions that forced the entire project team to work remotely.

Our solution? Using virtual reality (VR). Not only did the VR platform provide the unique ability to bring the team together during challenging times, but safety, ergonomic, and operational/maintenance elements were easier to identify and assess in VR. In one review, our client’s construction supervisor was able to detect a constructability issue that would have been missed in a traditional 3D model review, saving rework and construction delays to the project.

With this piping replacement project completed, the California oil field water plant system will have more reliable equipment, cutting down on the risk of spills or safety incidents.

At a Glance

Meet Our Team

Carlos Cobian, Design Consultant II

Good design is not just what it looks and feels like, it’s how well it works.

Ted Conway, Project Manager

Allowing your team members to do their best work without micromanaging—while providing guidance—produces the best product.

Jonathan Eskew, Design Consultant

I am passionate about leading electrical design teams in developing creative and cost-effective solutions for our clients.

Maryori Marin, Engineering Advisor

Everything we do requires passion. The more enthusiasm and energy we put into what we do, the more we can accomplish.

Wicus Postma, Principal

I am always looking at improving—becoming more efficient and finding ways to better service our clients and peers.

Cole Rowland, Design Consultant

With our team there is nothing out of reach.

Steve Rupp, Principal

People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.

Daniel Stitt, Associate

I enjoy taking on the challenge of the unknown, figuring out, and then applying what I learned to our industry and projects.

Carlos Cobian

Design Consultant II

Ted Conway

Project Manager

Jonathan Eskew

Design Consultant

Maryori Marin

Engineering Advisor

Wicus Postma


Cole Rowland

Design Consultant

Steve Rupp


Daniel Stitt


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