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Paper convr-2013-53:
Vao checker: accessibility study for pipeline maintenance

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Lee C-H,Tsai M-H,Kang S-C

Vao checker: accessibility study for pipeline maintenance

Abstract:Pipeline maintenance is becoming an important issue in modern construction. An understanding of accessibility considerations in terms of operation and maintenance is essential for pipeline planning and management. Previous studies have highlighted the complexity of multi-pipes and the importance of visualization, but few have proposed a way to consider accessibility problems during operation and maintenance. Therefore, this study develops a systematic method to evaluate accessibility with respect to pipeline maintenance. We first divided pipeline accessibility into three categories: (1) visual accessibility—a pipeline visible to the inspectors, (2) approachable accessibility—a pipeline that is reachable, and (3) operational accessibility—a pipeline that can be operated by the inspectors. Therefore, we visually represent the intersection and union of these three levels to illustrate the varying accessibility of pipe elements. We then developed a user interface tool, VAO Checker, in which V, A and O stand for visual, approachable and operational, to display visual information about pipeline accessibility. Through instantaneous analysis, the system visualizes the accessibility of the pipelines. A usability consultation with experts will be conducted to validate the system’s effectiveness. The results of the usability analysis show pipeline designers can benefit by using this tool to sketch a suitable traffic flow for engineers to investigate. Furthermore, the substantial amount of information saved in the layout database could be referenced for future optimization.

Keywords:Building Information Model (BIM),Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing (MEP),Pipeline Maintenance,Pipeline Accessibility,Information Visualization

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Series:convr:2013 (browse)
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