The strategic objective of this paper is to discuss how virtual Factory Acceptance Tests (FATs) will contribute towards achieving capital project excellence. The pandemic has transformed virtual FATs into an accepted method of testing which is likely to become a standard in the post-pandemic project execution. Virtual FATs are sustainable and smart alternative that reduces associated costs, time, resources and CO2 impact.

This paper will highlight the advantages of assembling a global team and conducting a virtual FAT using an internet cloud service based on a combination of inhouse project experience and literature review. Virtual FAT supplements and produces equally dependable results as a traditional witnessed FAT. Virtual FAT opens up the experience to a wider global audience. This paper will provide cost comparisons between the two different types of FATs based on CAPEX and OPEX to establish economic advantages due to this switch. Despite travel restrictions due to pandemic, with virtual FAT project schedule can be met while reducing project risks, cost and CO2 impact. This paper will review the Modbus interface testing between different systems using IPSec VPN tunnel based on combination of inhouse project experience and literature review.

With virtual FAT has created new ways of working by providing previously unseen benefits through the extended use of digital tools. Traditionally FATs involved several days of costly travel. With virtual FAT solution, project team can fully participate in FATs by receiving all the necessary information in real time and define improvements based on fully assembled test system without leaving their location. This paper will also emphasize virtual FAT benefits from operators’ perspective. The IPSec tunnel creates robust security layers to fully protect the data that is transmitted over the Internet. This paper will highlight how remote collaboration using augmented reality can be performed using Microsoft HoloLens and Microsoft Teams meeting.

Limiting greenhouse gas emission is very critical to protect our environment. All energy producers endeavor to reduce the carbon footprint. This paper will highlight how emissions can be reduced by virtual FAT. In conclusion this paper will summarize how virtual FAT definitely has future potential beyond pandemic. This paper will present a case study on how virtual FAT can reduce the CAPEX, decrease FAT execution time with maintaining reliability and also minimize the carbon impact.

Although remote monitoring is well proven, this paper will highlight how this concept can be extended to virtual remote testing of complex system and packages. This paper will emphasize how a well-planned virtual FAT can benefit all involved parties. From time and cost savings to accessibility and better documentation and reduced CO2 impact, a virtual FAT has many advantages and is now here to stay.

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