Procurement of turbo-machinery requires definition of a functional requirements and this is a complex set of specifications including performance, reliability, lifetime, operational envelope, maintainability, compliance with regulations, quality assurance, project management, documentation, installation and commissioning.

For various market and historical reasons there is a variation in the range of content, complexity and depth of the procurement documents produced by both purchasers and suppliers and this provides a challenge for both parties as a detailed and lengthy document exchange is typically required to overcome the initial disparity. The supplier needs clear project requirements and the purchaser needs to verify specification compliance and to complete a detailed and robust financial analysis. The issue for both is the time and resources expended to manage the necessary information flow which represents a substantial cost in the early phase of procurement and ties up limited resources.

Standardisation provides both parties with a pre-agreed definition of functional requirement, management of interfaces and crucially a pre-agreed management of information supply. For the purchaser this should reduce the need for an in-house technical specification. The supplier can standardise documents and expect a reduction in the variability of content and quality of tenders supplied by purchasers.

ISO 19859 is a new standard devised by both purchasers and suppliers to provide enlightened standardisation and deliver the above goals. It is estimated, based upon the author’s role both in this power plant project and the creation of the new standard that the use of the new standard would have reduced the purchaser time spent on GT engineering by between 50–60%. It is anticipated that the supplier would save time on each project, excluding the initial investment in documentation. ISO 15859 has been approved at final draft and is planned for issue at the end of March 2016.

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