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Design Engineering
Solutions Technology provides a full engineering design service through the phases of formulation, development and execution of a project. The design scope of any project is divided into the following distinct design phases, these being the:
  • Conceptual
  • Process
  • Detail design phase
Conceptual Design Phase
At the conceptual design phase of a project, the following methodology is adhered to:
  • The company's engineers work closely with the client's project personnel to develop an optimal process scheme and a well-defined design basis.
  • All design bases, relevant engineering information and the chemical and physical data of the component streams, are acquired.
  • The material and energy balances are calculated and the process flow diagrams (PFD's) are developed. (The PFD's incorporate fairly detailed operating conditions, includingfeed and product compositions, pipeline flow rates, temperatures and pressures for each processing step.)
  • Preliminary process simulations are performed where required using the ASPEN simulation package.
  • Where necessary, laboratory and pilot plant studies are performed to validate and/or test the process options and to make sure that valid physical property and thermodynamic data is being used.
Process Design Phase
During the process design phase of the project, the design procedure is implemented as follows:
  • From the PFD's, definitive piping and instrumentation diagrams (P&ID's) are developed and compiled. The P&ID's will usually incorporate information and pipeline sizing criteria based on normal “steady state” operating conditions, but also the requirements imposed during the start-up and shut-down phases of operation.
  • A full set of process specifications is compiled for all tagged equipment items.
  • The process is subjected to a rigorous HAZOP (Hazard and Operability) study, with a formal report being issued upon the completion of the study.
  • Complete equipment registers are drawn up based on the approved P&ID's. Separate registers are compiled for similar items of equipment.
Usually a basic engineering design package is produced at the completion of this phase of the design work.

Detail Design Phase
The execution of the detail design phase of a project, proceeds in accordance with the following practice:
  • Detail design specifications are developed for all equipment, piping, instrumentation and electrical items.
  • Detail dimensional information is incorporated into a 3-dimensional (3-D) CAD model of the proposed plant. Concurrently with the development of the 3-D CAD model, all equipment and piping layouts are optimised.
  • To ensure the complete integration of all engineering disciplines into a project, relevant information relating to each of the following engineering disciplines is draughted into the 3-D model format:
    • architectural
    • civil
    • structural steel
    • mechanical
    • HVAC
    • piping
    • electrical
Information such as the position of underground drains, electrical trenches, ducts, civil loadings etc. are incorporated into these drawings.
  • Once the relevant information from each of these disciplines has been incorporated into generating the final plant model, the model is translated electronically both into plan, elevation and sectional elevation drawings as well as being reduced into isometric projection views of the plant. These projected views form part of each subsequent work pack that is utilised during the construction phase of the project.
  • The following information from the central database is electronically accessed and used during the draughting of the 3-D plant and piping models:
    • line size
    • line specification
    • line number
    • valve & fitting numbers
    • valve & fitting sizes
  • When the 3-D plant model has been sufficiently completed, the client is requested to undertake a “virtual reality” or “interactive” 3-D walk through the entire plant.
  • During these “virtual reality” sessions, attention is paid specifically to plant operability, maintenance access and relevant safety requirements. (The clients' operating and maintenance staff can deliver their input at this early stage thus avoiding any necessity for costly site rework later in the project.)
  • The client is thus given a detailed view of what the plant will look like upon its completion. All layout alterations must be completed before construction of that section of the plant commences.
At the model review meetings, the detailed “material take off” schedules and piping interference reports can be reviewed. When on site, Solutions Technology's engineers make extensive use of the “virtual reality” walk through to clarify complex interface areas. This visualisation tool can also be used on site to assist with the resolution of complex problems without the automatic need to refer back to the draughting office on each occasion. This capability greatly adds to the clarity of the erection and installation work and saves valuable construction time. The 3-D model can also be utilised for rigging studies, equipment erection and piping installation planning.

The active intelligence of the company's engineering system, ensures that:
  • The 3-D CAD model incorporates the structural steel and civil design features of the plant.
  • The CAD draughting package automatically generates a cross check between the P&ID and the 3-D piping model thus ensuring that no equipment is referenced in the one and not in the other.
  • Changes and/or additions that become necessary (such as low point drains, extra valves etc.), and which usually only become apparent during the actual layout of the plant, are flagged and the central database ensures that these changes are incorporated into the P&ID's.
  • The central database forms the basis for both the work pack and the tracking system.During all subsequent phases of the project, these instruments are integrated into the other project management functions.
  • Detailed “bill of materials” schedules are generated automatically by the engineering system. These schedules can then be issued to the relevant contractors, together with the applicable construction drawings and the necessary requisitions required for each work pack.
From Concept to Reality

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