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Petrochemical Operation Problems – Eliminated by Knowledgeable Petrochemical Process Design Engineering

By Michael A Taube on 10 July 17 Blog

The modern petrochemical plant is modern engineering at its best, and among the most complicated collection of structures likely to be created by private industry.  Beyond the complexity of the chemical and its engineering challenges, designing the facility to be safe despite the highly volatile nature of the materials being processed requires a huge amount of effort and planning. But process design engineering is the basis for trouble-free operation and the ability to reach operating, production targets.

S&D Consulting has provided petrochemical process design and implementation consultation services for over twenty years, helping many key industry players create better, more efficient, and safer facilities.

What Makes Petrochemical Process Design the Basis for Eliminating Operation Problems

  1. Understanding the Inputs and Outputs

Some petrochemical facilities begin with the desire to create a specific end product, and have to be designed around effectively creating that product as well as establishing supply lines to bring in the necessary raw materials.   Others begin with set quantities of raw materials, and need to be designed to make best use of those materials in processing.  Or, in some cases, the process design engineers may be designing entirely new systems to replace an older facility where both the inputs and outputs are already known.

Either way, the end goal must be known first and an excellent process design has to be done in view of these goals or the goals will not be achievable.

  1. Problem Solving

Assuming the facility is not replacing one where all basic chemical engineering problems have already been solved, the next step is to begin to approach the issue of how to turn inputs into outputs.  In the process of petrochemical process design, there are almost always numerous ways to accomplish this. Based on design engineering, experience and knowledge multiple plans are analyzed.  These are then carefully studied for feasibility, safety concerns, and overall cost-benefit calculations.

The more complicated the chemical transformations involved, the more time must be spent here to ensure the core processes are solid before actual engineering work begins.

  1. Operating Units Planning

Once the core problems are solved on paper, the petrochemical process design moves towards physical systems.  This involves studying existing engineering examples and creating proposed engineering solutions, while extensively utilizing 3D modeling and simulation for testing.  Once all the big picture physical engineering issues are worked out, the project moves ahead. Without knowledgeable process design simulation, modeling and testing, problems can creep into the plant construction.

  1. Detailed Design

Based on all that has come before, the engineers begin designing the full-sized structures, unit operations, which will form the heart of the plant itself.  This phase involves extensive consultation and collaboration with any relevant government and industry oversight boards, as well as setting up preliminary contracts with the contractors who will do the work. Taking the big picture of operating units planning and creating detail that construction personnel can use to develop the physical structures that make up the plant is critical to creating a successful operating facility. This is Petrochemical Process Design at its best. To eliminate future construction and operation problems, knowledgeable petrochemical process design engineering is key.

  1. Physical Construction

Finally, when designs and plans are in place; and, all necessary permits granted, physical construction begins.  This phase is also accompanied by numerous safety checks, as well as the creation of technical reference materials which could be thought of as the “operations manual” for the plant.  Created by petrochemical process design engineering, these documents will be the bible for the plant’s eventual control and system engineers overseeing day-to-day operations. Further, they become the basis for improvement of operations and efficiencies in the future for market and demand changes. Knowledgeable Petrochemical Process Design Engineering is critical to improving operations and eliminating process operation problems before they appear.

S&D Consulting – Petrochemical Process Design Engineering

S&D Consulting has experience in petrochemical process design engineering solutions for greenfield and brownfield plant operations that is proven and very difficult to match. Contact us today to learn more about our specialized consulting services.

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