Industrial plant layout design & detailing is a significant component of the overall operations, costs, operating expenses, product integrity and stability of an industrial plant. The design of a manufacturing plant is directly related to how…
well that plant can compete in its given market. Efficient plants that produce products that are in high demand can offer lower prices on its end product to the consumer than a facility whose manufacturing process is costly and inefficient. The process begins on paper on the drafting table and it answers to the overall purpose and direction of the business plan. The initial design also determines how easy it will be to modernize the plant when the time comes.
Plant design involves an initial layout of the process flows, site plot plans, foundation plans, utility plans and automated systems plans. The design process is very detailed and is intended to design an industrial plant so that it can be competitive. “What will this facility produce?” is a question that will need to be addressed first. The overall design has to conform to the end product, the size of the company, the future plans of the company and the mission of the manufacture. The design can start years before the ground is broken on the physical manufacturing plant.
Components of the future physical plant
Design begins with addressing many components of the future physical facility. These components include, piping, waste treatment, equipment layout, automated systems and software, control systems and utility distribution to name a few. Industrial size manufacturing plants have a lot to consider before the blueprints are finalized. The product the plant produces may require additional engineering that must conform to government standards. For example, a nuclear power plant will have to consider intensive audits, standards and overall back up safeguards that a sawmill would not have to consider. The initial plant layout design must take this in mind.
Industrial plant layout design can be used as a solution for a global firm looking to expand its facilities or for a single manufacturing facility. Furthermore, the design may not be for a new facility. There is a constant need for existing facilities to be redesigned and upgraded to compete in their market. Automakers, energy plants, sawmills and steel mills are examples of plants that need to be redesigned from time to time to utilize new, upgraded equipment or process flows to maximize efficiencies. Layout design is a service that is ongoing.
Plant layout design uses computer software such as AutoCAD (Computer Aided Design) to help engineers layout the details of the facility. Construction of the plant follows the blueprints. An effective design not only creates a solution for manufacturing a product efficiently to maximize production and reduce expenses, but it also provides an expectation of the cost of construction of the plant itself. Whether your firm is a global competitor, producing products in several different markets, or you are a local business owner looking to mass-produce a product, the initial design of your plant will be key to your success.