The critical design steps for capital projects can be divided into
five phases: feasibility, conceptual, definition, detailed design, and
construction and start-up.
Once start-up is complete and the project has been validated, project learning and “as built” drawings need to be documented and
filed for future work. Continuous improvement describes efforts
to improve reliability and drive down costs outside of structured
project activity. This effort is led by site operations or maintenance
teams, who will often involve outside engineering resources to evaluate their operational costs and make recommendations for future
improvements. Additional documentation may be developed, including an overall project assessment report, an updated site master
plan, an energy usage analysis, utility and water balances, reliability
assessments, process control loop health measurement, and process
and operational loss charts.
While any major upgrade or expansion can feel overwhelming,
it is important to visualize the project in manageable steps. Choices
made early in the process have a profound impact on the work and
the success or failure of the project. It is also critical to understand
that an accurate capital cost estimate, as needed for capital project funding, cannot be achieved without completing preliminary or
front-end engineering design. This may mean seeking pre-project
funding in order for engineering to later obtain full project funding,
depending on the complexity of the project. A clear and consistent
approach to the engineering work process will ensure the greatest
chance of project success.
Matthew Williamson is the process department manager at ADF
Engineering, Inc., headquartered at 228 Byers Rd., Miamisburg, Ohio,
USA, 45342. You can reach him by phone at 1-937-847-2700 or by
email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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