An interesting article in The Chemical Engineer magazine by Paul Bonner and Theodore Faiella about integrating the approach for Process Design and Plant Aotomation. With large scale chemical plant design , construction commissioning and start-up there are a number of design iterations. Typically the client (or manufacturer) comes up with the design intent from their own library or from a process licensor. A critical part of the design is the process control strategy.

This has to be correctly translated to the EPC contractor, and in turn the EPC has to generate a detailed process control specification for the control tenderers. There is also detail or intent lost in translation. This is a classical transactional waste that can be improved. Furthermore, operator control screens have to be designed, which is not just a simple translation / visualisation of the control strategy  interlock strategy and instrumentation. Considerable money (£ mil.) can be lost with this transactional waste. Fortunately, the Licensors have developed their standard control strategies, and have worked with DCS suppliers, to come up with standard systems, modules and visual layouts, which is effectively “plug and play” with considerably less modification and “waste” . A great example of collaboration and vertical integration limiting waste and unnecessary cost.  For the full article read TCE issue 906/7.