Making the leap from lab-scale chemistry to a commercial or pilot plant production facility requires expertise in process skid design, system scale-up, controls integration and plant fabrication. Using your bench scale data, EPIC will help you successfully complete skid design & build for your process technology through our thorough scale-up skid design process. Our modular design/build approach to pilot plants saves our customers an average 24% (2008-2010 AVG) in costs over traditional construction methods.
Pilot plant scale up, demonstration plants, and production plants are best designed and implemented by qualified engineers to ensure:
Increased Scale Mechanical & Chemical Skid Design: Challenges to Scale-Up
Why does a working lab scale process technology required an experienced engineering specialist for successful scale-up? As a system increases in size, many properties related to the system size change in a non-linear manner.
Reaction kinetics, fluid dynamics and thermodynamics change are all non-linear variables that may change during pilot plant scale-up, affecting each other as they evolve. A technology proven at lab scale may not produce the same results in larger scale.
EPIC’s scale up specialists use Aspen/HYSYS* and other modeling methods to address the challenges of scale-up during the front-end engineering skid design stage of your pilot plant project. To read more about the specific challenges of scaleup, visit our Challenges to Scale Up page.
*(Aspen HYSYS – modeling and process simulation software for conceptual design and performance improvement of processes)
Process System & Process Skid Design
EPIC’s front-end engineering and scale-up design process, using Aspen/HYSYS modeling, ensures your process technology is designed correctly from the beginning. We establish the scalability of chemical technology and provide a reliable skid design estimate. Our design engineers emphasize:
- Easy maintenance of equipment
- Ergonomics during operations
- Employee safety
Our systems are designed and fabricated to meet all standard industry codes, including:
- American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)
- American Welding Society (AWS)
- National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
- National Electrical Code (NEC)
- International Building Code (IBC)
- Almost any unique client specifications provided
Equipment and Materials of Construction Selection
Non-linear scale-up effects can be managed with the proper equipment, skid sizing and materials of construction, but at what cost?
Design Engineers must balance cost savings and equipment selection without compromising the end goal of proving viability of final scale-up. Data collection is extremely important in pilot and demonstration plants but can be costly. Our depth of data collection and instrumentation knowledge allows our engineers to select the proper amount of instrumentation and testing stations, keeping costs under control while proving process technology.
Easily available materials of construction that work in bench scale, can be expensive and hard to find in large quantities. Finding feasible substitutes requires experienced scale-up skid design specialists with knowledge of material properties and available equipment. Occasionally the equipment ultimately used at production scale must be used at pilot scale to prove process viability.
A pilot plant scale up specialist with experience in your family of processes will serve as a single point of contact. This engineer will be your Project Manager, overseeing your project through skid design to plant fabrication, installation and commissioning. With an average of 17 years of project management experience, our plant engineering specialists are well qualified to guide your project through the plant development process.
Your plant will be designed in-house by the same engineers that specify and program the instrumentation and controls. The skid construction will happen in our State-of-The-Art fabrication plant, with direct supervision by the same Project Managers and Design Engineers. Client witnessed Factory Acceptance Testing (FAT) will be completed prior to shipment, and your plant will arrive fully assembled and tested, ready for installation and start up.
Our Start Up Team will successfully complete plant commissioning and ensure that your plant is running at full production rates with punch list items complete before we consider the job finished. Operations and maintenance manuals and operations and maintenance training are included in every job, and completed before the end of commissioning. After startup and commissioning are over, the same engineers who developed your plant from the early skid design are available for continuing support.
Process Safety Analysis
EPIC conducts complete Process Safety Analysis (HAZOP) studies. Our safety specialists evaluate every part of an original process design to ensure the plant or system will operate at the highest levels of safety. Read more about Process Safety Studies…
Types of Process Systems
EPIC designs and builds modular process systems for batch and continuous process technologies. We build both industrial and sanitary applications. Below is a list of specific technologies we have experience designing modular systems for:
- Dense phase and dilute phase conveying
- Batch reaction
- Particle sizing and separation
- Continuous reaction
- In-line Blending
- Gas absorption
- Liquid extraction
- Hot oil and glycol systems
- Ion exchange
- High viscosity materials
- Liquid-liquid separations
- Water de-ionization
- Water purification
- Heat transfer
- Mass transfer systems
We build systems that process: