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Modular Process Case Studies

Full Deodorant Process Plant Design and Conversion

EPIC Systems completed a process plant project for a batch mixing/batch reactor system by reducing cost and project timeline through modular design/build.

CLIENT: A Fortune 500 company

INDUSTRY: Consumer Products

KEY ENGINEERING FEATURES:

pipe bridge, pipe rack

    • Innovative process plant design to simplify the process and reduce unnecessary expense. A modernized modular fabrication design was used instead of a more costly stick-build designed system.
    • Project scope: complete project engineering & design efforts, equipment/instrumentation/specialty procurement, modular pipe bridges, heating skids, 24 tanks, six mix tank modules, ancillary skids, pipe spools, process equipment and raw material pumping systems, managed installing contractors, controls/programming efforts, start-up/validation efforts
    • Upgraded plant from traditional bar soap capability to multiple deodorant products: clear gel, glycol deodorant stick, and antiperspirant stick
    • Batch reactor/batch mixing systems
    • Load cell batch mixing system GMP and 3A sanitary grade piping for validated FDA topical product
    • Area classification studies completed for flammable and combustible product
    • Sanitary “USP grade” DI water complete system & distribution
    • Heat transfer system featuring shell and tube, plate and frame, and jacketed tank exchangers
    • Process chiller system with numerous cooling points and large distribution area

CORE CHALLENGES:

    • Full process plant design and conversion
    • Project two months behind schedule before EPIC was invited to bid the project
    • Eight weeks allowed to complete packaging process relocation & installation and startup: limited product stock
    • Parallel path project schedule: existing packaging system removed & relocated from a different plant as new process system and packaging line equipment installed
    • Sequential installation requirements: project had to be installed in a customer specified order
    • Multiple windows of onsite installation coordinated so packaging relocation project would not get behind schedule
    • Validated flammable/combustible FDA topical product
    • Products require multiple raw materials and mixing temperatures. Many of these products were highly corrosive & difficult to handle.
    • Shipping – process modules 15+ feet in height

AN EPIC SOLUTION

Project Engineering

process system designs

EPIC was invited to bid on the process system development of a deodorant manufacturing facility. An additional engineering firm completed the original project front-end engineering, but their fixed bid dramatically increased from the original estimate due to project inefficiencies. EPIC took over the project after it was two months behind schedule.

EPIC won the competitive bid due to an innovate project engineered solution. This included a fast track design basis, modular process plant approach that completed the project on time and within budget. EPIC’s engineers re-worked the original design to eliminate unnecessary scope and out-dated technologies and suggested the use of load-cell technology in the batch-mixing process.

Modular fabrication allowed the client to build out its new process plant off-site into portable skids while it continued on with the field installation efforts (civil, site utilities…), drastically reducing project timeline. Modular fabrication required less man-power, saved time without weather delays, and completed the project on the aggressive timeline. This was critical due to the highly union area & difficult winter working conditions.

The Final Process Plant Solution

EPIC managed the entire project from the design stage through the final process plant startup. We completed the re-design and area classification studies to simplify the process plant design before bidding the final package.

The redesigned plans were used to specify the correct instrumentation and equipment, including the tanks. The client allowed EPIC to purchase the equipment, speeding up the project and allowing for seamless transition. The direct management of equipment procurement led to better coordination of purchasing and project schedule, allowing EPIC to guarantee a faster completion date.

Modular fabrication of the raw material and batch mixing skids was completed at the EPIC manufacturing facility. Nine large bulk storage tanks were assembled with required piping, to hold the chemical building blocks for the products. Pipe bridges to bring chemicals into the plant for the batch mixing system were
Modular production plant fabricationalso assembled at EPIC.

Six mixing modules to mix multiple types of deodorant, and which formed the majority of the process plant, were fabricated at EPIC. We designed the high viscosity liquid to move through jacketed piping to regulate the chemical temperature, depending on product requirements. Necessary sanitary piping was installed, meeting GMP and 3A requirements.

A dedicated process chiller system was installed to cool process chemicals. The robust chiller system was designed to handle40-50 cooling points in process and a wide range of fluctuating demand.

heat transfer system was integrated to heat and cool different elements of the deodorant production. EPIC installed heat transfer systems that featured shell and tube exchangers/plate & frame/TCU’s/ jacketed piping for heating and jacketed tanks for chemical heating. Plate and frame heat exchangers/TCU’s/jacketed tanks & piping were also incorporated into the system, for cooling needs.

EPIC designed a combination batch mixing and reactor system to produce multiple forms of deodorant. The turnkey batch mixing systems purpose was to combine basic chemicals, such as water, alcohol and silicone to form some of the products. For products requiring oils and solvents, the batch reactor system served to apply heat and pressure generating a chemical reaction that binds the ingredients.

Scrap-blade agitators in combination with counter-rotating high sheer mixers in the mixing tanks were specified to keep the product from sticking to the sides of the tank as it is mixed.

EPIC also handled the relocation of the packaging line equipment for the client.

EPIC shipped the entire project by truck to the job site after the skids and processing equipment had been assembled at EPIC. When the project left EPIC it was mostly complete, including wiring ring-out completed, with only the onsite installation remaining. EPIC installed all three process systems to coincide with the packaging relocation for each product, hitting three very specific windows of opportunity to keep both projects on schedule.

After installation was complete, EPIC remained onsite for validation and startup, including operator training.

IMPACT:

    • Modular production plant fabrication

      Saved the client $8-10 million dollars through its value engineered approach

    • Eliminated several months of project build time through modular fabrication
    • Avoided short shipping and stayed under-fixed bid price and original project budget
    • Guaranteed faster schedule by managing equipment purchasing and entire project fabrication
    • Reduced client risk by significantly reducing required labor and exposure hours in the field

 

ADVANTAGES TO MODULAR FABRICATION

EPIC used a value engineering approach to save the client time and money. Our modular fabrication approach to process plants has many advantages, the main points of which are highlighted below. To learn specifically how modular fabrication achieves these benefits, please visit our Advantages of Modular Fabrication page.

    • Reduced cost
    • Higher quality construction
    • Faster time to market
    • Improved safety
    • Less resource requirements
    • Flexibility

 

Find a solution that is right for your company. Contact EPIC or learn more about batch manufacturing systems or modular process systems.

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