By Vince Carucci
Engineering design audits being performed on a new process plant project uncovered multiple cases where either the contractor or equipment suppliers were not meeting owner company or industry standard requirements. Typical discrepancies included incorrect material selection based on brittle fracture considerations, incorrect heat exchanger gasket selection, and inadequate piping design analysis approach taken on a project-wide basis.
Lump sum projects, in conjunction with aggressive completion schedules and minimized engineering man-hour commitments, make it more likely that such errors will occur.
This most recent experience reinforces Carmagen Engineering's position that timely, focused, engineering design audits are necessary to help ensure that project design requirements are met (see series of articles in prior Carmagen Engineering Reports).
The additional money spent on such audits is more than made up by what is saved in project delays, startup problems, maintenance costs, and equipment downtime.