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How To Layout and Design Process Piping for Optimal Results

Designing process piping strategy requires a high level of planning. It can be an intricate process, but despite requiring an iterative approach, there are several useful steps that you can follow to facilitate this part of your project. This short guide will walk you through the key factors to consider when designing your process piping system as well as the critical steps you will need to follow to complete the process with ease.

Which 4 steps should you follow when designing your process piping system?

Four factors you should consider when designing your process piping system include being realistic with the placement of your equipment, aligning the routes of the pipes with the capabilities of your contractor, prioritizing straight, clean paths, and measuring accurately. Here’s more information on each of these points.

1.  Position your pipes by considering imperfections in the surroundings

There is every possibility that the surroundings of your pipe route may have imperfections. For example, the surface might be uneven, which might not be convenient for your project. In any case, you must always be realistic with the placement of your equipment and how it affects your process piping layout. The key is to avoid absolute precision and to try not to proceed without having a plan B if the surface is in fact uneven. Acknowledge the imperfections and plan accordingly.

2.  Align your piping routes with your contractor’s capabilities

Certain piping routes might be particularly challenging, if not impossible, for a contractor to adhere to. Always have the contractor in mind when planning towards process piping layouts, since the results will depend on the route you choose and your contractor’s capabilities.

3.  Prioritize straight, clean paths

A process piping system will need to be supported and connected by a contractor. Clean routes will not only facilitate the layout process, but it will result in cost savings for you and ensure the process is completed quickly. Prioritize straight runs.

4.  Measure piping with precision 

The secret to measuring correctly is to avoid estimations, measure more than once and then cut the piping. Pay attention to how the end result looks and get the opinions of other people in this respect.   How To Layout and Design Process Piping for Optimal Results

3 factors to acknowledge to ease piping maintenance

Now that you have designed your process piping layout, you will need to factor piping maintenance into the design. Consider these three factors to facilitate the piping maintenance process.

1.  Plan to construct your piping in convenient sections

Since accessing the piping for maintenance is facilitated when you use detachable, convenient piping sections, incorporate this into your layout design. Though you might spend a little extra on additional sections, this could be money well spent in the long run, as this will make maintenance easier.

2.  Consider the locations of the pipe valves

Because pipe valves may need to be inspected, ensure that you position them in easy-to-access locations. The easier to reach, the more convenient the maintenance of your piping will be.

3.  Think about how the piping system will be dismantled for maintenance

Always consider whether the process piping system can be easily dismantled to undergo maintenance. Avoid placing valves in inaccessible locations that require difficult dismantlement during the maintenance process.

4 factors to consider for performance and functionality

Several factors affect the performance and functionality of process piping. Consider the four following factors to optimize the performance of your piping.

1.  Using flanges for pipe connections

Instead of using a cap, consider a flange to connect two pipes together if you want to expand your piping system. Choose the flange carefully as there are several different types, including:
  • Weld neck
  • Blind
  • Threaded
  • Lap joint
  • Socket-weld
  • Orifice
  • Slip-on
  • Reducing
Each type of flange is suited to different piping systems. For example, a threaded flange is ideal for low pressure pipes, whereas socket weld flanges are best used for high pressure pipes that are small in size.

2.  Stay aware of cavitation

Bear in mind that pumps can sustain cavitation if you don’t consider the requirements for suction. Cavitation is a term that describes the formation of vapor or bubbles (and their collapse) within a fluid, which can result in erosion of the components. Avoid cavitation by making sure there is enough pressure in the pump at the suction side.

3.  Maintain distances between pump discharges and check valves

Maintain a particular distance between check valves and pump discharges. Since check valves can sustain damage if it is installed at a close proximity to a pump discharge, and pump discharges might be a smaller size than the actual pipe, you might use an expander if you are using a centrifugal pump.

4.  Stay aware of pipe friction

Pay attention to pipe friction which is critical. Friction refers to the resistance the fluids encounter in the pipe, and loss of friction can cause a loss of energy in your piping system.   How To Layout and Design Process Piping for Optimal Results

Which factors should you consider when laying piping support?

Piping supports are crucial when laying process piping. Remember some of the following critical factors when you plan towards laying piping support.

Select the right material for a piping support

Not only should you use the right support, but it is also important to use the right material to carry the piping. Structural steel is one example of a good piping support material to use for piping supports.

Use the correct restraints for pumps

Even though some movement is expected in the piping, using the correct restraints for particular pumps is important. If you have a pump that pulsates, using a damper can help to reduce the movement.

Make use of supports for drains

Make sure you choose the right support for your drains. They may not weigh very much unless a clog is formed, but they still require adequate support.

Design your piping and lay it out the optimal way

Although laying out piping requires an awareness of many different factors, you can do it without much difficulty. Just remember to:
  • Consider the imperfections in the surroundings
  • Think about your contractor’s capabilities
  • Prioritize clean, straight paths
  • Measure piping with precision
  • Choose the right piping supports
Discover the best materials for laying piping the optimal way at and design and layout your pipes effortlessly.

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