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Modular Skid Design: 5 Incredible Advantages To Consider

If you are in the middle of choosing between traditional stick build process systems and modular process skids, these two options are considerably different.  Modular design can be put together in different configurations and are designed offsite, whereas stick-built systems are manufactured on your site. Modular process skids have plenty of incredible advantages over stick-built systems and advantages that can really benefit your process plant project. That’s why we will tell you the five incredible advantages of modular design and why you should choose this design for your project in this article.

Modularity and modular design: What do these terms mean?

Modular design involves using independent parts that can be easily upgraded. A designer puts together a modular design, and a technician creates things from the design – in this case, a modular skid is created using technology, components and elements, and the independent parts have standard interfaces. Such a standard interface permits the individual parts to join together. Modularity involves dividing the system into functional elements that are scalable and permit an upgrade to take place to meet your changing needs. Designs can be customized for your platform in different ways so the concept and ideas behind your project can develop.   

Modular design examples

Some key examples of modular design include computer programming, modular furniture, and modular vehicles, but in process plant engineering, modular design is usually used to describe a skid that has been designed into different units or modules. The modules of the frameworks or skids make it easy to mount types of process equipment and valves, as well as components and instrumentation onto the frame and transport them to the required location. Now, there are several advantages of modular design in terms of a process plant. Let’s now take a look at some of the crucial advantages that you can gain with modular design and modular skids.

Top 5 advantages to modular skid design

Now we have covered what modular design is, and a few examples of modular design, here are the five advantages to using it in your project.

1.  Reduction in project timelines

You’ll have no problem achieving a faster time to market when you choose a modular system design. There are a few key reasons for this. Let’s take a look at three advantages in terms of project timelines.

Offsite fabrication means shorter timelines

The main reason for the shorter project timelines is that the fabrication process, development, and assembly all happens offsite. Fewer delays can be expected because of this, so project timelines are shorter.

Indoor design and fabrication mean less delays

It’s also the case that because modular skids are developed in an indoor environment, there are significantly fewer, if not no weather delays with modular skid fabrication.

Testing happens before shipping meaning shorter timelines

Reductions in project timelines can also be achieved with modular systems design because the entire system is fully assembled based on designs created by designers and even tested or assessed prior to being shipped. The start-up time is reduced, which means the overall timeline is kept to a minimum. Modular Skid Design: 5 Incredible Advantages To Consider

2.  Enhanced safety advantages

There are many key reasons why modular skid designs help to enhance safety and ensure that you reap the safety advantages. Here are the main ones.

OSHA conditions reduced for crew members

With modular skid designs being carried out offsite, personnel that would onsite will work in fewer OSHA conditions. Their crew sizes will also be reduced, meaning that there are enhanced safety advantages for crew members. The designs are carried out in safer conditions, which is why modular designs are ideal.

Ideal construction conditions to keep crew members safe

What’s more, since fabrication facilities are enclosed, the conditions of construction are ideal for mitigating the risks related to safety, so fabricators can work in better conditions and remain safe during collaboration and execution of designs.

Testing is done before shipping to ensure safety is upheld

Because testing is carried out before the shipment takes place, and any errors are identified and corrected, all safety issues related to the way the modular skid functions are kept to a minimum. 

3.  Lower costs and greater savings

Saving on the costs of modular skids is possible with modular design. For example, you can save on approximately a quarter of the costs with modular design. Here are the key savings.

Modular skid design means faster timelines and less completion costs

Choosing a modular skid design approach means that timelines for projects are shorter (as mentioned). The design of modular skids means that labor costs are reduced as less hours of work are required, and operational costs are also reduced. 

Costs for materials are greatly reduced

By factoring in the specific materials into the modular skid design, you can save on the cost of materials since they are used efficiently. Since designs for modular skids can be used to create duplicates from the first design, you gain the advantage of lower costs. It’s also possible to avoid expensive costs that are caused by plant shutdowns because the modules that are part of the modular design are constructed offsite. What’s also possible is getting incremental upgrades instead of getting different systems, or entire systems installed. This can save you more on manufacturing costs.

4.  Less resources, waste and space required

There are several reasons why modular skid design and modular construction requires less resources and space, and leads to less resource waste.

Conditions reduce waste

For modular designs and manufacturing, the conditions in which fabrication takes place is ideal for keeping material waste to a minimum. 

Component simplification leads to less waste of space and cost

The simplification of components ensures that the costs of construction are reduced and the difficulties of maintaining parts are also mitigated. This means you can avoid material waste and save on costs.

Timelines and resources reduced due to offsite crews

Resources in terms of the size of the manhours, crew size, and labor efforts are minimized because they are not required to be present on the site. This is because assembly doesn’t take place on the site. You will also spend less time searching for a technician to complete assembly and fabrication because they will already have been sourced by the fabrication shop.

Significantly fewer problems with space on the site

It’s also the case that you won’t need to make space on site because the systems are not fabricated there, so moving your resources around is not required to accommodate the system. This is possible since you could even stack a modular skid on top of another one, which is one reason why they are better than stick-built systems. If you have been wondering how the process system and modular skid will in your plant, consider this: since traditional, non modular design, such as stick-built systems, occupy more space compared with modular skids, and can even occupy the entire plant space, the best option for your plant engineering project is a modular skid.

Portability is simple with skid designs

Will you need to move the skid designed unit around? Will you need resources to move it? If you’re looking for an answer to how you’ll move it, skid designs are portable. You can move them to completely different locations or facilities. Compare this to a stick-built system, which must be ditched when you move to a different site or facility, or you may have to move it unit by unit, which will cost you more resources. Modular Skid Design: 5 Incredible Advantages To Consider

5.  Industry-best quality is available with modular skid design

Modular skids are the best in terms of quality of functionality and performance. There are three main reasons for this. Not only do the conditions make fabrication better quality, but modular skid designs are used by expert technicians to make your skid, and the designs enable parts of the system to be replaced. Here’s more on each of these advantages.

Conditions make fabrication better quality

Since the combination of the design approach and fabrication processes (including incorporating welding into the design and fitting pipes) is done under perfect conditions in the right environment, fabrication is of exceptional quality. When we look at traditional systems, piping is joined at different places throughout the process plant, and these designs are more complex.

Technicians use exceptional designs to fabricate quality designs

It’s also possible to get exceptional quality because the technicians you choose for your project have the expertise and training across your specific industries in process design to carry out top quality fabrication, consistently.

Designs ensure that parts of the system can be replaced

Modular designs facilitate the replacement of system parts, ensuring that if part of the skid system needs repairing, you can access these parts and have the ability to fix them much more easily compared with stick-built systems.  So, for repairs, using modular designs and integrating products into modular systems and units is more suitable because of their form and the replacements, compared with stick-built systems.

Modular skid design: beneficial and handy

As you can see, there are plenty of reasons why modular skid design and fabrication will benefit your process plant. Modular skid design will save you costs. It’s the clear choice over stick-build systems, and its quality is superior when compared to these traditional systems. Explore DG-SKID and Pro Support Solutions for more information on modular skid design, and choose quality for your next process plant engineering project.

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