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Top 10 Process Engineering and Design Trends for 2022

Process engineering is an exciting, constantly-changing industry. If you’re a plant engineer working on a complex project, success can be easily achieved if you’re aware of how the industry changes from year to year. So, what’s new in process engineering and design in 2022, and which trends will continue? This article will cover eleven top process engineering and design trends that you should keep an eye on. Let’s take a look.

Modularization and modular skid designs will be used in projects

Thanks to their portable design and the ability to seamlessly integrate them into a process plant, no matter how intricate the existing systems are, it’s likely that modular skids will continue to be used into 2022.  Not only are modular skids 25% less costly than the traditional systems, they help plant engineers to avoid plant downtime and are tested in factory acceptance test.

Increases in BIM (building information modeling) utilization

The use of BIM is making significant changes to engineering and construction designs. The effortless production of digital representations has made project visualization and decision making simple and more efficient.  Building information modelling is therefore a crucial design trend that will continue into 2022, helping construction and engineering professionals to design and construct unique and well-functioning assets. Top 10 Process Engineering and Design Trends for 2022

Regulations of greenhouse gases and CO2 emissions

Utilizing energy processes that are more efficient is a trend that is likely to become important in 2022.  Carbon footprint measurements are already putting pressure on management in the process engineering and design industry and it is expected that since the chemicals sector has the third-largest carbon footprint, regulations of greenhouse gases will continue.

Increases in zero energy building designs 

The popularity of zero-energy designs is increasing, and buildings that have net-zero emissions are on the rise. It is expected that, under the Paris Agreement, the construction designs which utilise zero-energy will continue into 2022. 

Digital process engineering plants will increase in number

One thing is clear, the process industry is becoming increasingly digital. Companies are moving to a digital world, and are constantly looking to innovate using digital means. In addition to asset management systems, organizations are even using wireless networks to make their processes more accurate and increase the efficiency of the management.

Process intensification will be important in pharmaceutical processes

Process intensification will remain a crucial factor in the pharmaceutical process industry. Its use for reactive distillation is important, but it will also be essential for enhancing and dramatically improving the processing and manufacturing procedure, and will remain vital in 2022. Process intensification can also greatly decrease the ratio between equipment size and output, in addition to the production of waste and consumption of energy.

Automation technologies 

Process automation, which is strongly linked with efficiency and the expansion of the process industry, refers to the use of sensors, software engineering, and computer technology in plants and engineering.   The use of automation technologies, specifically artificial intelligence and advanced analytics, will become critical in the next 30 years for process and production industries.  As Peter Zornio states in Processing Magazine, automation tech will also even be of great assistance for enhancing areas beyond process and production control, including safety and the consumption of energy.

Upgrades and increasing utilization of modern equipment

In the process industry, the use of modern equipment is particularly crucial due to the increasing speed of production. In the chemical process industry, since processing equipment has certain limitations in terms of the throughput process, modern equipment is required to cope with the materials passing through the plant. Top 10 Process Engineering and Design Trends for 2022

Increases in proactive maintenance

Since proactively identifying an asset’s vulnerabilities is vital, alongside predictive analytics proactive maintenance is likely to become critical in 2022.  Proactive maintenance enables engineers to take action before any vulnerabilities impact on an asset or system. Machine learning facilitates proactive maintenance, helping plant engineers to specifically locate the area of the system that has a fault or vulnerability.

Process simulation software utilisation will increase

The transition to process simulation software is another process engineering trend that is likely to continue into 2022. This trend will see the gradual reduction in the use of linear planning tools. Process simulation tools enable engineers to accurately simulate key refinery equipment, which might include a distillation unit or a reactor. They can simulate situations and offer specific data; which plant engineers can use to enhance planning models used with linear planning tools.

Stay aware of the current trends in the process engineering industry

So, now you are aware of the trends that are likely to continue into 2022, what will 2023 bring? The ideal way to discover this is to stay aware of the current trends in the process engineering industry. To keep an eye on the process industry’s trends, visit for the latest, most up-to-date developments, and achieve success with your plant engineering project using these current trends.

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