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CPE: What is it and why is it important?CPE in the process industry means custom process equipment. It refers to a unit that a process engineer has custom designed specifically to carry out a certain task in the process industry. The task might be chemical. It might be non chemical. Regardless of this, custom process equipment can be planned and created for many different processes. From blending systems to batch mixing, industrial distillation to inline blending skids, there is a broad range of custom processes for which many types of equipment can be custom designed using CPE. CPE is critical since it enables plant engineers to design equipment that is closely compatible with their process plants. As well as process skids, CPE is important for building pilot plants and production plants.
What are the benefits of using CPE?When you choose the right manufacturer to produce custom process equipment, you can benefit in several ways. Four of the key benefits of using CPE include:
- Higher levels of quality assurance. When customizing your equipment to ensure that it’s more compatible with your plant and process skids, you can quality test the equipment and carry out factory acceptance testing. Even though the time taken to install the equipment might be longer due to the many decisions required, factory acceptance testing gives you a higher level of quality assurance.
- The option to repeat the design easily. Once you have custom designed the first process skid, you can make use of the initial design and simply replicate it to produce additional skids effortlessly. So, once the design has been completed, you can repeat the design without difficulty.
- Lower costs of manufacture. Despite the initial, immediate cost of the custom design, you will save on costs in the long term due to the enhanced efficiency that you get from custom equipment. The equipment also costs less to maintain and minimizes downtime.
- The option to move the equipment in modular set-ups. If you need to transport unit operations to different locations on your plant, you can do this by using a modular design and applying it to a process skid.
How to optimize your custom process equipment process: 5 stepsWith the advantages of custom process equipment in mind, let’s take a look at the ways you can optimize the process and enhance the outcome.
1. Use front end engineering design firstFront end engineering design is also referred to as pre-project planning. This process is ideal for helping plant engineers to outline the scope and strategy required to build the process equipment. It’s the initial step in the design process, which can give you an indication of the cost required to carry out the design.
2. Focus on rendering models of your equipmentWith the front end engineering design complete, you’ll now need to turn your attention to the model rendering stage. You will need to provide your process equipment designer with the required PFDs and documents to get the models rendered. The model will act as a simulation, giving you an idea of how it will integrate into your plant.
3. Carry out the automated design phaseNow that you’ve got the models rendered, your next focus is the automation design phase. This involves ensuring that you initiate the right process control and develop an automation system alongside or very promptly after you have the physical design completed. Ensure that the equipment manufacturer can follow the controls in your plant during this phase.
4. Start the fabrication processYou can now begin the fabrication process. Your equipment manufacturer should offer an environment or location that observes and meets the regulations stipulated by your industry.
5. Install the custom process equipmentFor this final stage, you will incorporate the equipment into your plant and install it. If you have carried out the front end engineering design phase correctly, and reached out to a fabricator who has performed factory acceptance tests on the equipment, you will have no problem initiating the start-up and will avoid downtime when it is being installed.
Optimize your custom process equipment production with easeCPE has clear benefits for your process plant; it’s ideal for repeating designs in the future and keeping costs low. Don’t forget to carry out the front end engineering design process and ensure that you:
- Render the models of the design
- Carry out the automated design phase
- Ensure that your manufacturer’s environment meets your industry regulations