Facility Design

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Innovating Metallurgical Equipment Design to Meet Flotation Plant Layout Challenges

📅 Date:

✍️ Author: Scott Ferguson

🔖 Topics: Facility Design

🏭 Vertical: Mining

🏢 Organizations: Thermo Fisher

One of the key design principles that holds true is that minimizing the equipment’s hydraulic head requirements can potentially minimize the number of pumps needed in a plant. This not only reduces energy demand, but also lowers operational and maintenance costs. Additionally, by minimizing the head requirement, one can free up space for additional process functions needed in the plant.

An example of this principle in action is the design of large flow rate sampling equipment. Traditional sampling systems for flow rates of 35,000 cubic meters or more often require splitting the final tails into two samples, which results in complex reconciliation and recombination processes. However, samplers that can operate at flow rates of up to 40,000 cubic meters an hour and incorporate all sampling stages at one floor level not only simplifies the process, but also saves height in the tails of the plant, reducing the overall cost of construction.

Read more at Thermo Fisher Blog

Why vibration control is key to semiconductor manufacturing

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🔖 Topics: Facility Design

🏭 Vertical: Semiconductor

🏢 Organizations: Mason UK, Asgard Engineering

Although these manufacturing sites can be vast, most of the equipment is not directly used in the manufacture of silicon chips. Manufacturing at the nanoscale requires highly controlled conditions, so the fabs require an extensive range of heating, cooling and filtration systems. This plant equipment makes up approximately 90% of the equipment located at a typical fab.

This equipment ensures the correct temperature, humidity level and particulate level for the optimal production of chips. However, while solving one problem, it also introduces another. Mechanical systems and HVAC systems all generate vibration which, if left unmitigated, could disrupt sensitive precision manufacturing processes and interfere with chip production. ‘‘Vibration control is key to making these things work,’’ Adam explained.

One of the unique features of this project was the vast scale. In total, there were approximately 130 kilometres of piping and 3.2 kilometres of ductwork. The project therefore required a staggering 3,800 mounts. ‘‘I’ve worked on all sorts of projects at this stage of my career, but nothing can touch this one in terms of scale. Nothing is even close,’’ Adam reflected.

Read more at The Manufacturer

Assystem Creates a Digital Twin for Nuclear Plants with Altair

Advanced expertise required to execute complex cold storage warehouses

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✍️ Authors: Ryan Deter, Jyot Parmar

🔖 Topics: Facility Design

🏢 Organizations: Graycor

Constructing a state-of-the-art cold storage facility is only possible with the right building site. Location is key and must be close to where food is grown and/or harvested or near other manufacturing locations. The site needs access to interstates and potentially to railways, ports and waterways. A traffic assessment is necessary to determine whether the site can accommodate construction traffic and business-related traffic once the facility is in operation.

Because developers cannot build out in most urban and suburban areas, increasing the building’s footprint, they’re building up. These tall buildings often use automated storage and retrieval systems (AS/RS) designed to operate in vertical spaces. While evaluating AS/RS, it is essential to consider the factors that help drive the level of automation within a building.

In addition to labor costs, inventory turnover and SKU variety, other factors to consider may include, but may not be limited to, performance (design throughput versus actual) and proforma duration (reasonable expectation of improved performance over time). A pragmatic evaluation of these factors may prove to be a prudent approach in selecting the degree of automation within a facility.

Read more at Plant Engineering

Inside GE Appliance's State-of-the-Art Water Heater Assembly Plant

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✍️ Author: Austin Weber

🔖 Topics: Facility Design

🏢 Organizations: Haier

A variety of manufacturers produce electric and hot water heaters for residential applications, including GE Appliances, a Haier company. To increase production capacity, it recently invested $70 million in a state-of-the-art manufacturing plant in Camden, SC. The 265,000-square-foot facility also serves as the company’s Center of Excellence for water heater manufacturing. The investment included advanced systems for metal fabrication and welding, plus robots for material handling and processing.

GE Appliances’ engineers carefully considered quality, safety and ease of manufacturing when designing and laying out the plant. “Automation was selected to provide predictable, consistent quality of products in an environment that is safe and ergonomically friendly to our operations team,” explains Zimmer.

“We focused on creating a production process centered around operators,” says Scheffel. “We looked at different approaches to ensure the best way to present parts from an ease of access point of view. We paid special attention to ergonomics to ensure there were zero ‘ergo red’ jobs on the plant floor.

“In addition, the other big consideration was the efficient flow of material through the plant,” notes Scheffel. “For instance, we made the final assembly line a forklift-free zone. All materials are delivered to workstations with automated guided vehicles and tuggers.”

Read more at Assembly Magazine

Fine-Tuning the Factory: Simulation App Helps Optimize Additive Manufacturing Facility

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✍️ Author: Alan Petrillo

🔖 Topics: Additive Manufacturing, Facility Design

🏢 Organizations: National Centre for Additive Manufacturing, COMSOL

“The model helps predict how heat and humidity inside a powder bed fusion factory may affect product quality and worker safety,” says Adam Holloway, a technology manager within the MTC’s modeling team. “When combined with data feeds from our facility, the app helps us integrate predictive modeling into day-to-day decision-making.” The MTC project demonstrates the benefits of placing simulation directly into the hands of today’s industrial workforce and shows how simulation could help shape the future of manufacturing.

The team made their model more accessible by building a simulation app of it with the Application Builder in COMSOL Multiphysics. “We’re trying to present the findings of some very complex calculations in a simple-to-understand way,” Holloway explains. “By creating an app from our model, we can empower staff to run predictive simulations on laptops during their daily shifts.”

Read more at IEEE Spectrum

Visual Components Connector for NVIDIA Omniverse: The future of Manufacturing Planning

A Framework for Ensuring Safe Plant Design and Operation in the Process Industries

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✍️ Author: Naoto Arai

🔖 Topics: Worker Safety, Sustainability, Facility Design

🏢 Organizations: Yokogawa

The safety of industrial plants is a prerequisite for reassuring local communities and achieving a sustainable society. The process industries operate large, complex man-machine systems and even a single accident in a plant could cause immense damage to facilities, local communities, and the environment, and, in an extreme case, could destabilize the whole of society. To prevent such serious accidents, laws and regulations concerning process safety were discussed globally and the concept of risk reduction with multiple protection layers and a management system through the design and operation of safety instrumented systems was established as a framework for the safety of the process industries. This paper reviews this framework with reference to the trend of related standardization activities and introduces how AI is used to support safety in the process industries.

Read more at Yokogawa Technical Report

Fields of action towards automated facility layout design and optimization in factory planning – A systematic literature review

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✍️ Authors: Peter Burggräf, Tobias Adlon, Viviane Hahn, Timm Schulz-Isenbeck

🔖 Topics: facility design

🏢 Organizations: RWTH Aachen University, University of Siegen

The success of a factory planning project is significantly influenced by the layout design. It contributes to make the production process more economical and reliable. Studies show that an effective layout can reduce the operating costs of a factory by up to 30%.

Layout design is a very complex planning problem characterized by the conflict between competing goals and restrictions. Both quantitative goals, such as material flow, and qualitative goals, like communication and adaptability of a layout, must be taken into account. In addition, regulatory requirements and norms, which are the restrictions the design is based on, must also be met.

Despite the high complexity, the arrangement of the operational functional units is usually done manually, either on paper or with a digital layout design software. The layout variants are then evaluated by experts to identify the optimal layout.

Read more at ScienceDirect

A Platform Based on the Semantic Data Model That Makes Full Use of Design Data throughout the Plant Lifecycle

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✍️ Authors: Tatenobu Seki, Takahiro Kanbe

🔖 Topics: Facility Design, Digital Twin

🏢 Organizations: Yokogawa

Design data are created in multiple systems because their purpose and specialty are different. Yokogawa has been developing a plant data transformation platform that checks the consistency among data distributed across various systems and enables the interoperability of the data by applying ontology technology to database operation and management. This platform will make it possible to quickly and reliably resolve data gaps and inconsistencies between the plant design and instrumentation systems, ensure their reliability, and provide high-quality engineering services. This paper describes through the value architecture analysis how this platform technology will also help solve social issues related to the SDGs and explains its core technologies and application examples.

Read more at Yokogawa Technical Report