THE KEY DOCUMENT TO DELIVER A PROJECT IS THE P&ID
As a Project Engineer, whichever field of engineering is chosen as a career pathway, three key terms will need to be very well understood, as a minimum. They are the “Specification”, the “P&ID” and the “Requisition”. The “Specification” is a very detailed written form of the exact requirements of the client. The “P&ID” is the document or, more often, the series of documents that translate the “Specification” into a form that the various disciplines can add value to during the projects development. The “Requisition” is the very detailed written description of what has to be delivered and how by the end construction company. The final package that is delivered to the construction company will be exceptionally detailed by the drawings and documentation. The first draft P&ID is the skeleton around which thousands of other documents and drawings are made in support of the skeletons development
There is an old saying that a picture tells a thousand words. The key picture(s) that are developed during a project show all the information that is required for a construction company to be able to deliver the hardware and software as a “ready to operate” facility. This post uses the Oil and Gas Industry as the model which is being described, but it could be well a set of drawings for AIRBUS, BOEING, FORD, SCHERING PLOUGH, NASA, SPACE X or CERN. A Job Description for a Project Engineer for any of these major organisations will follow the general principles of this post
What does P&ID mean?
The term P&ID is an abbreviation for “PIPING and INSTRUMENT DIAGRAM” or, as also used, an “Engineering Flow Diagram“. Similar terms are used in other industries but as the Energy industry expends much capital on plant development and is supported by thousands of small companies the term P&ID is well understood and used. The drawing shown here is a very basic P&ID for a part of a plant . It is good practice to have one major item of equipment shown per P&ID and within that P&ID there maybe scope to add one or two smaller items. However, with modern technology, which can take a 2D representation to a 3D representation, the P&ID can very quickly get cluttered with detail so it is good practice to avoid having two many major equipment items shown on one P&ID. The P&ID shown covers a number of major equipment items which, as they are shown, give a helpful view of items within a “unit”. A unit being a typical area of operation within a larger plant configuration.
The first P&ID to be generated is the symbol P&ID. This document shows all the symbols that should be used to show the various items on the main Process and Auxiliary P&ID.
Clicking on the diagram will enlarge the drawing to enable a better understanding of the drawing. As the term “P&ID” infers, shown within the drawing are lines drawn depicting main process “Piping” and also lines ( small bore) shown with two slashes drawn on the line which depict instrument connecting lines. When the drawing Title Box is completed to show ” For Construction” the detail should be such that a item can be constructed and hooked up efficiently
The development of Computer Aided Design (CAD) was a huge challenge to the Design Houses. Typically, within a design house the understanding is ” if there is no budget number ( a client account) to book work to, then, work will not take place”. However, the Clients who have the finances need to operate their plants efficiently and the new World of 3D cad was seized upon. A typical example was within the Brunei Shell Organisation and the neighbouring Shell Opco in Miri, East Malaysia In 1987 I was very privileged to be shown the new CAD system that the Shell Group had instigated. The Head of Piping confounded me by being able to zoom into any one of the offshore platforms and then zoom into a vessel and then a flange on the vessel and then a bolt securing the flange.
Clicking this link will take the reader to a site giving the detailed information on 3d Cad http://www.hydrocarbonprocessing.com/Article/3224330/Use-3D-visualization-to-improve-refinery-engineering-and-design.html
So, a design house today has all its Discipline Engineers inputting design information from hundreds of linked computers all developing the 3D model. From the model, when it is cleared for construction, a button can be activated for the production of all the 2d drawings which comprise the whole plant . However, the new plant will generally be constructed in phases and in areas by different contractors . Accordingly, the specific electronic files required by each individual construction contractor are delivered in electronic format. Accordingly, the Project Engineer can now witness the development of a plant from an idea to walking around it in virtual reality, on the basis of what you see (and measure) is what you get.
At this point the Project Engineer will become involved with the answering of queries as they are made by the various contractors.
The above is just a summary of the role of a Project Engineer.