Process Piping Engineering
Career Path : Engineering Technology
Process piping, is specially designed for particular applications to meet health and safety standards as well as user needs, transports manufacturing and industrial processing materials. Plumbers and specialty contractors can install process piping, which, like all manufacturing facility fixtures, is subject to regulatory inspection, review, and approval.
Industrial piping systems convey fluids (liquids and gases) from one place to another. The engineering discipline of piping design studies fluid transport efficiency. Component fittings, valves, and other devices that control pressure, flow rate, and temperature of the transported fluid are subjects of the field of piping design or engineering.
In food manufacturing, process piping can transport ingredients to stations on an assembly line. Chemical manufacturing facilities use process piping to transport product components along with operational materials like natural gas in separate systems. Refineries use it to move chemical compounds.
Many materials can go into the composition of process piping. An important consideration is the type of fluid transported as there may be specific requirements like inert glass or ceramic piping, corrosion-resistant metal, or inexpensive plastics.
Industrial process piping and accompanying components can be composed of aluminum, concrete, copper, fiberglass, glass, plastic, and steel. The process piping designer also must consider the pressure within the piping and its diameter when selecting composite materials.
Process piping connects with reservoirs, holding tanks, and other containers that release or retain transported materials. For safety and efficiency, valves and shutoffs along the line release excessive pressure, open and close piping segments, and isolate leaks. Some of these devices operate automatically during emergencies, usually transmitting alarms to alert technicians of problems to address. Many facilities use central panels to control the piping electronically.
Design and Maintenance
Facility designers lay out process piping in schematic diagrams. Piping and instrumentation diagrams document process piping systems. Most designers now use computer-aided design (CAD) programs for layouts and schematics while some still prefer to work by hand. Schematics are useful in not only construction but also piping maintenance and repairs that respond to problems and emergency situations.
Updates that reflect changes in the piping over time keep the schematic information current. Process piping design is the detailed piping layout of a process plant or commercial building. Formerly done by drafting, technical drawing, or engineering drawing, design today is mostly by CAD software.
The engineering discipline of process piping training studies fluid transport efficiency. A training area of major importance is piping stress analysis. Pipe-stress engineers check process and power piping for proper routing, adequate nozzle loads, and hangers and supports configured to maintain pipe stress allowable under applicable codes and standards.
It is necessary to evaluate the mechanical behavior of the piping under regular internal pressure and thermal stresses as well as occasional and intermittent loads from earthquakes, high winds, unusual vibrations, and water hammer. Such analyses are usually by specialized finite-element mathematical or pipe-stress computer programs.
Visit Digital School for more information about process piping training.