Why EPCs are Hiring Modular Skid Manufacturers for Plant Design Projects

by | EPIC Modular Process

As an EPC, you are constantly working to streamline the plant design process. Whether you’re designing a new chemical plant or managing a pharmaceutical plant expansion, your main accountability is always the same – to deliver the project on time and on budget. You’ve probably put together a shortlist of suppliers and contractors who can help you achieve this goal. But do you have a modular skid manufacturer on that list? In this blog, we’ll explore the benefits of modular plant design and how EPCs can save time and money by working with an experienced process skid manufacturer like EPIC Systems.

Click below to see an example of plant design skid fabrication

As you may know, one of the main advantages of utilizing modular process equipment in your plant design process is a faster time-to-market. By fabricating and testing your modular process skids offsite, site civil and facility construction can proceed in parallel without interruption. The example shown here is a food grade process system, but modular plant design can be applied to any sanitary or industrial design process.

Similarly, offsite fabrication reduces downtime for your client’s existing operations during process plant design updates. Your client will thank you for mitigating their lost production.

(*See an example of how modular plant design reduces production downtime here)

The modular approach also reduces capital costs. Traditional stick-build construction crews create expensive labor costs.

But when you partner with a full-service process skid manufacturer, like EPIC, you can significantly reduce those costs by relying on a smaller crew of skilled in-house craftsmen. Because these craftsmen fabricate skids offsite in a controlled shop environment – and follow stringent fabrication procedures – you can expect higher quality assembly and fabrication at a lower cost. Other benefits of shop fabrication include:

  • Fewer onsite OSHA hours, resulting in reduced safety risks
  • Elimination of overhead welds, resulting in greater precision welding
  • Shielding gas is more effective indoors, resulting in higher purity welds

Choosing a Modular Skid Fabricator

Before you contact a modular skid fabricator, it’s important to consider at what point in the process you would gain the most value from this partner. It’s best to find a company that is capable of offering flexible design options. As not only a manufacturer of skids but also a full-service industrial engineering firm, EPIC can develop process skid modules at any stage in the plant design process. Below are three stages when EPCs typically bring EPIC into a project.

  • Process & Mechanical Engineering: EPIC can provide process flow diagrams (PFD), piping and instrumentation diagrams (P&ID) and Welding Procedure Specifications (WPS). Getting EPIC involved early takes pressure off of the EPC during the subsequent stages.
  • Physical Design: Many EPCs come to EPIC with the engineering design documents already completed. That’s great too! 30+ years of experience allows EPIC’s modular skid designers to hit the ground running with the physical design.
  • Procurement & Fabrication: Even if the engineering and design work has been completed, EPIC still adds value. For example, EPIC recently supported a major EPC as a fabrication partner for a multi-billion-dollar expansion and delivered process skids under strict fabrication and documentation requirements. Read the case study on this project here.

Regardless of when EPIC joins the plant design process, your EPC can expect full support throughout factory acceptance testing (FAT), shipping, installation and site acceptance testing (SAT) of all modular process skids. For more information on how EPIC can support your EPC call 314-806-1678.

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