As the famous artist, Vincent Van Gogh, said, “Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.” The “small things” in process engineering are no different and can have a big influence on a project’s bottom line.
The impact of process engineering on the economics of a capital project is often overlooked during the initial stages of the project’s lifecycle. Project teams routinely focus on the capital cost of the project rather than the Total Cost of Ownership. By not focusing on the “whole picture” (e.g., operating costs), opportunities with relatively small capital investments go unnoticed and big savings can be missed. In our experience, bringing together a series of small things adds significant value down the road.
Several ways the operating costs of a project can be reduced are by focusing on the following areas:
- Material efficiency;
- Energy efficiency;
Material efficiency can be improved by reviewing measurement systems in the process and product specifications to reduce off spec material. Energy efficiency can be increased by evaluating the process for opportunities to recover waste heat; therefore, building a stronger link between energy use awareness and actual energy usage. This can significantly reduce the operating cost of the project. Automation can reduce labor costs and reduce off-spec products through better process control.
Is your team unlocking the value of bringing small things together? Our multi-disciplined engineers can help find opportunities to reduce operating and capital costs on projects by optimizing your process engineering package. Contact Charles Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org to start exploring these opportunities.