Project Synopsis

Create unit simulations, mass and energy balances, PFDs, and P&IDs for an existing food grade oil manufacturing facility in preparation for a major plant expansion.

Project Summary


The client, an edible oil manufacturing facility, contracted Process Engineering Associates, LLC (PROCESS) to develop piping and instrumentation diagrams (P&IDs) for the plant process and utility systems, to generate heat and material balances and process flow diagrams (PFDs) for the facility’s major processes, and to generate mass balances around the key utility systems.  This project was undertaken to provide the existing plant baseline for an upcoming two-fold (2X) plant expansion project. 

Specifically, the project tasks involved:

  • Walkdown of the facility and systems to create draft sketches of the equipment and detailed piping and instrumentation associated with seven (7) major processes (2 Deodorizers, 3 Interesterification Reactors, 1 Hydrogenation System, and 1 Bleaching System).  Also included in the scope were four (4) tank farms with load out systems and all of the associated utility systems (steam, cooling water, nitrogen, hydrogen, hot water, potable water, and compressed air).  PROCESS physically walked down each system to identify all components to generate as-built drawings.  The sketches were issued to the client’s on-site drafting contractor so that the P&IDs could be prepared in AutoCAD.  PROCESS assisted in defining the drafting standards, coordinated all of the drawing reviews, and assisted in document control.  A total of approximately 150 as-built P&IDs were generated for the facility. 
  • Preparation of heat and material balances (HMBs) and PFDs for the Deodorizers, Reactors, and Hydrogenators.  For each process, a simulation model was developed using PROCESS' licensed commercial computer process simulation software in conjunction with customized Excel workbooks.  The models were developed as “smart” models to be used by the client to modify input variables for the process so that HMB data could be generated for various operating cases.  A baseline case for each process was transferred to the appropriate PFD.    
  • Preparation of mass balances around the steam, cooling water, and hot water systems.  These mass balances were done to define the current capacity of each system and to quantify the additional capacity requirements for a new Deodorizer and new Hydrogenation system (that were to be part of the plant expansion).  The utility mass balances were done in MS Excel format.

Generation of the P&IDs/PFDs were a critical first step for the client in an effort to establish an infrastructure for management of change.  The facility is FDA and cGMP regulated and is in the process of implementing specific plant expansion projects.  During the course of this project, PROCESS also started execution of other capital projects for the client and this P&ID/PFD effort had to be coordinated in conjunction with the ongoing expansion projects.   


Industry Type

  • Foods & Beverages

Utilized Skills

  • Plant walkdown
  • As-built process documentation
  • On-site plant process engineering support

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