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This was part of a large project that involved the design of a number of process plant machines, with each unit performing a different function within the process of producing a gas/fluid product for use in the Pharmaceutical and Healthcare sector.

The overall task involved building a number of complete products in the 3D SolidWorks environment, with assembly and manufacturing drawings, to ensure that a full BOM (Bill of Materials) was created and there was no missing components.

Our challenge of completing the unit was to understand the P&ID (Piping & Instrumentation Diagram) and package all the components into a frame assembly in the correct positions and orientations. The frame assembly would be manufactured from stainless steel tube construction, of a pre-set size / envelope and be comprised of several manual and automated components, including:

– Valves
– Pumps
– Motors
– Mixing vessels
– Instrumental equipment

Working in parallel with chemical engineers was critical to the function of the machine, as it was essential that the components could be easily accessed for maintenance & cleaning operations. Other challenges of the project were to ensure that each component had the correct specifications, as well as meeting all FDA & other regulations.

Using SolidWorks we looked at how the P&ID could be broken down into easy to demonstrate assemblies. This enabled us to present to the customers and chemical engineers in our weekly design review and show how the unit would interact with other lines of the P&ID.

Using 3D sketches we created a route of the pipework & positioned the components along the sketch. We could then use this sketch as a path to create the pipework and add the required fittings.

As the design progressed, we watched the space envelope disappear as we ended up with the completed unit that met with FDA & other regulations, the maintenance & cleaning challenges, and these ensured the outcome of meeting the customer’s expectations.