Discussion Central

Subject: Piping & Instrumentation Diagrams: Fun ​challenge or worst headache ever?

1.  Piping & Instrumentation Diagrams: Fun ​challenge or worst headache ever?

Posted 06-07-2017 09:58
Edited by John Vasko 06-08-2017 16:08
Are Piping & Instrumentation Diagrams a fun challenge or the worse headache ever?


Check out the second installation of Boil's Laws Comic Revisited!

And then come back and share your P&ID stories.

P&ID: Fun ​challenge or worst headache ever?

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Richard Byrnes
Director of Engineering
King Industries Inc
Norwalk CT
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2.  RE: Piping & Instrumentation Diagrams: Fun ​challenge or worst headache ever?

Posted 06-12-2017 22:32
I love P&ID's because this is where the "rubber meets the road".

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David Smith PE
Principal
David A Smith Professional Engineer LLC
Lawrenceville NJ
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3.  RE: Piping & Instrumentation Diagrams: Fun ​challenge or worst headache ever?

Posted 06-18-2017 13:01
​In my 37 years experience, if it is not on the PID, it is not in the facility or process.

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Patrick Bush
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4.  RE: Piping & Instrumentation Diagrams: Fun ​challenge or worst headache ever?

Posted 06-13-2017 06:47
No question in my mind, P&IDs definitely are an interesting challenge.  But you have to like getting into the details of process design.  They also require you to have broad experience or knowledge because of the many aspects of P&ID development, including equipment sizing, instrumentation, hydraulics, process safety, and others. Throw in a good sense of "will this work the way I'm showing it" and you're on your way!

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Barry Juran PE
Retired
Philadelphia PA
Chemical Process Engineer and Sr. Biopharm Specialist
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5.  RE: Piping & Instrumentation Diagrams: Fun ​challenge or worst headache ever?

Posted 06-13-2017 14:00
P&IDs are decidedly one of my favorite tools of Chem E. Much like GIS, where users can overlay and organize a myriad of information on a map, P&IDs allow so much information to be organized effectively and intuitively. Imagine trying to explain all the information that goes on a P&ID without using a picture/diagram format, and only using words. P&IDs are a must for conducting HAZOPs, for getting an idea of overall design and specs of piping, for figuring out and programming control system instrumentation and logic, for troubleshooting when weird things happen in the process, for figuring out where and how to make design modifications/upgrades to process equipment, etc. Plus, I believe P&IDs (and keeping them updated) are required for PSM, which we don't have to follow in our relatively small pilot-scale plant, but there are A LOT of good ideas in PSM that we follow anyway. Who doesn't love P&IDs?

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Katherine Gaston
Chemical Research Engineer
National Bioenergy Center at
National Renewable Energy Lab
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6.  RE: Piping & Instrumentation Diagrams: Fun ​challenge or worst headache ever?

Posted 06-14-2017 09:53
And ultimately the usefulness of P&IDs is completely pendant upon being kept up to date as a living document over time.

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Anthony Actis EIT
Environmental Engineer
CDM Smith
Denver CO
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7.  RE: Piping & Instrumentation Diagrams: Fun ​challenge or worst headache ever?

Posted 06-13-2017 15:18
P&ID is a great tool for conveying a lot of details in a concise manner.  However, I think their effectiveness is more if they are accompanied with a nice PFD or process overview.  I find it easier to read a P&ID once I understand the process overview.

Regards,

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Nader Shakerin
Facilities Manager
Intel Corporation
Chandler AZ
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8.  RE: Piping & Instrumentation Diagrams: Fun ​challenge or worst headache ever?

Posted 06-14-2017 11:17
One of my first professional assignments fresh out of school was to develop a P&ID for an emergency deluge system to be installed in an HF alkylation unit.  I was assigned to a senior engineer for guidance.  To show me what needed to be included he hastily sketched out the system.  In about 10 minutes I held in my hand a complete P&ID fully showing all the equipment, actuated valves, instrumentation, maintenance piping, drain connections, etc., ready to hand directly to drafting.  I remember staring at the paper in awe wondering if I would ever be able to do such a thing.


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John Hume PE
Director Process Research and Innovation
Novus International, Inc.
St Louis MO
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9.  RE: Piping & Instrumentation Diagrams: Fun ​challenge or worst headache ever?

Posted 06-14-2017 13:31
Hi @Robert Cook, I wanted to bring this thread to your attention, since you created one of our most successful blog series on ChEnected, devoted to P&ID diagrams, "How to Interpret Piping & Instrumentation Diagrams."

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Very Best,

John Vasko
Manager, Community & Content
AIChE
New York NY
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10.  RE: Piping & Instrumentation Diagrams: Fun ​challenge or worst headache ever?

Posted 06-15-2017 07:29

I remember over 25 years ago my first assignment as a co-op the summer between my under graduate and graduate education was "yellow lining" and updating most of the P&IDs for the plant I was working in. I was anxious to do "real engineering" and I didn't understand the usefulness and priority of this assignment.  However, I soon realized that task exposed me to more learning about process design and equipment faster than any other thing I could have done.  It visibly drove the connection between what I learned in college and practical application and physical understanding of all the things I had studied.  My previous co-op was focused on a couple specific projects and was rewarding but this activity was a great way to accelerate a breadth and depth of practical knowledge of chemical processing as I asked questions and clarified the accuracy of the mark-ups.



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Daniel Bourgeois
Procter & Gamble
Mason OH
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11.  RE: Piping & Instrumentation Diagrams: Fun ​challenge or worst headache ever?

Posted 06-21-2017 13:40
​I agree with essentially all of the comments made on this subject.  The P&ID is a critical process document that summarizes an incredibly large amount of information in one place.  It is utilized during the entire lifecycle of a process.  For the design and construction phase, it is critical for transferring information between team members and is arguably the single most important document on a project.  For operations it includes the physical aspects necessary to monitor the performance of the process, trouble-shoot the process and maintain all major and minor equipment, piping and instruments.

Given its practical importance, I look back at my chemical engineering education and wonder why the P&ID was not emphasized during my days at the university.  I didn't learn about a P&ID until I began working!

I am retired after more than 35 years of working in the chemical industry but teach chemical engineering as a part-time professor at the University of South Alabama.  I teach an elective titled "Industrial Chemical Process Engineering".  The focus of the semester long course is the development of P&IDs during the basic engineering phase of an investment project.  Students are given a conceptual engineering package including (amongst other information) a PFD.  They use this information along with the material obtained during lectures to create and modify the P&IDs through three revisions.  One of the revisions is used to conduct a PHA.

What is your opinion on including P&IDs in a chemical engineering education?  Has anyone been exposed to P&IDs during their chemical engineering education?  Your feedback will be highly appreciated

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Robert D'Alessandro
Adjunct Professor
University of South Alabama
Spanish Fort AL
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12.  RE: Piping & Instrumentation Diagrams: Fun ​challenge or worst headache ever?

Posted 06-26-2017 18:39
P&IDs are one of the most important process-engineering documents, and are usually required for construction.  All process engineers sooner or later get involved in preparing and revising them.  Piping drawings are often made based on them.  P&IDs need to be maintained and updated so that they accurately reflect "what's out there."  There's nothing more frustrating than walking through a facility with an outdated P&ID and not being able to recognize anything because many modifications were made with no documentation.

P&IDs tell you what's there, but they don't explain how the process works.  For that, it helps to have Block Flow Diagrams (BFDs) or Process Overview Diagrams, and Process Flow Diagrams (PFDs) with material balances.  Piping Isometrics are also important for pump designs.  Unfortunately, when a project's budget becomes constrained, PFDs are often jettisoned.  That leaves only the most diligent process engineers with an understanding of what's going on.

We were always told be beware of project engineers that try to scale a P&ID.

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Robert Bugiada PE
Senior Process Engineer
RC Costello & Assoc Inc
Seal Beach CA
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13.  RE: Piping & Instrumentation Diagrams: Fun ​challenge or worst headache ever?

Posted 06-27-2017 10:15
My experience is that a P&ID is not a construction document, but rather a design document, and should be issued as such (i.e. "IFD").  Further, in my most recent experience, the representation of functionality of the control system is only minimally represented on the P&ID.  This is due to advanced control.  Yes, transmitters and "controllers" are on the drawings.  The situation is analogous to the relationship of a BFD to a PFD - the representation does not tell the whole story.

Another argument I can make that I P&ID is not "for construction" is that it must be revised to an "as built" condition in most cases.  I also believe that modern engineering tools should minimize the need for this, but my experience is that application of these tools to their fullest potential is seldom achieved.

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Joseph Barry PE
Pittsburgh PA
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14.  RE: Piping & Instrumentation Diagrams: Fun ​challenge or worst headache ever?

Posted 08-26-2017 09:29
No doubt No question that, P& ID is a very interesting tool in the history of Industries. Moreover, without P&ID sheet, you wouldn't be able to get the process details. The first thing to look at, after process description as an engineer is a P&ID sheet. With the aid of the P&ID, engineers can gain the plant process details in a shorter period of time than we expect.

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Ismail Abudoros
Plant Manager
Olympic Ice Production and Sweet Water S.P.C.
Hidd Town
Bahrain
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