A different approach to plant design
As part of VINCI Energies, the Actemium network has been the service provider for industry solutions since 1999. Actemium provides advice and support for building, optimizing, and managing industrial production facilities. In the Netherlands, Actemium has more than five hundred employees operating from twelve business units throughout the country. The Acetemium teams are specialized in multidisciplinary engineering, automation and MES, panel building, and assembly.
Examining workflow design activities
The core tasks of the Actemium team in Veendam are Industrial IT and plant construction for the process industry, particularly for chemicals, food products, and animal feed. From the outset, software has been used for designing plants for the process industry. At a certain point, as a result of dissatisfaction with the software and service offered by the original provider, it was time to take a close look at the workflow for the design activities.
Switching to Plant Design Suite Ultimate
'Switching to another package is, of course, a very drastic decision. It seems logical to first comprehensively test other packages, but that requires a very dedicated approach,' says project manager Frederik Rijnen.
In 2011, together with Stephan Nijdam (Mechanical Engineer), Rijnen made an inventory of the available software products. The requirement was an integrated solution with functionality that can cover the entire design process, guaranteed ongoing development, and a supplier that offers comparable support and training options. 'In Cadac Group, Nijdam and Rijnen found the ideal, reliable partner, which with Plant Design Suite Ultimate from Autodesk, a solid support department and adequate training options, could offer a suitable solution that met all their wishes.
All the tools you need, in one convenient bundle
The Plant Design Suite includes not only the necessary drawing and modelling tools, such as Plant 3D and Inventor, but also enables these tools to work together. In combination with the Navisworks package, the Plant Design Suite also provides an environment in which 3D models from different sources can be combined to form a whole. Not only can you control for conflicts, accessibility, and feasibility in this environment, it also helps you make the design understandable for non-technical staff. Because of the complexity of most projects, this is by no means an unnecessary luxury!
The first evaluation of Plant Design Suite took place at the start of 2012 in Actemium Veendam, with a trial version of the software. 'For this evaluation, I implemented a small project so that the software functionality and operation could be closely examined. 'This was accomplished at the time without any training, but it went very well,' says Nijdam.
'Based on that, we decided to procure an initial licence so that the first pilot could be implemented. A serious production,' Rijnen adds. 'We opted to use it for part of a larger project and it was able to meet all expectations.' Closing with a wink, Rijnen adds: 'The software was no obstacle.'
Nijdam has since acquired five licences. All of the users have followed training programmes which they found very useful, and they have told others about how reliable the software is. The transition proceeded smoothly. The fear of switching to a different solution appeared to have been entirely unfounded.
After a number of small projects, a larger project was recently completed. This means that the building is almost complete. It concerns the expansion of an existing facility of a dairy producer. This expansion was necessary to create a new product that had been previously developed in a pilot plant elsewhere. The project partly entailed a new construction that had to connect to the pipelines and the electrical installation of the existing factory.
The main conclusion was that there were virtually no errors in the design and that the documentation was nearly perfect. The minor things that were brought to light mostly involved clashes; an on-site sketch or telephone call was usually sufficient to make corrections in the model and drawings. Therefore, one can say unreservedly that it was a successful pilot.
3D scanning & point clouds
Although unnecessary for this particular project, Actemium does work regularly with 3D scans to add an existing environment to designs.
The functionality to process point clouds already exists, but it has not been improved for the new generation of products. It is available for purchase for all Autodesk design suites under the product name ReCap. This is a tremendous outcome for the adaptation of poorly documented installations and the creation of "as-built" models,' according to Marcel van Dijl, Cadac Group Account Manager.More about 3D scanning