Equipment layout is the detailing of conceptual layout. It is the basic document of mechanical engineering design or in other words this document is the basis for development of construction drawing by all disciplines. It is sometimes also referred as plot plan for large outdoor plant. Equipment layout consists of following information floor space needed for the equipment and other facilities are shown and access, removal space, cleaning area, storage space and handling facilities are outlined.
Typical Example of equipment layout
Process flow diagrams (PFD) and Piping & instrument Diagrams (P& ID). PFD/ P& ID indicates the inter-connectivity of each equipment, information regarding solid handling, gravity feed, line slopes, loop sizes, venting requirement, special piping materials etc. which in turns governs the equipment location to a great extent.
Project design data.
This consists of following information as: –
Geographic location, proximity to roads and railway, topography and local codes and regulations, weather conditions such as rainfall records, seasonal temperature differences, wind direction, outlet points for drains etc.
The above information such as wind direction influences the location of cooling towers, furnaces, stacks etc. Similarly, the information regarding outlet drain points affects the design of storm water drains and requirements of enclosures.
Equipment sizes and Building.
This includes fabricated equipment such as vessels, Heat Exchangers, Reactors, Tanks and proprietary equipment like pumps, Compressors, Furnaces etc. For locating the above, the equipment is grouped to have optimum location for minimum pipe run as well as fallow the process flow sequence.
Basic principles of locating the Equipment arrangement in the plant
Economic piping: In order to minimize the cost of piping, the equipment layout should be located in process sequence and close enough to suit safety needs, access requirements and flexibility. The equipments are identified which forms the subsystem within the unit. The component within the subsystem to be arranged to have most economical piping and the whole subsystem to be arranged within the unit to have most economic interconnection.
Process Requirement:-The equipment layout should support requirement like minimum pressure drop, gravity feed and loop.
Common operation:-The equipment that requires common maintenance facilities, common utility and continues operator attention shall be located the same area.
Underground Facilities:-Before deciding the equipment location, the facilities such as storm water drain, effluent drain, fire water, cooling water to be placed underground.
Why equipment layout is important?
Efficiency: A good equipment layout can help to improve efficiency by reducing the amount of time and effort that employees need to spend moving around the workplace. This may result in higher output and decreased operational expenses.
Safety: By reducing the chance of accidents, a well-planned equipment arrangement can help to boost safety. For example, by ensuring that there is enough space for employees to move around safely and that equipment is not placed in areas where it could pose a hazard.
Comfort: A comfortable and ergonomically designed workspace can help to improve employee morale and productivity. By taking into account the needs of the employees, such as their height, reach, and vision, the equipment layout can be designed to make their work environment more comfortable and efficient.
Compliance: In some industries, such as manufacturing and healthcare, there are specific regulations that govern the layout of equipment. Businesses who follow these standards can avoid costly fines and penalties.
Flexibility: A flexible equipment layout can help businesses to adapt to changes in their operations. For example, if a business needs to expand or change its production process, a flexible layout can make it easier to do so without having to make major changes to the physical plant.
Overall, equipment layout is an important consideration for any business that wants to improve efficiency, safety, comfort, compliance, and flexibility. By taking the time to design a well-thought-out equipment layout, businesses can reap the benefits of a more productive and efficient workplace.
Examples of the importance of equipment layout
In a manufacturing plant, a good equipment layout can help to reduce the amount of time that it takes to move products from one stage of production to the next. This can result in higher productivity as well as cheaper operational expenses.
In a warehouse, a good equipment layout can help to improve the efficiency of picking and packing orders. This may result in quicker order fulfilment and increased client satisfaction.
No matter what the industry, a good equipment layout can make a big difference in the efficiency, safety, and profitability of a business.