Systematic generation of engineering line diagrams
This thesis describes research into a methodology for the systematic development of engineering line diagrams (ELOs) from process tlowsheets with a particular emphasis on safety, health and environmental (SHE) and operability issues. The current approach to the consideration of safety in design is largely reactive, relying on design reviews such as the HAZOP. If design safety is to be improved, then a comprehensive system, incorporating both proactive and reactive methods, must be adopted. The facility to develop proactive safety systems relies upon the presence of a systematic design procedure. Since design at this stage seems generally to be rather haphazard, there is a need to introduce structure to the design task before any progress can be made in the improvement of safety. Introducing structure to the design task not only provides a framework for the incorporation of SHE and operability issues, but should also improve the effectiveness of the overall design and the efficiency with which it is completed. More specifically, fewer good design opportunities should be lost due to poor information handling and thc amount of rework arising from misunderstandings between different disciplines should be minimised. In addition, learning how to perform the design task should become easier for new recruits. Relevant work in the fields of process design, process safety, engineering drawings and ELO development is discussed. An analysis of perceptions of the design task within industry is presented. The generation of a systematic method by iterative case study work with designers is described. The structural features of this method are explained. Some examples of the application of the method are given and the results of a trial within industry are discussed. This research has shown that there is no existing work which captures the logic for the order in which decisions for developing a first ELO are made. Neither is there a complete analysis of the activities and issues contributing to ELO development. A novel method for the systematic generation of ELOs has been produced and used as a framework for the incorporation of SHE and operability issues into design. Trials of the method within industry have shown it to be successful.