An Introduction to Piping Engineering- a brief overview
Piping Engineering is the branch of Mechanical Engineering concerned with the design, placement, and layout of equipment. It streamlines the distribution of process fluid in a process plant. Pipeline engineering is the backbone of any plant, without which the supply of liquid or gaseous materials throughout is not possible.
The piping discipline has two main distinctive divisions – detail engineering services and Piping design. The former includes the properties of the material used, stress evaluation, and pressure-temperature effect on pipes. On the other hand, the latter mentions the layouts and designs for placements of equipment and piping systems.
The expertise involved to become a piping engineer
A pipeline engineer is a vital asset of an organization involved in planning, designing, and managing all the piping needs. Therefore, extensive knowledge on the subject is essential to get the project done successfully. Besides, a basic understanding of other engineering branches like civil, instrumentation, mechanical, and chemical, structural engineering design services, to name a few, is a must for piping engineers. The expertise involved are:
1.Layout of Piping System
The pipes in factories are like blood vessels in the human body that supplies pure blood (fuel, raw and processed material) and impure blood (sludge, harmful gas, and other unwanted material). The layout of the piping system is a must-to-have as the job involves creating a placement plan for the pipes.
2.Layout of Plant
The layout of the plant is an essential aspect, as it nearly covers the whole blueprint of a factory/plant. The piping engineer also takes care of walkways for the worker, mobile machines, besides enough space for the ventilation system. Subsequently, a cognizance of permanent placements of the heavy machine and other equipment according to the piping system is necessary.
An in-depth understanding of the materials used is also necessary for piping engineers. It includes the material of pipes used and the material these pipes will supply. Knowing the material types will prevent potentially harmful chemical reactions and dangerous accidents.
4.Stress and Support system
Precise knowledge to evaluate loads and stress of the pipes after the installation. Furthermore, applying the effective support system accordingly.
5.Grasp over software
Piping engineering involves very complex and diverse planning that requires strenuous efforts and time. The planning process has to be done several times before drawing the optimal layout. Hence, the piping engineer must be expertise in 3D design software like AutoCAD, 3D models, Sledworks, and many more to save time and get the work done effectively on time.
Some specific requirements
- Timely testing of pipes.
- Providing thorough guidance for selection material and installation of parts.
- Well informed about connecting methods of pipes.
- Comprehensive understanding of Pressure-temperature ratings and other dimensional prerequisites.
Besides the skills mentioned above, knowledge of economics, cost factor dependability, metallurgy, and piping erection techniques are a bonus. As a result, it increases productivity and decreases the time factor as well. However, lacking these skills and expertise will cause undesirable stress, degeneration of pipes, and worst of all, threats to the worker's life.