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Piping Layout Consultants Deliver 3D Paper Mill Project

Piping Layout Consultants -PLC details the benefits and best practices of using 3D laser scanning to retrofit a paper mill piping upgrade.

The following is from an article in Building Design and Construction.

Photo of plant scanned by Piping Layout Consultants

Piping Layout Consultants

For a recent U.S. paper mill project, a global supplier of specialty papers and engineered products called upon the experts at Piping Layout Consultants (PLC), a full-service, mechanical design firm based in Louisville, Kentucky.

Since 1985, PLC has provided top-quality design packages and engineered drawings, all without the overhead and high cost associated with larger firms.

Specializing in mechanical piping projects, piping and instrumentation diagrams (P&IDs), civil engineering, structures, pipe supports, pipe stress analysis and mechanical equipment coordination, PLC’s design approach is based on its 30 years of experience in the industry. The firm’s ability to minimize overall project costs by working in small, focused design teams and bringing in the discipline specialists only when needed is a feature that would be particularly helpful for this complex piping replacement project.

Serving a wide variety of industries, including petro-chemical, specialty chemical, food and beverage, pharmaceutical and utility markets, PLC also provides engineering and design support to many mechanical contractors. Along with its construction deliverables, the PLC team provides on-site construction support and has capabilities to walk the job with the client/contractor in a 3D world before they step foot into the construction site. On this job, PLC was selected due to the accuracy and completeness of its issued deliverables to contractors.


All in all, the main objectives of the complex job were threefold:

— Replace a large quantity of FRP piping with titanium piping.

— Reduce cost by pre-fabricating piping.

— Reduce schedule by ensuring pre-fabricated piping fit-up (100 percent fit-up on over 1000 feet of 6-inch and 8-inch titanium piping).

Originally designed by another engineering firm, it was discovered that the design had not been correctly executed. PLC was then contracted to 3D laser scan and make design corrections to reduce cost and meet a challenging schedule.

Among the unique features of the project was that the non-standard characteristics of FRP piping presented a specific challenge of existing pipe runs being able to maneuver in a fashion standard pipe fittings won’t allow. Also, the team faced high pressure to ensure fit-up of pre-fabricated piping. This system was Schedule 40 Titanium piping, which is extremely costly to fix in the field if not initially designed accurately.

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