Plan Plants Faster with Consistent Data Systems

Buss-SMS-Canzler applies AutoCAD Plant 3D for Plant Planning

The separation of substances is one of the most important processes in process engineering. The physical and chemical properties are used in the process to separate from each other substances that are intermixed with one another. Both thermal and mechanical processes are used. Buss-SMS-Canzler is the world leader when it comes to the development and manufacture of machinery and plants for evaporating-, drying-, high viscosity- and membrane technologies. At present, a total of 235 employees are employed at its headquarters in the hessian Butzbach, and at the Duren and Pratteln sites (Switzerland).

The clients come here mainly from the chemical industry, such as polymer technology, or the fine plastics chemistry respectively. Buss-SMS-Canzler designed plants for them for the thermal treatment of resins or waxes, for the evaporation of substances or for separating difficult substance mixtures respectively of temperature-sensitive products. Such plants are used for example in the production of Distilled Monoglyceride (DMG), biodiesel or the extraction of Omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil. In addition, clients also include the pharmaceutical industry or businesses from the area of environmental protection for the customers, for example when it comes to the drying of sewage sludge. „It is important to us that we respond as needed to meet the requirements of our customers and develop concept-oriented solutions,“ says Hans-Dieter Schulz, Head of Process / Technology at Buss-SMS-Canzler. The supply schedules range from concepts for individual components and specialty plants, to the production of part plants or plant levels. There are 20 pilot plants in the company‘s own technical center for trials, such as how the different substances can be treated optimally. This facilitates the planners both to assess the feasibility of a plant to be designed, as well as to optimize existing processes.

Thanks to the Database always being up to date

A major challenge in planning the plants is to keep all the data and specifications of the individual components and assemblies in all project areas, such as the production of steel building designs, or the development of piping and flow diagrams (P&I diagrams) current. In this way, the risk of bad planning, collisions and potential weaknesses remains as low as possible. This becomes all the more important as more people are involved in the planning plant. To manage this information efficiently and to be able to access it quickly, given the high time and cost pressures prevailing in the plant, is one of the key factors for success in plant design. Also for this reason, the engineers at Buss-SMS-Canzler decided to change to database-based technologies within the process engineering department. With this conversion, the self-programmed AutoCAD extension for plant design was also replaced with a modern solution. „Many of the programmed devices are still based on the AutoCAD version of DOS. We have decided to use a modern system in the course of the transition. Furthermore, we also wanted to no longer have to perform internal support, but rather receive external updates, „said Ronald Kling, CAD Designer in 2D and 3D Plant Design.

AutoCAD Plant 3D and AXAVIA – A Perfect Pair in Plant Planning

This restructuring was designed as a longer term project. The engineers were in search of a database-driven System, ideally with a bidirectional interface between CAD software and a CAE solution. „It was important for us to work with an AutoCAD-based program, as our employees have long been familiar with this system, „says Schulz. AXAVIA, a provider of project organization software; was on the shortlist for the CAE area. „After having suffered with the solution from another vendor shipwreck, we decided at the end of 2011 on the Autodesk solution AutoCAD Plant 3D and the Plug-In from AXAVIA and have been very satisfied with this pair ever since then,“ said Schulz. Ronald Kling adds: „You can tell that AXAVIA and Autodesk have somehow grown together.“

AutoCAD Plant 3D is a tool for the 3D construction of plants and is based on the AutoCAD platform. It provides plant designers and design engineers with a modern 3D development environment. The tools can be adapted to individual project requirements, the integrated CAD tools of AutoCAD P&ID make it possible to create piping and instrumentation drawings and to edit and organize this data with the 3D model. Isometric, orthogonal and other representations can be generated directly from the 3D models. Because the data is exchanged directly between the individual components, they are always up to date and remain consistent throughout the entire project. The incorporation into the new software went smoothly because the user at Buss-SMS-Canzler were already very experienced in CAD design and have profound experience with AutoCAD-based solutions. Therefore a three-day internal training, in order to acquire the basics of the program, was enough.
AutoCAD Plant 3D is used in all phases of plant design. This includes, for example, creating specifications themselves or loading an existing catalog. With the help of the integrated AutoCAD P&ID, the planners finished the 2D piping and instrument flow diagrams. A further module helps in planning the installation of the entire plants and generates a three-dimensional plan of the steel structures, piping, and the rest of the plant components. Thus all relevant planning documents are generated, which are needed to build a chemical plant.
Since the underlying data between the individual components of the plant design within AutoCAD Plant 3D is matched, they are always consistent and up to date.
In addition, the designers of Buss-SMS-Canzler use the project review software Autodesk Navisworks, also, among other things, to visualize the designs in 3D and to present to the client.

Centralized Data for more time saving

The plant manufacturer of Buss-SMS-Canzler has not been using AutoCAD Plant 3D for long, but it is already clear that the solution significantly reduces the time for the completion of a system design. This is because on the one hand the data can be directly evaluated, for example, to create isometrics, orthographies and other construction documents. The second advantage is that the developed components are immediately available in the current version through the connection to the database at a later time or in a different design step, for example, when lists are created. The fact that the specifications must be entered only once, promise the designers themselves a significant amount of time gains. „The bottom line is that we expect that we can save about 20 percent of the total working time in the execution,“ calculated Ronald Kling. With AutoCAD Plant 3D Buss-SMS-Canzler can therefore in the future more efficiently plan, model, and document plants.