Plant construction

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
BASF plant in Ludwigshafen

The plant is a technical industry , whose goal is technical equipment to realize. Plant construction encompasses various technical disciplines, depending on the type of plant. Typical specialist areas are process engineering , energy engineering , supply engineering , production engineering , mechanical engineering and electrical engineering .

In plant engineering, technical components are combined into an overall system with precisely defined tasks. The type and number of tasks result from the overall process that is to be implemented with the system under specified boundary conditions. First of all, the individual steps of each process must be examined, their control must be ensured and the necessary equipment design must be developed. By interconnecting, adapting and optimizing the technical components, the concept of the process is created, which, however, only becomes a complete system concept in connection with the corresponding supply and disposal facilities ( utilities ) and the control and monitoring concept. Considerations for disposal , measures and process steps for waste avoidance , for waste gas and wastewater treatment and for occupational safety are also an integral part of a viable system concept.

The processing of an order in plant engineering can be seen as a one-off project, which can be distinguished from industrial series and mass production . Its project character is characterized by the specific objectives, as well as a time, financial and personnel limit and varies from order to order.

Phases of the plant construction process

The development process of a technical system can be broken down into the following typical steps:

  1. Procedure and process development in the laboratory and pilot plant including the corresponding system structures and an extrapolation to the industrial scale ( scale-up )
  2. Determination of the administrative, economic and technical framework conditions as well as the requirements of the system operator
  3. Feasibility study with technical and economic comparison of different concepts. This study ends i. d. Usually in a go or no go decision as to whether a system will be built at all.
  4. Concept phase ( preliminary planning ), d. H. Selection of the final concept and first estimates of the technical system scope, if necessary also first cost and deadline estimates for the investment project.
  5. Elaboration of the technically and economically most advantageous concept and determination of all expected costs and income ( design planning or basic engineering)
  6. Approval planning for obtaining the necessary permits from the responsible authorities
  7. Detailed design and precise description of all necessary components and measures for implementation ( implementation planning or detail engineering)
  8. Request for the described (specified) components and services
  9. Compare offers and order
  10. Construction of the facility
  11. Commissioning of the plant
  12. Proof of the agreed performance of the system (material turnover, energy turnover, quality, guarantee data)
  13. Handover of the system to the operator

Project controlling in the plant construction process according to the VDMA model

Project management in the plant construction process can be divided into five project phases in which technical and commercial areas of responsibility meet. The phases shown refer to the model of the phases of project processing, which was created by the Hilpert, Rademacher, Sauter working group under the title: Project Management and Project Controlling in Plant and Systems Business and published in 2001 by VDMA Verlag in Frankfurt am Main has been.

1. The preliminary clarification phase

The focus of the preliminary clarification phase is that companies assess new projects internally and are then able to use the knowledge gained to make a statement as to whether further processing of the project in the form of an offer makes sense. In order to record project risks that arise, companies try to fall back on standardized assessment methods, which can be reflected in the form of benefit or risk analyzes. This methodology is used to create detailed data sheets which, among other things, a. may include project-related checklists, target system designs and customer meeting minutes. An important basis for decision-making is the customer's specification sheet, in which the customer has formulated his own objectives and framework conditions for the project in advance and hands them over to the contractor. In addition to creating a rough concept with regard to the diverse technical and economic aspects of a project, companies strive to continuously obtain more precise information. Based on the collected facts, it is possible to classify the project based on its attractiveness for the company and to draw a comparison with other outstanding project inquiries. By specifying the content and taking into account corporate assessment criteria, a decision can be made for or against the approval of the offer processing, which at the same time means the conclusion of the preliminary clarification phase.

2. The offer phase

The offer phase begins with a positive decision to approve the preparation of the offer. In this project section, in addition to the technical and commercial clarification of the specifications, work steps such as the development of a project structure plan (PSP) are initiated, which has a decisive effect on the subsequent project result and the resulting project success.

The first part of this project phase deals with the technical and commercial clarification of the offer. The company is based on the client's specification sheet, from which, if this information is provided, the desired specifications of the system can be derived. After this technical information has been filtered out, it is checked with regard to its feasibility and in compliance with legal regulations. Thanks to his know-how, the contractor is able to make suggestions for optimizing the planned system design at this point. The commercial offer clarification requires the determination of subsequent contractual framework conditions, which include, for example, the delivery and payment conditions or warranty guarantees. In the so-called internal specification, all project properties that have been developed through the clarification of the offer are compiled. The contractor can now structure the project in more detail on the basis of the specifications. Here, the project or the entire system itself is viewed as one object, which can be broken down into subsystems and even more detailed into assemblies and individual parts. By defining individual sub-objects, it is possible to name task packages and work steps that are necessary to manufacture these components. The breakdown of the product structure ensures that the project can be represented in its entirety of task packages in a rough work breakdown structure (PSP). It enables authorizations, resources, responsibilities and scheduling to be assigned to the individual work packages and encompasses the entire scope of services and delivery of the project. Due to its efficient structure, it forms the basis for future project phases.

The project structuring is followed by two parallel partial phases. The quotation calculation begins with the submission of estimated and target prices and can become increasingly precise as time goes on. On the basis of the created PSP, the total costs for fulfilling all task packages can be determined and thus the manufacturing costs of the system can be derived. In addition to the overriding collection costs, these form the basis on which a project offer price is calculated. The PSP ensures that the company is simultaneously able to carry out rough scheduling and capacity planning for the case of an order. The rough scheduling is based on the amount of time required to process the upcoming work packages and tries to bring them into line with the customer's expectations of the completion of the project. The rough scheduling also includes the naming of the first milestones that can relate to upcoming process activities in all areas of responsibility.

With the formulation of the specification, the subsequent project structuring and the planning of offer prices and scheduling based on this, the contractor is now able to submit a first complete offer. The contract negotiations, which decide on the further course of the project, can then be opened with the customer and the offer phase is deemed to have ended.

3. The handover phase

The handover phase forms the interface between the offer and order phase, which is ushered in after positive contract negotiations. In order to counteract any misunderstandings and errors that arise during project management, it is important that a functioning project management system is initiated at this point at the latest. In the so-called handover meeting, the responsibilities are transferred from sales to management. This also includes the handing over of project protocols and checklists to the management, which include all project data worked out in advance. It follows that all the data on which the contract is based are available to project management and further steps can be initiated in the subsequent execution phase.

4. The execution phase

The kick-off meeting, which is initiated by the project management, is the starting point of the execution phase. Responsibilities are assigned to those involved, work packages are defined and possible problems are identified. The project manager plays a central role within the organizational structure. He plans work packages and assigns orders to the individual departments, which are then processed by the responsible employees. The project manager is therefore responsible for coordinating internal and external activities and is in charge of planning, controlling and monitoring the project. In addition, the project manager is responsible for updating the schedules and costing during the execution phase and ensures that documentation is complete.

Scheduling is a crucial factor in a successful project. Detailed planning based on the PSP results from the rough planning of the project. The procedure is based on the "top-down" principle, i. This means that all dates and activities of the project are gradually refined. At the same time, it must be taken into account that internal and external project participants are involved in the planning in good time and that capacities are reserved in a non-time-critical manner. An interim check of the progress of appointments should be carried out continuously for appointments that have already been classified as time-critical in advance. Despite careful pre-planning, there are often deviations that require constant updates to the schedule. The responsible project manager should therefore focus on disclosing any bottlenecks in order to measure the probability of disruptive elements in advance so that adequate countermeasures can be initiated. It makes sense to consult with the specialist departments in order to be able to classify the change in terms of time. Bar charts and the network plan technique, which are set up on the basis of the PSP, prove to be helpful. In particular, the network plan technique illustrates the critical path on which all work processes lie without buffer time. If the deadlines for these processes are not met, the deadline will be exceeded. This means that the schedule must be updated and the delay must be reported to the responsible project participants.

The cost planning pursues the basic goal that the existing actual values ​​should not exceed the calculated target values ​​in order to prevent an economic failure. For example, a comparison is made between the planned and current processing time of a task package. If an employee finds that he cannot meet the estimated target hours, the project manager is informed so that countermeasures can be initiated. The “concurrent calculation” is used to check the economic success of the project. First, the quotation calculation is converted into an order calculation, which is structured like the PSP. If the scope of the project is changed, the target value of the respective costing item is recalculated. The calculation cannot be viewed as a rigid construct, but is subject to a certain dynamic that is caused by internal or external changes. The updated target costs are regularly compared with the manufacturing costs incurred. This is not just about the usual "target / actual comparison", the project controller is rather interested in an extended "target / actual comparison" in order to be able to quantify the expected costs at the end of the project. This helps to increase the effectiveness of the project reporting process.

All project-related documents are systematically collected in the project documentation. Effective document management is essential for a successful project, since complete documentation is often a basis for payment approvals. The internal project participants should have direct access to technical and commercial documents in order to find out the current status of the project. This includes contract and planning documents, meeting minutes, as well as costing and status reports. In addition, the collected data can be accessed at any time if problems that have already been solved in the past arise again. This information retrieval is called information retrieval. The contractually negotiated data for the construction and operation of the system are given to the client. The documents often include documents on the basic design (basic engineering) consisting of the overall layout, technological process and the mechanical or electrical engineering part. In addition, there is detailed engineering, which contains detailed explanations of the points mentioned in basic engineering. Layout, scheduling and drawings are specified in it. Furthermore, regulations for operation, maintenance and repair are documented. The project manager is responsible for complete documentation by monitoring that all project participants contribute to the documentation.

5. The evaluation phase

In the last phase, the focus is on the project completion and the evaluation of the associated documentation in the form of a final project report. The documentation should show in its entirety all positive and negative developments of the project, which are considered from both technical and commercial aspects. The purpose is to gain knowledge in order to expand one's own wealth of experience and thus avoid repetitive errors. The evaluation phase is divided on the one hand into the retrospective determination of results and on the other hand into the future-oriented transfer of know-how.

By determining the results, a conclusion is drawn about the previous phase of the preliminary clarification, since a comparison between the expected and actual project results can now be drawn under the same criteria. The evaluation differentiates between economic, legal and technical aspects of the project result. This form of feedback to all project participants has the benefit of classifying the project on the basis of current knowledge. The determination of the results gives an overview of the project's success.

The process of know-how transfer pursues the purpose of deriving from current project knowledge a constant improvement for the processes of the preliminary clarification and processing phase in future projects. The subject areas of this evaluation include the sub-items standardization, methodology, organization and corporate culture. So-called master plans should emerge from the standardization, which generalize future project processes in the form of templates in order to save time and costs. The methodology focuses on project management. The purpose of the aids used is to be improved by changing manuals or introducing further training measures. Under the heading Organization, measures are recorded that are intended to contribute to the optimization of the structure and process organization during the project implementation. Project management is to be changed, for example, so that competencies and information flows are better distributed within the existing structures. The corporate culture considers the positive or negative influence of completed projects on the atmosphere within the project team involved. Here, one tries to gain knowledge about how individual projects affect the working atmosphere and what means are to be taken to optimize the corporate culture in the long term.

Plant contract

Because of the great complexity of such systems, the system contract was legally developed, which is viewed by some as a separate type of contract. The best-known internationally related contract models are issued by FIDIC (Fédération Internationale des Ingénieurs-Conseils). The so-called Silver Book was developed especially for EPC - Turnkey projects developed. The contract models include a. detailed regulations on risk distribution, acceptance and limitations of liability. An arbitration procedure according to the rules of the International Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Paris is provided for the settlement of disputes.

Plant operator

Process engineering is involved to a considerable extent in the total industrial production of the world (FRG 1980: approx. 50%). In particular, this includes the following industries:

  • Oil and gas industry
  • Chemical and pharmaceutical industry
  • Fertilizer and food industry
  • Steel industry

Biggest company

Surname origin
Bechtel Corporation United StatesUnited States United States
Fluor Corporation United StatesUnited States United States
Jacobs Engineering United StatesUnited States United States
KBR United StatesUnited States United States
McDermott International United StatesUnited States United States
TechnipFMC FranceFrance France
Bilfinger GermanyGermany Germany
Linden tree GermanyGermany Germany
Exyte GermanyGermany Germany
Thyssen-Krupp Industrial Solutions GermanyGermany Germany
Chiyoda Corporation JapanJapan Japan
JGC Corporation JapanJapan Japan
Toyo Engineering Corporation JapanJapan Japan
Amec Foster Wheeler United KingdomUnited Kingdom United Kingdom
Petrofac United KingdomUnited Kingdom United Kingdom
Saipem ItalyItaly Italy
Técnicas Reunidas SpainSpain Spain
GS Korea SouthSouth Korea South Korea
Hyundai Korea SouthSouth Korea South Korea
Samsung Korea SouthSouth Korea South Korea
SK Korea SouthSouth Korea South Korea
Daelim Industrial Korea SouthSouth Korea South Korea

See also



  • Sattler, Klaus; Kasper, Werner: Process engineering systems - planning, construction and operation , WILEY-VCH Verlag Weinheim, 2000. ISBN 3-527-28459-1
  • Hirschberg, Hans Günther: Handbook of process engineering and plant construction - chemistry, technology, economic efficiency , Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1999, ISBN 3-540-60623-8
  • Hilpert, Rademacher, Sauter (2001): Project management and project controlling in the plant and system business. Frankfurt a. M .: VDMA
  • Lemiesz, D. (1991): Order processing in mechanical and plant engineering. Düsseldorf: VDI
  • Malkwitz, A. (2017): Project Management in Plant Engineering. Berlin: Springer
  • Wagner, W. (2009): Planning in Plant Construction. 3. Edition. Würzburg: bird
  • Weber, K. (2016): Engineering process plants. 2nd Edition. Dresden: Springer


  • Lotz, Burkard: Limitations of Liability in Plant Contracts, ZfBR 2003, 424 ff


  • Chemie Technik - CT: Specialized magazine for investment decision-makers in chemical plant engineering. Hüthig Verlag, Heidelberg, ISSN  0340-9961 .
  • cav chemie-anlagen + verfahren - magazine for process engineering, plant construction, apparatus technology. Konradin Verlag, Leinfelden, ISSN  0009-2800 .

Web links

Wiktionary: Plant construction  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Hilpert, Rademacher, Sauter: project management and project control system in the plant and business . Ed .: VDMA. 6th edition. VDMA, Frankfurt am Main 2001, ISBN 3-8163-0414-1 .
  2. a b c Klaus Weber: Engineering process engineering plants . 2nd Edition. Springer Verlag, Dresden 2016.
  3. ^ Wagner: Planning in plant construction . 3. Edition. Vogel, Würzburg 2009.
  4. Alexander Malkwitz: Project management in plant construction . 1st edition. Springer Verlag, Berlin 2017.
  5. a b c d Lemiesz: Order processing in mechanical and plant engineering . 1st edition. VDI, Düsseldorf 1991.