What is Detailed Design and Engineering

What is Detailed Design and Engineering?

Detailed design and engineering is a process which covers conceptual design, embodiment design and detail design. When performed professionally, the detail design engineering eventually results in a well designed solution.

Phase 1: Conceptual design

Phase One of detailed design and engineering is the conceptual design phase in which drawings are the main output. The drawings produced are often quite simple ideas with little detail, but the aim of the conceptual phase is to commit ideas to paper.

Phase 2: Embodiment phase

The Embodiment phase of the detailed design and engineering process initiates with the concept and blends it into a workable system that can be further developed. During this phase, engineers will typically follow a framework of clarity, simplicity and safety in achieving the design goal.

Phase 3:Detailed design

This is the phase where the design is refined and plans, specifications and estimates are created. Detailed design include outputs such as 2D and 3D models, P & ID’s, cost build up estimates, procurement plans etc. This phase is where the full cost of the project is identified.

Steps covered in detailed design & engineering:

  • Purchasing of equipment, main and bulk.
  • Thermal rating of heat exchangers.
  • Development of Piping and Instrument Diagrams released for construction.
  • Development of detailed piping drawings, including isometrics and stress calculations.
  • Development of detailed drawings related to instrumentation, electrical facilities and civil works.
  • Management of vendor drawings.
  • Cost and schedule control.
  • Start-up procedures.

Importance of Detailed design engineering in India

Over the years Academia and practical application have proven that detailed design and engineering is the key phase in which a project’s costs are defined and set.

The fact that detailed design and engineering process has a strong impact on the overall project cost it is also the stage in which the most cost saving can be made. Equally if the phased process described above is done poorly it can have a major negative impact on the overall project success.
It is truly said that “after all, 70% of a product’s total cost is determined by its design, and that cost includes material, facilities, tooling, labour, and other support costs.”

Success Factors for Detailed design & Engineering:

Often the breadth of scope of a detailed design & engineering project is so vast that no single manager, engineer, operator or scientist has the knowledge to provide the overall detailed design and engineering solution. A high experienced company with top leadership is the key to a successful detailed design & engineering operations. Detailed design ensures that the overall design solution satisfies the projects objective.
Taking a real life scenario, if the goal of a project includes the need to generate energy, a mechanical design engineers input may be to recommend a piston or turbine.

Likewise, An electrical design engineers input is required to generate solar power and a chemical design engineer’s input is required to execute a reaction which would provide exothermic or endothermic energy dependent on the need.

Obviously not all types of energy creation would be suitable for every project. In this example, as in many other instances, it is therefore necessary for all elements of the problem to be considered and the most suitable decided upon during the build up of the detailed design and engineering solution.

For successful detailed design and engineering, there is often the need for someone to take control of the various stakeholders and manage them. Often a project manager will be appointed to bring all the interested parties together and work towards a common goal which will result in a full detailed design and engineering solution.
There are many frameworks that a detailed design & engineering company will adopt in reaching the detailed design and engineering phase of a project. In essence each of them takes the idea or concept that solves a problem from a coarse and rough plan/ design to one that is fine and detailed and solves the problem.

The skill of detailed design is to estimate what it is you think is reasonably required and keep refining to ensure that the plan you settle with fits the bill.

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