Project roadmaps get you there

This article illustrates how correct project engineering documentation deliverables help to eliminate scope changes during concept development and design, and minimize analyzer system lifetime costs.

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Process AnalyzerBy Gary Nichols, PE, Jacobs Engineering Group


Two previous articles in this series pointed out the need to approach a process analyzer project with sufficient information and justification to minimize the lifetime cost of the project from conception through retirement. The first article, "How to Launch a Lifecycle Reliability Program," asserted that most lifetime project costs are determined, though not necessarily expended, by the end of the design and development phase—that is, after detailed engineering and before construction. The second article, "Accurately Scoping Process Analyzer Projects," addressed scoping an analyzer system project sufficiently before construction on the premise that changes are less costly to make on paper and in computer files than during construction and ongoing maintenance.

This article takes an additional step by illustrating how correct project engineering documentation deliverables help focus on gathering enough information about the project during concept development and detailed design to minimize or eliminate scope changes and rework during construction and ongoing maintenance.

Indeed, as Bruce Barkley and James Saylor explain in Customer-Driven Project Management—Building Quality into Project Processes, “Documentation is an essential project quality management tool because it disciplines the process and ensures that quality methods have been built into the design and production process. The project manager should see documentation in terms of a front-end process driving work rather than as a back-end process that records what work has been done and how.”

Table I below shows typical documentation that might be submitted to justify project approval at the end of the concept development stage of an analyzer system project.


Document Name or Information Information Needed
Justification Scope Text Understand the goal of the project and the analyzer system
P&ID Understand the manufacturing process and determine the physical conditions for the analyzer system
Preliminary Safety Review Determin how to address safety concerns with project execution and ongoing operation and maintenance
Environmental Impact Review Establish the project completion will not adversely impact site waste processing
Utility Impact Review Establish that sufficient utilities are available to operate and maintain the capital installation
Custsheets, Sketches, Drawings and Meeting Notes Go-bys to allow likely team members to prepare for kick-off meeting
Alternatives for Solving the Problem Increase safety, increase quality, lower cost, shorten schedule
Project Schedule/Time Line Human resource planning
List of Project Team Members Establish working realtionship and give early idea for human resource planning
Instrument Loop Sheet Understand how the signal is to be used and identify the signal type and power source
Spec Item Cutsheets Provides physical idea of required technology and hardware deliverables
PFD Estimate chemical concentration to determine and justify the measurement principle
SHS Sketch or Drawing Provide a physical idea of project hardware deliverables
Photos Provide a physical idea of project hardware deliverables
Instrument Location Drawing Provide a physical idea of project hardware deliverables


Most control systems engineers and designers would agree that the P&ID, instrument loop and PFD/energy and materials balance (process flow diagram) might aptly be called the “road maps” for analyzer systems and most other instrumentation projects. (Some might argue that the PFD is not necessary unless corrosion needs to be addressed; that may be true for conventional instrumentation, but the PFD is absolutely essential for analyzer systems engineering because analyzers exist to measure chemical composition. Therefore, a successful analyzer application depends upon knowledge of the chemical composition during the concept development stage.)

Table II below is a small sample of the myriad and often esoteric documents and information generated during and required for successful detailed engineering and procurement, along with many details that need to be included in those documents.



  • Instrument index
  • Tagged equipment data sheets
  • Engineering scope and specification narrative
  • Sample probe type and design
  • Sample return/disposal type and design
  • Alarms generated in analyzer system, DCS, or SIS
  • Digital signal protocols
  • Use of analyzer on-board I/O capability for external devices
  • SIS Interlock logic
  • Identify piping and tubing metallurgy and pressures
  • Identify "closely coupled" analyzer options (eg. spargers)
  • Estimate of direct labor identified by craft and contruction indirects/overhead
  • Identify requirement for associated personnel safety monitors
  • Analyzer house close to roadway to ergonomically supply cylinder gases
  • Analyzer house sufficiently away from vehicular traffic, piperacks, and electrical right-of-way


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