“Piping always represents a sizable part of the total installed cost of any process plant. It may run to 20 percent or even more of the entire cost of the plant, including land and buildings, and may total from around 10 percent to as high as two-thirds of the cost of the equipment. But piping is usually complicated and often consists of a myriad of small, rather inexpensive parts. Its estimation can therefore be a headache to the estimator.

It makes his problem no easier that he is often asked for a reasonable estimate long before the final plans exist and before the project engineers have any idea how much piping will actually be needed. In this case, he must not only be an estimator, but he must be able quickly to convert the preliminary flow sheet into a fair approximation of an actual design to know what his estimate will involve. For this purpose the ability to make quick and rather accurate free-hand isometric sketches is of inestimable value.” ….Akki in Piping-Guide

This being a difficult task, many times the estimator uses the rule-of-thumb or refers to some tables and charts to guess the cost.

However, in a competitive environment this is not always the best route. The wrong estimate dents the profitability of the assignment. In such situations consultants are hired to do a fair study and to work out the cost.

Estimating the cost using the rule of thumb or charts is not of much use when actual material is required to be ordered.

Wrong estimate results either holding of unwanted inventory or struggling against shortage of the required material. Both cost dearly to the project.

  • In the first case, the money blocked in the inventory that is not required dents or even wipes out the profits. Returning this wrong inventory is usually not a solution because of the high cost of logistics.
  • On the other hand the shortage, over and above logistic costs, delays the commissioning of the plants; which in turn results in loss of opportunity to the end-users and penalties to the consultants.

Either for the purpose of accurate cost or for ordering the material, the estimation of quantities is required much before the detail-engineering exercise is done.

In both the situations the challenges are plenty. The time available in hand, availability of expertise, initial assumptions about the specifications, branch tables, types of items used, and the layout of the plant are few from the list.

The real problem arises when the changes in the assumptions happen. The changes are inevitable and the assumptions do change. More and more information flows in, negotiations happen and the scope keeps changing dynamically, right until the date when the estimation is required. This makes the total exercise exhaustive and highly error-prone.

In spite of plethora of plant design software currently available in the market this task has remained a problem for multiple reasons.

What makes SSPIPE a unique solution is that it takes care of almost all aspects of the problem.

90% of the material quantities are accurately estimated from the P&IDs itself. For this SSPIPE provides simple and effortless steps to add intelligence to the AutoCAD drawn P&IDs without much expert inputs. It also has a solution when the P&IDs are available in the form of PDF files.

Balance 10% is estimated using its proprietary XYZ routing technique in which simple lines are drawn to represent pipes.

Most striking and the cutting-edge feature of SSPIPE is the manner in which it allows you to effortlessly handle the whole spectrum of changes. It is very common to encounter changes in the line-sizes, specifications, branch tables, line numbers, types of valves, threshold size (below which the lines are considered as small-bore lines) and many more. For all this SSPIPE provides a batch-process to apply changes to all the P&IDs and XYZs. It is a simple task to mark the changes in Excel files and run the batch-process.

On applying changes, SSPIPE automatically works out the revised quantities and the delta.

Another important aspect of SSPIPE is that it allows you to increase the number of parallel activities and compress the time as per the available time.

SSPIPE is now available on cloud. You can increase or decrease the number of virtual machines to meet your requirements, without actually purchasing extra hardware.

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