Chemical engineer’s role in any Refinery or in a Chemical process plant is inevitable. Basic Guidance provided here for newbie Process Engineer to help to make a journey as a process engineer, a successful one.
Emergency situations in a chemical process industry may arise at any time. As a fresh process engineer be aware of the emergency preparedness procedures to follow in case of emergency like fire, release of substances hazardous to health etc.
Understand the various communication preferences in the industry and adapt to that methods. Know the people in your team and call people by name.
Wear Personal Protective Equipment’s – PPE’s like Helmets, Safety Shoes, Goggles, Masks, and Ear plugs wherever necessary. Work safely. Understand the Material Safety Data Sheets – MSDS of chemicals you handle. Watch & learn from the Safety Incident Investigation Videos @ US Chemical Safety Board. Process Safety Beacon published by Center for Chemical Process Safety of AIChE will also help to learn from others mistakes.
Understanding the Process
Go through the P& ID and PFD of the plant. Operating manuals and standard operating procedures will help to understand the process and functions in a better way. Identify the operating limits of parameters for the process equipments based on the material of construction or process requirements. Understand the Chemistry, kinetics, Feed & Product Specifications, Economics of Operation, Utilities & Communication network with other relevant units/plants also.
Be well versed about the control systems and Emergency Shutdown systems – ESD available. Startup and Shutdown conditions require special attention rather than a normal operating condition. Give more attention for learning from such cases
Expect the unexpected! If you are not facing any challenges your growth is restricted. Be ready to face challenges. Simulate what can go wrong and make a plan or checkpoints in such occasions. Analyze the plant reports, Failure Analysis Reports and Equipment History details to gain confidence over the process.
Chemical Process Calculations
Know about the efficiency calculations for Process equipments like Boilers, Furnaces, Compressors, Pumps, Catalyst Vessels, Steam Turbines, Cooling Towers and Heat exchangers. Do periodical assessment of efficiency as there will be always scope for improvement and it is good for both the industry and the professional.
Be up to date about the recent technological developments in the field. Books, Websites, Online Forums/ Groups, Seminar & Conference presentations & Journals contain lot of useful information. Use them wisely! If you come across anything which suits to your job put up a suggestion and implement it which can save lot of Money.
Hope this Guidance will help to emerge and grow as a good Process Engineer in Chemical Industry.
Wish you a successful journey ahead!