We do everything to identify vulnerabilities early on

There’s a well-known saying in German that only those who don’t act make no mistakes. This sometimes sounds rather like people who make a lot of mistakes trying to justify their actions (because then it looks like they do a lot of work). We’re obviously not happy with this and have therefore reworked the saying for our own purposes: ‘Only processes without vulnerabilities are efficient’. Because ultimately, this is often precisely where there is the greatest potential for improvements – in the details that determine how reliably and accurately a process runs.

Process reliability is dependent first and foremost on experience in plant engineering. And this is something we have: DMT operates around the world, both as a general contractor and together with partners, handling everything from the initial feasibility studies to the construction and handover of turnkey plants. Our focal areas are the mining and steel industries, the raw materials processing of ores, coal and minerals, the reuse of processing residues and the cleaning of coke oven gas. We also apply DMT’s plant engineering expertise to chemical, petrochemical and pharmaceutical production processes. It is in just these areas that ENCOS is an experienced and impassioned partner for engineering, simulation and specialist disciplines such as strength analyses for boilers, machinery elements and pipe systems. Together, we are a one-stop shop for comprehensive engineering services – thus not only simplifying the customers’ workflows, but also lowering their costs.

EPC or EPCM? It depends on your needs.

Our many years of experience mean we are familiar with the stumbling blocks within the process industry. We can see a plant’s potential for improvement because we can compare it with others. And we can draw on a whole gamut of process engineering options. This is what we collectively call ‘deep knowledge’ – and this is precisely what helps our customers achieve not only innovative solutions, but frequently also tangible savings.

For example, DMT has planned, constructed and put into operation by-product recovery systems for coking plants around the world, always in cooperation with other partners such as Paul Wurth Italia S. p. A. and, of course, companies local to the plant. Here, we achieved leadership in the process engineering design of the entire plants using cutting-edge process simulation tools which are validated on the basis of real operating parameters. Our range stretches from complex simulations already at the developmental stage through to condition monitoring, making it possible to schedule maintenance during ongoing operations and avoid downtimes.

We complement existing software with software tools developed by us that can be specifically tailored to the concrete application situations, such as the realisation of piping and instrumentation diagrams (P & ID) as 3D models for the swift identification of error sources.

We analyse and optimise existing systems and their workflows all the way through to photographic documentation as a 360-degree view.

We develop improvement options and safeguard investments: with ENCOS, for example, we turned a tank farm at a refinery in Hamburg-Harburg into a trans-shipment terminal. In the process, we succeeded in minimising interfaces, cutting costs and guaranteeing operational and deadline reliability. For a petrochemical company, we used thermodynamic and hydrodynamic simulations to develop dividing wall columns that make it possible to produce different product qualities within a single plant – all the way up to high-purity products such as alcohols and amines. We focus on long-standing customer relations. For example, DMT developed the fire safety concept for the new build of the Datteln IV power plant featuring more than 100 individual structural systems, and then also assumed responsibility for the specialised construction management – a project extending over eleven years.

Whatever tasks you face, as a professional service provider we can relieve you of many steps when it comes to engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM). And being experts in all these areas, we can, upon request, also offer our customers complete, turnkey plants thanks to engineering, procurement and construction (EPC).

Research and development with a concrete benefit

A combination of theoretical knowledge and practical experience makes it possible for us to implement our research and development rapidly too. To give an example, DMT developed the PROven® system for the reduction of emissions from coke ovens. This chamber pressure regulation system has been patented and is now the state of the art – there are more than 2,100 PROven® systems in operation at various coke ovens around the world. We have since gone on to further develop the system into PROven® NG (Next Generation), which actuates the pressure control more quickly, while also being simpler, smaller and robuster – and above all suitable for retrofitting.

ENCOS is equally active in the area of research. And one of its most exciting tasks at present is MICRO-Fit, a research project on microstructure reactors which it is running together with the University of Hamburg. These are process engineering apparatuses with extremely fine inner structures measuring millimetres or even micrometres. These high-performance apparatuses will play an increasingly important role in difficult chemical production processes in the future. This is the case in particular for fine chemicals, which often have to be produced in various specifications and in comparatively small quantities. What’s missing here is first and foremost a software solution for the design. We are therefore jointly developing a digital design tool that makes it possible to optimally configure such a microstructure reactor system for a given reaction engineering task, comprising everything from the development of model equations – for channel structures in the micrometre and millimetre range – to experimental validation and efficient program performance.

Exploiting synergies – lowering costs

Optimum process development is founded on cooperation without being blinkered and without vanities. We therefore pay attention to there being interdisciplinary and intercultural skills when we put the teams of engineers together. We have thus realised projects not only in Europe, but also in India, Indonesia and Brazil. We benefit from the transfer of knowledge between the companies, can operate efficiently thanks to joint project management and can integrate software tools already at the planning stage. This enables us to excellently exploit synergies, boost performance and offer customers truly customised solutions. Leaving no room for the error gremlin to identify any vulnerabilities.

Information, suggestions or questions to the topic? We welcome your feedback.