IKN GmbH has been involved in the construction of cement plants for the last 30 years. Founded as a specialist in the construction of clinker coolers, IKN had been organised for a long time like any conventional mechanical engineering company. In recent years, the company extended its line of business to include the manufacturing of entire pyro plants with rotary kilns, heat exchanger towers and clinker coolers. Thus the company has evolved into a plant construction company, and has faced new challenges as a result. This is because advanced processes in engineering now have to be illustrated and documented, for example, in different types of flow diagrams.
Designing without limits
The experienced mechanical engineers initially created the first flow diagrams and P&IDs with the existing CAD program. „But we reached the limits of this work method just as quickly“, says Technical Director Jörg Hammerich. Tables and BOMs were compiled manually and managed in Excel. For project periods spanning several years, the work and costs involved in change management increased exponentially. A flap is quickly replaced with a rotary valve in the flow diagram, but the revision of tables for instrumentation data and engines, the checking and maintaining of totals lists, documentation and manuals was then more complex as a result. „The desire to automate this additional work was finally fulfilled with Engineering Base (EB), which we learnt about from our customer Holcim“, says Hammerich. Holcim has been using EB for some years now.
IKN initially used EB in sales for the graphical structuring of offers. The roll-out of EB was then completed in the technical departments and order processing with the first successful orders. P&IDs and their related lists are now created wholly and solely in EB. „We now enjoy the project updates due to small changes - entering the new data at any point in the diagram and then just reprinting the lists“, enthuses Jörg Hammerich.„With EB, the system is transparent and easier for all colleagues involved in the project to understand.“
In a longer project, the IKN specialists have changed the hydraulic stations for the grate cooler drive and the kiln bearings to a modular system. The relevant wiring diagrams and components will soon be edited completely in EB also. Hammerich says, „We expect considerable savings in engineering costs as a result.“