Power plant and boiler design and the related design of demanding high-pressure and high-temperature pipelines has been the forte of Rantotek, belonging to the Comatec group, for more than four decades. Today Comatec’s design expertise is utilized by a number of boiler manufacturers and power plant and process industry plant suppliers around the world. Pipelines designed by Comatec have been delivered to food, chemical, metal, mining, pulp and paper industry companies, among others.
Pipeline design goes hand in hand with process, boiler and plant engineering. In order to design critical pipelines, such as those operating at high pressure between boiler and turbine plants, you have to be familiar with the entire main steam system.
The pipeline design process is divided into five parts: process design of pipes, strength calculation, routing and support structures, stress analysis of the pipes, and making the finished workshop drawings.
– We at Comatec provide the entire pipeline design package, as we have process expertise and experts in material and strength calculations required for the various stages of design. I’d say that our key expertise is detailed knowledge of various plant environments – we understand our customer’s needs from the viewpoint of running and maintaining plants and are also able to optimize design solutions accordingly, says Engineering Manager Antti Joensuu.
Power plant and industrial pipelines designed by Comatec have been delivered to all continents, which would not be possible without a comprehensive understanding of industrial standards. In Europe, the standards that apply most are those specified in the EU Pressure Equipment Directive (PED), whereas in the North and South America the applicable standards are those of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME).
– Although industrial pipelines are standardized systems, power plant and industrial pipelines are not off-the-shelf products; each project is unique and must be dealt with case by case. For example, we have been implemented projects for seismic areas, because areas with a higher risk of earthquakes have a totally different level of requirements, explains Joensuu.
Our designers are not limited to any one design tool. As a rule, we use the software chosen by the customer. Design tools have along the years developed with great strides, and these days pipelines are always designed in 3D.
– Modeling improves design quality and reduces the customer’s overall costs. With a 3D model we can check at an early stage that the equipment and parts fit together perfectly or that the pipes will not block any necessary repair and maintenance routes. Modeling creates cost benefits to the customer particularly in the installation stage, as the parts delivered to the site are very accurately manufactured and therefore easy to assemble, says Joensuu.
Comatec’s strengths in power plant and industrial pipeline design consist of comprehensive expertise and experience obtained along decades.
– We are known worldwide for our customer-oriented and flexible operations. We have capacity and expertise for the conceptual, basic and detailed engineering of comprehensive plant investments, but can just as well be the right design partner for the design of any individual smaller project. Ideally, we join the customer from at the start of the project to contribute not only our design expertise but also what we know about procurement, production processes and project management, says Director of Project Management Ilpo Haikonen.
Text: Marianne Valta