Practice

Plant redesign

Plant redesign

Request

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Design service

Design to revamp (i.e., renovate or expand) a plant

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Situation

The principal designer is the only one who masters the conceptual design stage of revamping. This is a key man risk. Attempts to teach other designers how to execute this stage have had limited success. Since the required expertise is thought to be largely unique, hiring is not an option.

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Challenge

[Improving a design service, Advancing a design team] How can more designers master the conceptual design stage of revamping?

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Ambition

[Risk] The ambition regarding the conceptual design stage of revamping is twofold:

  • More designers master this stage. This is desirable, feasible, and viable.
  • Faster onboarding of designers in this stage. This is desirable, feasible, and viable.

Assessment

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Design service

Design to revamp a plant

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Performance

[Risk] The current performance in the conceptual design stage of revamping is as follows:

  • There are too few designers who master this stage.
  • The onboarding of designers in this stage goes too slowly.
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Competitive position

[Weakness] For the conceptual design stage of revamping, only the principal designer knows:

  • All the steps to produce a design under different conditions.
  • What kind of design the customer will like the most.
  • How to utilize the organization’s modelling tools.
  • How to finish the design work on time.

[Weakness] The principal designer displays commercial acumen, but not all designers assigned to conceptual design in revamping do.

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Problem

[Strategy] Designers need the capability to estimate the required effort of conceptual design in revamping. This capability is valuable and rare, but not organized: only the principal designer has it. Other designers can develop it, and its nature is implicit. Prognosis:

  • Unfavorable without intervention.
  • Favorable after an intervention.
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Problem

[System] Designers need the capability to determine the process flow of conceptual design in revamping. This capability is valuable and rare, but not organized: only the principal designer has it. Other designers can develop it, and its nature is implicit. Prognosis:

  • Unfavorable without intervention.
  • Favorable after an intervention.
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Problem

[System] Designers need the capability to utilize modeling tools for conceptual design in revamping. This capability is valuable and rare, but not organized: only the principal designer has it. Other designers can develop it, and its nature is explicit. Prognosis:

  • Unfavorable without intervention.
  • Favorable after an intervention.
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Problem

[Skills] Designers need the capability to appraise customer traits. This capability is valuable, but not organized: only the principal designer has it. Other designers can develop it, and its nature is explicit. Prognosis:

  • Unfavorable without intervention.
  • Favorable after an intervention.
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Problem

[Skills] Designers need the capability to display commercial acumen. This capability is valuable, rare, and inimitable, but not organized: not all designers assigned to conceptual design in revamping have it. It is innate and its nature is tacit. Prognosis:

  • Unfavorable without intervention.
  • Guarded after an intervention.

Advice

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Design service

Design to revamp a plant

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Concept

[Skills] Find designers who display commercial acumen.

[Strategy, System, Skills] Teach designers with commercial acumen how to execute conceptual design in revamping.

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Intervention

Recruit and select designers who display commercial acumen by having the manager use commercial acumen as a selection criterion in job interviews.

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Intervention

Step 1. Define how to execute conceptual design in revamping by having a knowledge engineer interview the principal designer to extract knowledge on how to:

  • Estimate the required effort.
  • Determine the process flow.
  • Utilize modelling tools.
  • Appraise customer traits.

Step 2. Teach designers with commercial acumen how to execute conceptual design in revamping by having the principal designer train them. Use as training material the documentation on how to:

  • Estimate the required effort.
  • Determine the process flow.
  • Utilize modelling tools.
  • Appraise customer traits.
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Performance

[Risk] For the conceptual design stage of revamping, it is expected that after these interventions:

  • More designers will master this stage.
  • Onboarding designers in this stage will go faster.
Posted by Pieter van Langen in Practice