Increase the production capacity of a factory? Fitting new, more sustainable production methods into an existing factory? Or need help in complying with new legislation? The sixty process engineers of KH Engineering don’t shun the challenge.
In the Process Engineering department of KH Engineering, some forty colleagues work in Schiedam, another ten in Amsterdam and eight in Antwerp, all educated at a college or university. ‘In terms of job levels, we have junior engineers, medior engineers, senior engineers, principals and consultants here,' says Marcel Wouters. He is head of the department in Schiedam. This means that he is responsible for the work carried out and the people. ‘A lot of experienced senior engineers work in our department,' says Marcel. ‘I estimate that about half of our people are very experienced. The other people are junior and medior engineers. Fortunately, there are also regular new recruits, which makes the whole thing well balanced. At the same time, I have to say that fortunately we have a lot of work to do and could therefore use even more experienced people from time to time.’
The type of projects carried out by the department is extremely broad. ‘We prefer to talk to the client at the earliest possible stage of the project,' says Marcel. ‘Our process engineer can then immediately give good advice on the customer's idea. When it comes to the expansion of a factory, for example, you can think of questions such as: how should it work, what should it do, how do you manage the process, what are the safety requirements, what other requirements should it meet, how should the controls work, what is the desired capacity? In this feasibility phase and in the conceptual design, we would really love to show our added value. Of course, this is not a prerequisite for our work, we do the basic engineering and detailed engineering with equal love. But we certainly find the projects in those first phases very interesting. As process engineers, we lay the foundations for the other disciplines, so that they can take the project one step further. For example, colleagues in piping, mechanical or instrumentation. In my opinion, our strength lies in our flexibility and the enormous amount of knowledge we have. We can also regularly use our experience with one client for other clients. For example, for safety aspects or certain types of equipment. You keep having more and more knowledge to offer towards your client.’
The department carries out projects for various sectors within the process industry: petrochemicals, chemical industry, oil & gas, tank terminals and the pharmaceutical industry. The projects often focus on maintenance, expansion and new construction, but also on compliance: compliance with legislation and regulations. A good example of this is the recent peak in WBDA projects. The Commodities Act Decree on Pressure Equipment (WBDA) has been updated since 2016 in The Netherlands. This means that many industrial installations must comply with these new regulations on pressure equipment. Many asset owners do not have this specific knowledge or capacity in-house and call on KH Engineering for this. An additional advantage of carrying out a WBDA project is that all documentation relating to the pressure equipment is immediately in order again.’
Another important development in recent years has been the energy transition. ‘Our process engineers can play an important role in this for our customers,' says Marcel. ‘Electrification, heat recovery and hydrogen-based technology are all new methods of reducing CO2 emissions from industry. But what are the right choices for the asset owner? And how do you apply the new technologies in an existing production process? These are typical questions that our process engineers can answer. In doing so, we are contributing to a more sustainable future for Belgium and the Netherlands'.
Services of the process engineering department:
- Conceptual design
- Basic Engineering
- Detailed Engineering
- Process simulations
- Control & Safeguarding advice and design
- Intelligent P&IDs (Piping and instrumentation diagrams made interactive)
- Dimensioning of equipment