How Can Modular Skid Help Increase Plant Efficiency?

Engineering Geek
5 min readNov 7, 2022

Let’s say you’re on the fence about adopting a modular strategy or worried that your modular design won’t work as planned. Well, you don’t have to worry since there are many advantages to using a skid-mounted process plant with a sophisticated skid structure design that is prefabricated in sections. Companies that use modular process systems reap several benefits, and the manufacturing processes of many different sectors have changed.

In this article, you will learn everything you need to know about modular skids, including how using a modular skid system can maximize efficiency and yield while minimizing plant downtime.

What are Modular Skids?

Modular process skids are prefabricated processing systems that may be transported to a new location and installed with minimal effort. Oil and gas, petrochemical, electrical, agricultural, food and beverage, pharmaceutical, biofuel, and other industries use modular process skids. The processes on a process skid may be a subset of a larger operation, as in a chemical or beverage factory. They may be completely independent, as in a flow regulator for an oil pipeline or a pilot plant.

On-site, plant engineers link the skid structure design to form massive treating facilities. As a plant engineer, you may be familiar with various modular process skids, such as utility skids, raw materials skids, and processing units. You might also be aware that process skids can be further categorized by either stick-built systems or modular prefabricated units. Knowing the benefits of process skid design, which is used in modular skid-mounted process plants, is crucial. These plants often outperform conventional process systems, which are stick-built. Fuel distribution, centrifuges, distillation, and petroleum processing are just a few of the other operations that can be found on modular process skids.

How can Modular Skid Maximise Efficiency?

Even though modular skids may not work in some modern industrial manufacturing systems, they work quite well in others. They can increase efficiency while minimizing plant downtime in the following ways:

● Parallel construction is advantageous when building a skid-mounted plant since the components are constructed in a separate location before being shipped to the construction site. Because of this perk, it’s possible to improve multiple components at the facility at once.

● Modular skids have an advantage over conventional process systems in terms of portability because they are complete systems within their steel frames. However, several considerations must be considered while building a skid, including the means of transportation, the total dimensions, and any limits for shipping. A modular system’s components are designed to break down into smaller, more manageable pieces.

● Skid-mounted process systems may quickly and easily move to new locations without dismantling the equipment. As soon as the relocated process system reaches the new operation site, it can begin functioning normally. This is helpful since it eliminates the need for the time-consuming disassembly and reassembly required with a conventionally constructed system. Also, skid-mounted plants can be loaded into shipping containers for international transport.

● With modular process systems, manufacturing cycles can be completed more quickly than with conventional methods since some of the preparatory steps needed for those methods are eliminated. All modular systems are first manufactured and assembled off-site, away from the actual operation. There will also be pre-installation inspections and factory acceptance testing done simultaneously. Factory acceptance testing (FAT) is performed before shipping modular process skids to the site, which shortens the time needed to be up and running once they arrive.

● The time it takes to build your skid-mounted plant will be far less than it would take for a conventional building to be built on-site, which will help keep your expenses down. Profits will still be made during installation because plant activities will continue as normal.

● Services for fabricating modular skids are normally performed in a streamlined setting by highly trained professionals. Only the best quality skids will be shipped to the industries that need them, thanks to meticulous process engineering and design, fabrication, testing, and re-testing before finishing and shipping. When designing modular skid systems, it is important to create sturdy designs that are contained within frames.

● There are risks to worker health and safety in every step of industrial production, including manufacturing and installing process systems. As they are manufactured, assembled, and tested in a safe environment before shipment, modular process systems receive higher marks for industrial safety. But with a skid-mounted plant, you may make changes to your facility without endangering your workers. This protects untrained workers from being exposed to hazards outside of a secure testing and assembly area for equipment, and it also reduces the risks associated with on-site activities. Also, less risk to plant workers’ safety will result from the factory acceptance testing performed on modular process systems. Further, smaller human crews can safely operate modular systems, reducing overall exposure to occupational hazards.

● You can stack various pieces of equipment within the skid layout owing to the modularity of skid frame designs. With a skid design, the piping, vessels, and other required process equipment can all be accommodated inside a set area. The layout of all major components and access points on modular process skids is based on this principle.

● Modular process skids are small and space-efficient in design. They occupy a smaller space by consolidating the requisite plumbing, tanks, instrumentation, and process equipment. Skids are typically constructed in a factory and then transported to the construction site for final assembly. Therefore, skid manufacturing does not affect the overall processes.

● Modular process skids can be constructed indoors, making skid building an attractive option even when the weather outside is less than optimal. The construction will proceed mostly uninterrupted by weather conditions. Since the area is now under your command, you may ensure everyone’s safety has been raised. This is especially important if the new process system’s development will occur in an existing building, where it may adversely affect the facility’s ongoing operations.

Many manufacturing applications in the industry can benefit greatly from using modular process systems. However, their use is limited in a few scenarios because very big process components cannot be reasonably accommodated on movable skids. Changes in the project cycle time are dramatic due to the use of modular process skids. For instance, conventional building practices must be used when individual process pieces are too big to fit within the skid’s framework. Many such examples are there that have to be taken into consideration before implementation.