Diversity in products and sevices is the key to sustained growth according to Paul White of Piping Technology & Products. "In every downturn, orders from new markets and for new products have allowed us to make up any shortfall," he said. "As a result, we've sustained our growth over the years." White gave his comments as guest speaker for the SPED Houston Chapter Meeting, May 19, 2016.
By: Paul Bowers, SPED Calgary Chapter Director-At-Large
Getting delayed in traffic at 2AM on a weekday night on a major highway isn't all that common, but when it does happen it's often due to some gargantuan industrial equipment being escorted to its destination or waypoint. Piping designers are often also industrial plant layout designers, meaning that they work towards determining how a facility is laid out and the units within are configured. This includes the spacing and locations of pipe racks, equipment, buildings, roadways, storage tanks, etc. It's all well planned, and there now exist programs to visualize construction - animation type software that can simplify to some extent the logistics of millions of pieces fitting together. For example, different sequences of large equipment erection and placement can be simulated to discover the most efficient order of site activities.
[UPDATE: Kerry is now SPED Executive Director as of 2016]
Kerry explains that growing up her father owned his own similar company so she was brought up in the industry and enjoys the challenge of it. A typical day includes an early start around 6am when she receives a set of piping engineering deliverables that need to be delivered during a specific timeframe. She also has a daily schedule that she and the team try to stick to as much as possible. Kerry says that she really enjoys the people she works with because both her coworkers and clients are great, but she also likes getting into problem solving, which she does almost on a daily basis. The question of automation is also something she deals with regularly. “I’m in favour of automation but it needs to be directed by people. We have done a lot of automated things here at Jacobs such as design. Most of it is automated. There is no longer the old drawing board because now we’ve got systems that actually produce drawings for us. It has actually enhanced the engineering field and made us leaner and meaner. We can do things a lot quicker but it still takes people.”
By Paul Bowers, Kevin Noakes and Clarence Wynter
“Process plant site safety — See that hole? Don’t fall into it”
Those two sentences almost sum up the safety instructions we were given some 35 years ago as a junior piping designer working in a refinery. Somewhat more important were the words, “Don’t touch anything.”