In process engineering Process Flow Diagram is one popular tool to represent various segments of an ongoing process. It could be a chemical process or any engineering process taking place in a plant facilitation. PFD is essential in every submission of process engineering.
PFD details about major equipment of plant facility, how such equipment works in phases and in collaboration with other major sub-systems. PFD asserts on integration of sub-systems of the process.
We are here to illuminate on Process Flow Diagram, what is it and when it comes useful in modern engineering application. Following a step by step guide we will discuss goals, the purpose and outcomes of PFD. The objective here is to communicate PFD to contemporary practitioners putting some light on how it could be used more coherently and to its utmost affect.
What is Process Flow Diagram?
A Process Flow Diagram is one pictorial demonstration of ongoing service, administrative or engineering process. It is also termed as Process Flowchart or simply Flowchart. Anything that has inputs and is led to certain output is defined as process. PFD is used to highlight segments of such a process. Whether it’s a service process or major plant manufacturing process, PFD is to illustrate tasks and stages of all such processes. The following gives one simple example of Process Flow Diagram:
How to Draw a Process Flow Diagram?
There is certain pattern that needs to be followed to draw a Process Flow Diagram. Initially, the process needs to be defined by revealing it’s segments and detailing the work surface. Tagging each segment with name of the activity will clearly state the process. Calling a work-group session at this stage is important as every stakeholder will bring his or her opinion to decide initial sequence of the process. Once the sequence is final, flow of the process is next to be determined. Connecting segments/activities using arrows will finalize the flow of the process. Here PFD is completed and flow or motion of the process is ascertained.
Highlights and Scope of Process Flow Diagram
A PFD primary goal is to bring insight of the process. When the process began, what input it has and how many components it is attached to. All is summed-up in one figure of PFD to demonstrate efficiency, timing and outcome of the process. The significant need of PFD is when a process has to be understood with it’s fall-backs. What extra layers or delays are in the process. What are barriers or demotions of the process. All such questions are addressed by PFD which highlights different layers of uncertainty in the process. What could be done better and how improvement could be ensured are some useful outcomes of PFD.
• PFD make others understand the process clearly and precisely.
• PFD is used for process planning.
• PFD is used for information management and documentation.
• PFD is used for analyzing and assessing the process under risk or uncertainty.
• PFD is used for capacity planning.
• PFD is used for planning machine capability, equipment selection and planning group technology.
Process Flow Diagram comes imperative tool in modern engineering application. As asserted above, PFD assists in different stages of process engineering. From planning to information management and from capacity to resource organization, PFD has a direct and central role to favor process engineers. Quality check or monitoring at any stage of process is made possible using PFD. Similarly, PFD helps in quality inspection. It is one essential tool in decision analysis and cost calculation activities. Time assessment and optimization are further major outcomes of Process Flow Diagram.
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