2017 CEN Practical Solutions to Modular Project Execution
The opportunities for modularizing industrial and chemical projects are growing at an amazing pace. Once considered a mitigation strategy only for projects in remote areas with harsh climatic conditions or a shortage of skilled labor, modular execution is now prevalent across the chemical process industries (CPI). Even developing countries that have ample local labor, good site access and have previously executed “stick-built” execution are moving toward modular execution. Why? Because of the opportunity to yield improved overall project results. Modularization, which involves the pre- assembly of structures away from the primary construction site, has been popular since the 1970s. Modules come in various sizes and shapes, from very large modules that are transported by barge, to smaller, truckable modules that may fit in a sea freight container. Modular execution provides many benefits, including improved labor productivity and quality, due to better controlled working conditions, and reduced health, safety and environmental (HSE) risks that arise when the need to work at elevation is reduced. Modular projects, executed appropriately, can save time and money. A well-developed modular-execution strategy should create an integrated solution — as opposed to a hodgepodge of project scopes that are broadly planned but broken into separate engineering, procurement, fabrication and construction packages. Often, project managers do not consider that the additional interfaces are required between various organizations raise the potential for more disconnects, with no single organization having overall end-to-end accountability for the project. Integrated, innovative solutions are key for a modular execution outcome to be successful.