Standardization and reference plants

Of all sectors of industry, large industrial plant manufacturing has the most complex finished products by far – whether power plants, chemical plants or steel mills. In addition to the high level of complexity that is especially challenging when it comes to the handling of interfaces, there is still another special feature typical for plant manufacturing: the customizing of plants to the specific requirements of the customer and the location. In an effort to put a stop to rising cost pressures, plant manufacturers have long been attempting to apply methods of standardization and modularization to their business model. But first there are a few contradictions to be resolved.

The maexpartners consulting approach

We always start by asking three questions:

  • How can synergies be leveraged if the plants are all one-of-a-kind?
  • How can learning curve effects be generated by made-to-order one-off production?
  • How can complexity be made manageable in order to be able to reduce failures?

The Factors to Success

The most effective way to respond to these alleged contradictions is the use of reference plants. In this case, new plant projects are not copies of old projects, but are designed based on a model. The project-related adjustments of the reference plant are made within the framework of delta engineering. Consequently, the customer’s specific plant is designed and built with much less engineering effort, the technical risk in project processing is dramatically reduced, and project management is much more stable.