Feb - Dec 2021
North Island

Vacuum system upgrade

Installation of a new vacuum system to deliver a significant energy saving compared to the existing system.

A process design review, modelling, 3D scanning of the installation area, broad scope of services supplied and close cooperation with the customer were key parts of delivering a successful project with minimum downtime in an existing plant.

Mainstream Engineering (MEL) was asked to:

  • develop a process model of flows, pressures and power consumption of the new vacuum system for varying products and machine conditions
  • create detailed Process and Control diagrams, Mass and Energy balances, Process Functional Descriptions and P&ID’s of the complete system
  • specify the details of those components that were not included in the main equipment supply – piping, control valves and Extraction System pump
  • establish the layout design, Civil/Structural design (via MEL’s partnership with Tiaki Engineering)
  • construction drawings for manufacture and installation – Mechanical, EI&C & Civil.


CADSIM PlusTM dynamic process simulator was used for the mass & energy balances and Process and control diagrams (via MEL’s partnership with ROMEngineering).

A Process HAZOP was conducted to complete the process design review and finalise the Mechanical, EI&C and Civil/Structural design.

The process design review highlighted the need to survey the pressures and flows over the complete life cycle of the machine operation. This provided additional information necessary to model the existing system and predict the performance of the new vacuum system.

3D scanning was used to build a full model of the installation area from which detailed construction drawings were produced for the new system. This meant the installation avoided clashes in a complicated existing process plant and the as built drawing requirement at the end of the project was minimal.