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Hitachi started as a plant manufacturer in 1931 when it built water electrolysis cells mainly for ammonium sulfate manufacturing equipment.
The following is an introduction to the engineering that supported "Technological Hitachi" from that time to the present.
What does engineering strive to achieve?
Plants are assemblages of many different technological elements. Engineering aims to solve the difficult problems in every field. Simply assembling a variety of basic technological elements is not enough to make a plant function. Engineering is the power that makes those individual technologies work together, and that is the true nature of engineering. Hitachi commands a wide variety of the basic technological elements that support the technological presence of the Hitachi group.
We have the engineering power to put those basic technologies to work, providing solutions for customers, and supplying our customers with high-quality plants that are easy to use.
We participate with our customers from the planning stages, bringing R&D support backed by the full power of the Hitachi group. Our support efforts are seamlessly integrated, from feasibility studies (FS) through the process development and research phases. We are also in a position to provide process licenses.
Project management underpins all activities. It starts with process development, and moves on from there in a seamless flow from basic project design through detailed design, procurement of materials and equipment, one of the construction and commissioning.
We are long established in Japan, and have also expanded abroad.
Our planning and engineering operations throughout the world are connected to a common platform on which planning and design can proceed, making it possible to easily keep on top of project progress with our project management systems.
Process engineering is the most fundamental branch of engineering for plant construction. There are many kinds of tools used in engineering, but the ones that concern us most are those that help convert our customers' ideas into a P&ID.
Process reaction devices and device assemblies, rethinking of controls, arrangement of piping, plant construction and operations, emergency response and environment/safety/public health: our engineers are able to build a P&ID based on decades of experience and know-how covering all these factors. No matter how advanced the tools become, tools are still tools.
This is the principle to which our engineers devote their heartfelt efforts.
We provide support for planning and design in all aspects, from FS-level studies of process flow, to plant functionality fitting and energy-saving renovations, to ways of improving distillation function, estimating the impact of recycling efforts, studies of operational aspects of plants, and safety analysis.
We use flow simulations to analyze the state of mixtures (solids, liquids and gases) in mixing vessels. In polymerization processes, we can also predict the status of dispersion in dispersing machines by analyzing the mixing and flow characteristics of high viscous fluids, estimating airflow distribution in fermentors, and analyzing airflow in wind tunnels, etc.
What is equipment design?
What comes to mind when we say ‘equipment design?’ For example, in designing a 1m³ container, there are two main approaches: designing functions to fit the purpose of the vessel, or designing the hardware for the actual equipment to suit the given conditions.
At Hitachi, we take an integrated approach that embraces the above two approaches seamlessly from functional design through delivery of the finished equipment.
For heat exchangers, we perform ratings for all stages, from setting the required process conditions through selection of heat-transfer surfaces. In distillation towers, we take full responsibility from the number of stages and diameter of pipes to tray dynamics. Similarly, for agitators and fermentors as well, it is possible to base designs on process requirements. In these ways, we can determine specifications for each kind of equipment, and move ahead to vendor hardware design. With this kind of engineering, Hitachi is able to provide equipment products that are high in both quality and reliability.
At Hitachi, we refer to piping design as spatial design. This entails many different elements, including the placement of pipe for specific pieces of equipment, frame installation, pipe rack positioning, pipe placement, supports, electrical & instrumentation racks, ventilation ducting, and placement of pipes in ceilings. Spatial design involves all these elements. Many engineers work together using all the latest tools, all working in parallel to design a single plant. If changes are made to the P&ID, that information is communicated instantly to the people designing the piping and instrumentation. Information moves in a flat manner, but not just that: we are able to combine the knowledge of all our engineers to help realize our customers' desires. We carry out our engineering using intelligent functions that cannot be realized with simple 3D-CAD alone.
This design & planning platform is the key to ensuring the plant's future safety, maintenance, operation, and future production growth.
Above all, this kind of integrated information management is baked right in to our plant construction knowhow, supporting a stable level of quality in engineering, regardless of whether the engineers themselves are experienced.
Above all else, the key concept behind our engineering is to materialize our customers' objectives. As indicated above, this is just a small part of all that we do. Our mission is to give form to kinds of plants that have never before been imagined, and make them reality.
We can provide all links in the chain from feasibility studies (FS) through basic engineering to FEED, EPC (engineering, procurement, construction) to commissioning.
Contact us from here.