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Jacobs Engineering completes second phase of Grimsby Pharmaceutical Plant for Swiss Company , Novartis.

U.S. giant Jacobs Engineering is engaged in the design and construction of a new pharmaceutical plant in Grimsby, for their Swiss client Novartis. Design of the final phase of the project is now nearing completion and construction is also well advanced.

Novartis was formed by the merger of Ciba Geigy and another Swiss company called Sandoz, in 1997. It supplies drugs for use in organ transplants and for the treatment of heart disease, blood pressure, skin diseases, cancer, arthritis, Alzheimer's disease and schizophrenia.

The £ 150 million project, known as B150, has been designed and managed from Jacob's offices in Manchester, and is a follow on project to an existing plant extension, B120, also designed by Jacobs, in 2002. The plant will help to meet the increased demand for a drug called Diovan, which is used in the treatment of heart disease and high blood pressure.

In April 1996, Jacobs Engineering was appointed to undertake the engineering design, procurement, project management, and construction management for projects planned at the Grimsby site, where drug and agrochemical production has been carried out for the last 50 years. Jacobs are a global engineering design contractor operating from 60 offices in 12 different countries.

On B150, Jacobs have used a number of fully integrated AutoCAD applications covering all disciplines to produce a complete 3D project model. The structural, plant, piping, and electrical disciplines are all included in the Jacobs design brief, with additional input from consultant Arup on the design of the main building structure, civil, HVAC and fire protection system.

Full clash detection at every stage of the design has been a critical requirement of this project. Drug production facilities differ from conventional process engineering projects, say in the oil, gas and chemical industries, due to the complexity and density of the process equipment, piping, and associated services. Also in a restricted environment, erection procedures and installation sequences for major items of plant have to be carefully planned and clash detection can play a useful role in checking the viability of these well in advance, hence reducing the risk of later problems on site.

On B150, Jacobs have made a number of changes to their structural modelling to facilitate the production of high quality 2D steelwork drawings, which are essential for fabrication and construction on site.

Although the basic steel frame for the new Grimsby plant is a conventional 35m high multi-storey beam and column arrangement, it is the secondary and tertiary structural elements that can present the biggest challenges on a project of this type, as the many items of plant and pipework require a complex arrangement of support steelwork, such as equipment support frames, pipe supports, and racking structures. All of these smaller steel structures have to be designed and modelled in close collaboration with other design disiplines.

At the core of Jacobs approach to the structural modelling and drafting is an AutoCAD application called MultiSTEEL from MultiSUITE Software Ltd, who are based in Poole, Dorset. This software allowed them to integrate the overall building framework with the many hundreds of smaller structural elements. It also provided a flexible solution for the 3D modelling and 2D drafting of these elements, as both methods are inherent in the MultiSTEEL system.

Due to the scale and complexity of the piping and plant elements of the project, the design was broken down into a number of zones, with plant, piping and structural models being combined into a final design model using external referencing in AutoCAD. This had the advantage also that a small team of designers could be allocated to each zone allowing the design to progress quickly across all areas.

At its peak, the multi-discipline design team included around 100 structural, piping, electrical and plant designers and CAD technicians.

In order to reduce the amount of 2D drafting required for steelwork, the 2D structural drawings were generated by taking views of the 3D structural model ensuring that these drawings always accurately reflected the fully verified design model. Jacobs also provided an isometric model of some frameworks to assist the fabricator and these also are taken straight from the 3D steelwork model. This also assisted in the various stages of construction planning.

The structural design process is always iterative and as more detailed information became available for design loads and their exact positioning, a process of rechecking the structural design and increasing the strength of certain members took place. These changes were carried out on the 3D structural model but were automatically reflected in the 2D drawings without the need for redrafting, an aspect which saved considerable time and is now very much part of Jacobs working method.

MultiSTEEL also provides a facility for grouping steel members into different categories and this offers a number of benefits. For example, steelwork can be selected for inclusion in the clash checking process, or excluded if only temporary, such as additional steel members provided to assist with transportation or erection of plant. It also assists with identifying pipe supports and other support steelwork which in turn is helpful to the piping discipline, as a pipe support can be easily identified in the full 3D model using MultiSTEEL's referencing system.

The steelwork fabricator for the Grimsby project, William Hare Ltd, created a fully detailed 3D fabrication model using StruCAD based on Jacobs 2D drawings, which was then issued to Jacobs for final clash detection against the other This is necessary as some items in the original Jacobs model would not have been shown in full detail. This would include all connection plates, and access equipment such as stairs, ladders and handrailing, every part of which would have to be clash checked before delivery to site.

Jacobs have been refining their use of MultiSTEEL over a number of recent projects, and now have considerable experience in integrating the different AutoCAD based tools at their disposal.
This has been necessary because MultiSTEEL provides a number of different work methods which allow companies to optimise their use of information, depending on availability and timing. One approach is to combine 2D information into a 3D structural model, which the system allows you to do very easily without the need to resort to complex 3D AutoCAD commands. Alternatively, to work entirely in 3D from the outset may better suit a project, and MultiSTEEL provides the necessary tools to assemble the model easily and produce 2D working drawings. Also 3D structural analysis models can be used to prepare a preliminary structural model if the relevant co-ordinate and steel section data is available.

A further extension of the 3D method would be to issue the fabricator with a 3D electronic model of the structure, a facility also inherent in MultiSTEEL which supports all of the common file formats used by automated fabrication packages, such as SDNF, and SNF. This approach is under consideration by Jacobs for future projects.





Typical interior views of a pharmaceutical project modelled with MultiSTEEL 3D in
conjunction with piping and plant
modelling. The complex secondary and tertiary steelwork can be seen supporting pipework and equipment.


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