Checking of Design | Design Checking | Design Checklist

What is Design Checking?

Design Checking or checking of design is a process of validating a design and/or a design calculation to ensure that it is error-free and of good quality and is good for engineering and/or fabrication or whatever the end-use of it is.

Checking is also a process of value addition in terms of applying good engineering practices, aesthetics, reduction in cost and thereby providing better value to the client.

A design checklist is prepared for each important design process to aid in the design checking process.

Why design checking is required?

A quality check in design is required to

  • Ensure that the engineering deliverables (drawing, calc, etc.) are error-free.
  • Ensure that it is in line with the appropriate design standards and codes
  • Ensure that there is consistency in the design approach and aesthetics across units in the design
  • Ascertain optimization with respect to design and cost.
  • Reduce field rework
Checking of Design–An Overview
Checking of Design–An Overview

What do we check against?

  • Check calculations against applicable codes and standards
  • Check design against control documents (P&IDs, Line List, General Arrangement Drawings, vendor drawings, design standards, checklists, etc.)
  • Controlled issues of stress isometrics
  • Statutory norms and regulations, eg. OISD, IBR, etc.
  • Design safety, HSE, and constructability factors

Minimum Quality Plan for design Checking

  • Follow appropriate color codes for checking.
  • Use appropriate checklists. Signed and dated.
  • Continual review of design/model is a must
  • List items requiring special attention or independent review
  • Conduct design safety and constructability reviews
  • Mandatory to conduct inter-squad checks on design documents prior to the final check and issue
  • Conduct formal stage-wise collaborative design review/model review sessions
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What do we check for?

  • The Deliverable is error-free with respect to the inputs provided
  • Ease of fabrication, shipping, and erection
  • Reduction in material and fabrication costs. Value+++
  • Build some flexibility into the design, especially for critical items
  • Ensure a consistent design approach for similar pieces of equipment and/or unit area piping
  • Aesthetics

Responsibility Matrix for design check

  • Every individual is responsible and accountable for checking his deliverable to ensure quality and error-free design.
  • Every individual checks, signs, date, and then pass it on to the next individual.
  • Calculations/drawings received for checking by the next individual, without a sign and date, shall not be entertained/accepted!!!
  • Back-ups of holds and assumptions, if any, are maintained in an orderly manner before the issue
  • A signed and dated checklist, completely filled out is a must for any checked document as this is a quality record
  • The ultimate responsibility of quality and correctness lies with the lead as he is the one who enforces teams conformance to quality procedures
  • Checking is a collaborative effort. Every individual owns and is accountable for an error-free and quality product

Why Design Checking Adds Value

  • Owning responsibility and following good practices and procedures results in overall quality
  • The use of checklists ensures important points needing check are not missing out
  • Design reviews & inter-squad checks ensure interdisciplinary aspects are addressed in the design
  • Safety and constructability reviews ensure good overall layout, approach, constructability, maintenance, and operability
  • Incorporating fabrication/contractor-specific details and/or preferences into the design helps in easier and faster fabrication and lesser errors
  • Facilitates a once-through approach from start to finish thereby saving on time and schedule
  • Minimizes rework in design and at the field
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Where do we stand today?

  • Ownership and accountability by individuals missing. “Next person will check”!!!
  • Do not prioritize tasks to ensure project schedules and goals are met
  • Work hard but do not “Work Smart”
  • Perform checking using either incomplete and/or superseded inputs
  • Do not capture design changes and revisions properly. Do not use revision notes.
  • Do not follow proper checking procedures, checklists, and colors from the initial stages. Keep this aside only for the final IFC check stage. Too late….!
  • Do not check important items/spelling. More focused on irrelevant aspects
  • Do not clarify checking procedures, standards, guidelines, checklists, etc. in the job notes upfront
  • Do not obtain early client approval on checking procedures and expectations
  • Do not have a checking and approval matrix for approval of various deliverables
  • Do not maintain discipline holds summary
  • Team and team leaders are often not aligned regarding the requirements/expectations of the project
  • Final number-crunching during the IFC issue period often affects productivity, and efficiency and lowers team morale

What Needs Improvement?

  • Follow a holistic approach toward checking
  • Approach and expectations shall be clarified upfront through job notes and induction sessions
  • Obtain client approvals and finalize checklists upfront
  • Pay attention to minor details. Spell check is also important
  • Work smart, prioritize, and be focused
  • Checklists and proper procedures shall be used religiously – this is mandatory
  • Always check against the latest documents to avoid rework.
  • Always start the final check process against a frozen and dated set of documents like P&IDs, LL, etc.
  • Lead to incorporate lessons learned in design into checklists as a process of procedural improvement
  • Lead to make expectations known to the team, fix individual responsibility and enforce accountability
  • Assign the right work to the right individual
  • The team is to be told that this is not an individual activity but a team effort. We sail or sink together!
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  • Effective checking is integral to project success
  • Translates into quality, cost, and schedule advantage. Value+++
  • Checking is an innovative process, to find the best approach. One hat does not fit all!
  • We need to challenge a situation to come out as a winner. Think “out of the box”!

Anup Kumar Dey

I am a Mechanical Engineer turned into a Piping Engineer. Currently, I work in a reputed MNC as a Senior Piping Stress Engineer. I am very much passionate about blogging and always tried to do unique things. This website is my first venture into the world of blogging with the aim of connecting with other piping engineers around the world.

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