What is a Modular Process Skid? Advantages, Applications, and Characteristics of a Modular Skid Design

A modular skid or modular process skid is a self-contained process system contained within a frame or module including equipment, piping, and instrumentation. This is basically a machine-in-a-box design. To reduce delays resulting from long lead times of equipment, on-site fabrication process, and to-and-fro communication between vendors, many organizations prefer the modular skid design that reduces project time and increases profit.

Modular process skids are one of the best alternatives to traditional stick-built construction. In the traditional approach, individual process system parts are shipped separately and then assembled at the construction site. This not only increases the production/fabrication time but also creates a hazardous environment. By accepting the piping, instrumentation, and equipment in a modular skid form companies reduce the project time as well as cost.

In recent times, modular process skids have been widely used in chemical, pharmaceutical, consumer products, manufacturing, oil and gas, power, food and beverage, and petrochemical industries. They are easy to transport and integrate with the system. Fig. 1 below shows a typical modular process skid.

Typical Modular Process Skid
Fig 1: Example of a Typical Modular Process Skid

Advantages of Modular Process Skids

The main advantages that prove the growing popularity of modular skid systems are:

  • Reduces time and labor cost
  • No geographic limitation
  • Less space requirement
  • Portability.
  • High-quality fabrication within a controlled environment and manufacturer facilities.
  • The standardized design of modular skids reduces engineering design costs as well.
  • Parallel civil site up-gradation working at the site while the skid is being produced at manufacturer facilities.
  • Testing at manufacturer facility.
  • Easier inspection and proper documentation.
  • Minimal site work.
  • Increased reliability
  • Reduced safety concerns and improved security.
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Features of modular skid design and layout

Modular process skids are developed to contain a complete process system. They make a complete unit of operations and organize a manufacturing process into logical units. All such process skids usually have the following characteristic features:

Portable Robust Design: Modular skid systems must be designed to provide robust design built within frames. They shall be easy to transport.

Small Footprint: The design of modular process skids is compact. They fit into a smaller footprint combining the piping, tanks, instrumentation, and necessary process equipment.

Easier Process Connection: By gathering all process connections into one spot on the skid, the modular skid design makes plant connections easier.

Controlled assembly: As the modular process skids are manufactured in controlled conditions offsite, the existing operations remain unaffected by skid fabrication.

FAT testing before installation: Before modular process skids are shipped to the site, the required factory acceptance testing (FAT) is completed which in turn reduces on-site startup time.

Accessible layout: All modular process skids are designed considering accessibility and major pieces of equipment placed around the edge of the frame.

Components of Modular Process Skids

Modular process skids usually consist of the following elements:

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Applications of Modular Skid Systems

Modular process skid systems are used in a range of applications. Some of the typical uses of modular skids are:

  • Chemical processing
  • Batch processing
  • Wellhead control panel
  • Biowaste deactivation systems
  • Centrifuge systems
  • Distillation
  • Clean-in-place systems
  • Coating systems
  • Lubrication Systems
  • Wastewater treatment systems
  • Continuous production systems
  • Demonstration plants
  • Pilot plants
  • Furnaces or Fired Heaters
  • Flavor mixing and blending
  • Food and beverage processing
  • Refining
  • Fuel delivery systems
  • In-line blending systems
  • Mixing systems
  • Metering system
  • Perfume mixing
  • Petroleum processing
  • Raw materials processing
  • Processing plants
  • Pump carts
  • Fluid process
  • Filtration system
  • Separation unit
  • Dosing unit
  • Fire and gas detection system

Selecting a Modular Skid

Modular process skids make a significant difference in the company’s project cycle. So, whenever it is feasible, a modular skid design shall be selected. However, the modular process skid design may not be feasible in all situations. For example, when the individual process elements are large and can not fit within the frame of the skid, traditional construction methods need to be followed.

Sometimes multiple individual modular skids are combined together to form a larger process system.

Modular Skid Suppliers

Several companies provide modular process skids such as,

  • Integrated Flow Solutions LLC
  • Thomas
  • EKME
  • Gulf Specialized Work (GSW)
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Disadvantages of Modular Process Skid

Modular Skid-mounted process units in a refinery are normally limited to small plants because
larger & heavier units are not suitable for constructing as well as shipping to the manufacturing site as it costs high.

Process modular skids tend to be cramped with tight spacing between equipment. The low
space between the equipment makes it troublesome to the operators, particularly during
maintenance activity.

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.

One thought on “What is a Modular Process Skid? Advantages, Applications, and Characteristics of a Modular Skid Design

  1. Hello my name is Joseph Parddast. My job is Instrumentation Fild Calibration and I have a history of 15 years and I love to work in repairs of oil platforms

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