Incorporation of Inherent Safety and Environmental Aspects in Process Design and Supply Chain Optimization
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The integration of inherently safer design and environmental aspects at the early phases of supply chain selection and process design provides significant benefits. It allows the highest ability to positively influence lifecycle safety, environmental impact, and cost of the project. Because of the preliminary nature of conceptual process design, it is crucial to have a simple yet effective approach to evaluate and compare the design alternatives based on the safety and environmental aspects at the early stage of the project when available engineering information and data are limited. This work proposes a framework to incorporating life-cycle safety measures in the supply chain design and the process technologies included in the supply chain. A hierarchical approach is developed for conceptual-phase engineering project to facilitate the inclusion of safety objectives in the process synthesis and supply chain design engineering work in a consistent manner. Design options are first generated and screened based on economic criteria. Next, safety metrics are used in addition to economic objectives to evaluate the various designs and transportation options. Findings from the hazard and risk assessment are used to generate design alternatives to improve the safety performance. Economic evaluation is updated for acceptable options to guide the decision making. To demonstrate the approach, a case study is solved for a conceptual design of a high density polyethylene (HDPE) supply chain from shale gas. Various conceptual design options that considered different elements such as process technology, manufacturing network and capacity were screened and evaluated per proposed framework. A high-level quantitative risk assessment approach was used for assessing the safety aspects of the design options.
SubjectInherently safer design
conceptual design framework
supply chain optimization
Nguyen, Chi Q. (2015). Incorporation of Inherent Safety and Environmental Aspects in Process Design and Supply Chain Optimization. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from