Process Piping Explained with Real Project Example

At JGM, we’re proud to offer an array of steel fabrication and industrial construction services across different markets. One service area where we apply our unique skill sets and thrive is process piping. Each year, we successfully complete approximately five to ten process piping projects ranging in size from less than 2,000 lineal feet up to 9,000 lineal feet.

When it comes to process piping, following the details and quality standards through every part of fabrication is critical. Each day, we’re proud to put our industry experience and expertise to work to continually improve our nation’s industrial facilities.

To learn more about process piping including related project examples, keep reading!

What is Process Piping?

Process piping is an industrial or commercial trade that includes connecting pipe lengths with threaded, flanged, and/or welded pipe connections. Process piping is common in the oil and gas, chemical processing, power generation, and food and beverage industries where various liquids, gases, and slurries need to be transported. All piping systems are designed to handle the specific substances being transported and take into consideration corrosion resistance, thermal expansion, and the ability to withstand high pressures and temperatures. Although a wide variety of materials are used in process piping, the most common include steel, stainless steel, and PVC. Depending on the application, some materials may be more suitable than others.

A few key components of process piping are valves, control systems, and instrumentation. Valves are used to control the flow of material through the piping system. They can be used to start or stop the flow of material, as well as to isolate sections of the piping for maintenance or repairs. Control systems and instrumentation could include sensors, gauges, and other devices that help monitor and control the flow of material through the piping, as well as to detect any potential problems or malfunctions.

How Does Process Piping Differ from Mechanical Installations?

Though process piping and mechanical installations often go hand-in-hand, they differ in several ways. Mechanical installations typically involve equipment or machinery that is mostly complete, requiring only mechanical and/or electrical connections. Process piping involves standard length pipes that are cut to the required length then connected with fittings such as elbows, “T”s, “Y”s, and other fittings. Additionally, process piping projects include a wide variety of valves, gauges, and other instruments which are installed within the piping network to complete a project.

What Innovative Technology is Used in Process Piping?

At JGM, we are committed to improvement. Our team has a growth mindset and is focused on being open to new ideas and technology that can move our projects forward. Recently, laser scanning has emerged as the most important innovation for process piping, especially for retrofit and upgrade projects to existing systems. When working at existing facilities, the piping systems are often very complex and contain several interferences that must be accommodated to run new piping. Laser scanning allows our team to scan and measure an entire room, floor, and even plant so we can design the piping system using a dimensionally accurate model and then pre-build some, or all, of the piping sections to ensure an interference-free installation. The design also allows us to create fabrication drawings for the pipe spools, and even the jigs and fixtures needed to create those pipe spools.

Process Piping Project Example

Check out a recent process piping project the JGM team has completed to learn more about our capabilities!


cleveland cliffs quench press process piping


Cleveland Cliffs Quench Press

This project included all of the cooling water piping required to achieve proper quenching of the steel plates as they are cooled in the press. The Cleveland Cliffs Quench Press project required approximately 1,500 lineal feet of 8” and 6” diameter stainless steel piping. Most of the pipe segments, including elbows and “T”s, which are typically called “pipe spools” had to be prefabricated/welded together prior to the outage since the outage window was only two weeks.



Have a Process Piping Project You Want to Discuss? Get in Touch!

At JGM, our team uniquely thrives when schedule matters, so outage work and speed-to-market projects are welcome opportunities. We’re always up for a challenge!

Using the latest technology and our depth of industry knowledge, we’re able to fabricate and combine piping, valves, fittings, and instrumentation into one package and then ship it to a job site for tie in by our field crews, delivering exceptional value in a timely manner.

Interested in talking to our team about a process piping project you have in mind? Get in touch with us today.

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