Consulting Services

Consulting Services

My work falls roughly into four categories:

  1. problem solving,
  2. training and facilitation
  3. capital project definition and planning, and
  4. Owner’s representative.

Review the examples of services I’ve provided and imagine how your need would benefit from my expertise and experience. Then contact me to discuss your specific requirements.

Problem solving

Here are examples of problems I’ve solved for clients:

Customize a spreadsheet

The client wanted an additional form and chart included in TANKJKT. They provided a printout of the desired output; I customized the template.

Model the water distribution from a loop

Problem: estimate the flow rate from any combination of users drawing water from a recirculating Purified Water distribution loop.

Solution: a hydraulic model, written in Excel, that visually depicts the loop and calculates flow and pressure at any point. The pump curve is used to calculate flow as the pressure drop through the loop changes depending which use point(s) are open. Use point valve openings are configurable, as is the set pressure for the backpressure valve at the end of the loop. Details

Hydraulic model

Evaluate a heat exchanger

Problem: Owner’s team couldn’t agree on the need for a heat exchanger, and were concerned about how the exchanger would perform if they chose to install it.

Solution: a process evaluation that included interviewing the Owner’s technical and operations personnel, doing a literature search, articulating and evaluating heat transfer scenarios, checking the heat exchanger vendor’s proposal, and writing a report with recommendations and full back-up. After hearing my presentation, the Owner’s team agreed to proceed with my recommended alternative approach, which they were able to implement without further assistance.

Training and facilitation

Facilitate a risk assessment

Assignment: Determine the potential hazards (safety and risk to product quality) and rank them using a formal approach.

Result: Using a combination of the “What if…” and “Failure Modes and Analysis” (FMEA) approaches, I organized and facilitated the client’s cross-functional team in performance of the risk assessment. The report identified potential hazards, pathways that could result in the hazard, mitigation factors (risk control mechanisms), likelihood that the hazard would occur, consequence if it did occur, and an overall Risk Score with recommendations for further mitigation of items with a Risk Score higher than the predetermined threshold. This type of facilitation typically requires 1 to 2 weeks of effort, and can be applied to a variety of situations where cross-functional teams need to brainstorm and agree on issues such as: root cause analysis and process hazards analysis.

Mentor and advise

Assignment: Help a commissioning and qualification team achieve their objectives.

Result: Tasked with creating a Qualification Plan, writing Test Protocols, and executing the Protocols for a newly constructed pharmaceutical manufacturing plant, the team benefited from my guidance and observations. My role included asking probing questions, reviewing and commenting on documents; providing relevant reference materials such as templates, regulatory (FDA) requirements, and articles; and supplementing the team’s work with original calculations and written materials when they lacked the needed experience to create their own. This type of assignment can be accomplished part-time or full-time, depending on the size of the team, number of documents, and complexity of the project.

Capital project definition and planning

Provide a feasibility study for proposed expansion

Assignment: Within four weeks, present the feasibility (cost, schedule, scope, risks, and alternatives) for a proposed expansion to an existing specialty chemical manufacturing plant.

Result: The PowerPoint presentation included project objectives, flow diagram, equipment arrangement and elevation, orientation-grade cost estimate, timelines (multiple scenarios), risks, and recommendations for next steps. Input from the client’s technical staff and potential equipment suppliers were blended with my own know-how to create the plan that all supported in the presentation to Management. Backup materials included a material balance, equipment list, sizing calculations, instrument list, and rough piping take-offs (with hand-sketched conceptual P&ID and piping plan). The closed-end study took four weeks to complete.

Evaluate “make” versus “buy” for a specialty chemical

This complex assignment required the services of a full-service engineering firm to complete because it included process, architectural, automation, electrical, and cost estimating disciplines. My role was to manage the work: I worked with the Owner’s process development engineer to organize the starting materials Basis of Design. Then I wrote a Request for Proposal and facilitated selection of an engineering company to perform the study. I actively participated in the study and made many contributions that strengthened the end result and contained the cost of the work. Finally, I created and presented the results (PowerPoint) to the Owner’s management. The assignment was completed in twelve weeks, including each of the steps described, and resulted in a clear direction for the Owner to follow.

Owner’s representative

Procure a factory-assembled process unit

I was the team leader responsible for procurement of a factory-assembled unit (a “skid”), complete with controls. This required teamwork – with the Owner’s technical and procurement personnel, consulting engineers, and the equipment supplier (after selection). The project included development of design drawings and specifications, prequalification of suppliers, formal bidding and selection, review and approval of submittals, oversight during assembly, a Factory Acceptance Test, and oversight of incorporation into the Owner’s facility. An Owner’s representative needs great project management skills in addition to appropriate technical knowledge and savvy. Factory assembled units range from small systems, like liquid-ring vacuum pumps, that are simple to define and construct, to large and complex modules, such as batch reactor systems (pictured) or distillation towers.

ReactorManage the design and/or construction of a facility

I’ve done both on behalf of Owners, for capital projects in the food and beverage, specialty chemical, and pharmaceutical manufacturing (API, biotech, and solid dosage) industry segments. I’ve been responsible and accountable for projects up to $700 million. Experience with these projects feeds and supports my qualifications to undertake the small assignments illustrated with the examples on this page.