Process flow diagrams (PFD) describe a manufacturing process in terms of the various steps involved and the inputs and outputs from those steps. This is often the initial document generated in a new process, as it gathers the data known, sets the process operating conditions, and allows the sizing of equipment. The PFD usually refers to a mass and energy balance,which is often incorporated right into the diagram in the form of a table.
Typical information on a PFD includes:
- Blocks for each unit operation
- Lines indicating the flow of materials (process streams)
- Lines indicating the flow of energy
- Unique identification of each steam and energy input or output
When the mass and energy balance is included on the PFD, it will include information such as:
- Materials, chemicals, and utilities such as steam, hot oil, air, etc.
- Total flows, flows per unit time or other rate information
- Physical properties of materials if necessary
- Conditions such as temperature, pressure, quality, etc.
- Other information that may be helpful for those preparing the P&ID or equipment or piping specifications
> Also see Piping and Instrumentation Diagrams (P&ID)
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