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Equipment Specifications: Requirements, Developments, and Use

Clifford T Johnson, P.E., CSE

Course Outline

This 2 hour online course discusses the methods of documenting equipment, materials, and systems used in industries such as Pulp & Paper, Power, Chemical, Water & Waste and other industrial firms. Contractors and maintenance people install and maintain such equipment and must use these descriptions, commonly termed specifications. Engineered equipment, such as instrumentation and controls, are normally procured in a competitive bid process that requires that the description of them be generic, but also specific, so that several manufactures can submit proposals. The course will enable a person or engineer to development a specification on a short or long form in order to procure and document the equipment or system.

It assumes you have the product and/or process knowledge required to complete the information required for forms.

This course includes a multiple-choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of the course materials.

Learning Objective

At the conclusion of this course, the student will:

Intended Audience

The course would be beneficial for anyone that must describe equipment or material to be purchased especially in a competitive situation. It is specifically intended for those involved in instrumentation and controls. You must have the knowledge to know how the equipment or process operates in order to fill generate specifications.

Benefit to the Audience

The novice individual just being introduced to requirements for choosing devices used as instruments in control systems, whether it is for process control, boiler control or HVAC will make the most from this course because it will introduce them to short and long form methods of describing (specifying) the devices or systems to be purchased. The course also includes a full set of short forms generated in Lotus spread sheets (Microsoft Excel ® will easily import the forms). Other disciplines could adapt the short forms to their particular needs because they are not copy righted.

Course Introduction

Almost every engineered project involves the purchase of various types of equipment. If it is a chemical plant there are chemical tanks and reactors, cooling towers and heat exchangers, Boilers and auxiliaries, and of course instrumentation and controls for all of these major pieces of equipment. Many times a person responsible for procuring a piece of equipment simply looks up a manufacturer and model number of the item in a catalog and sends a RFQ (request for quotation) to the manufacturer for the item in question. This method of procuring a piece of equipment can lead to many errors. The written specification can eliminate most if not all errors.

Course Content

The the course content is in a PDF file Equipment Specifications: Requirements, Developments, and Use. You need to open or download this document to study this course.

Course Summary

Specifications should be used for all procurements and installations, and incorporate drawings when necessary to describe equipment or service. The short form is best used if the item is an industry standard. Model numbers should not be used except in support of a specification. Specifications facilitate installation and later maintenance. The responsible engineer should at minimum check all specifications.

Related Reading

This course is not intended to be used as a stand-alone document. It is recommended to refer to the following courses available online:

Construction Specifications Institute-

ISA The Instrumentation, Systems and Automation Society-

Once you finish studying the above course content, you need to take a quiz to obtain the PDH credits.

Take a Quiz

DISCLAIMER: The materials contained in the online course are not intended as a representation or warranty on the part of or any other person/organization named herein. The materials are for general information only. They are not a substitute for competent professional advice. Application of this information to a specific project should be reviewed by a registered professional engineer. Anyone making use of the information set forth herein does so at their own risk and assumes any and all resulting liability arising therefrom.