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 For clarity, as on this website the word Plant is used, then it refers to a Process plant such as
a Chemical plant, Petroleum refinery, Gas Processing plant, Petrochemical, Pharmaceutical,
Textile, Paper, Semiconductor & Cryogenic plants and related processing plants and
Al these plants fall under the scope of ASME B31.3 Process Piping.

 Drawings, which are shown on this page, are fictitious, but they have been drawn according
to a functional Plot Plan of a Process Plant.

 Over the years, I've seen a lot of plot plans of several engineering companies. All these
companies show a certain standard in their plans, but the layout and dimensioning is often
quite different. Also sometimes customers or authorities wants to have additional
information on a Plot Plan. For this reason there is no general rule, for a "final" Plot Plan.


A Plot Plan is a scale drawing that gives an overview (top view) of the entire plant. All roads,
buildings, units, tank farms, employee entrance etc. will be given on a Plot Plan. It also listed the true
north and Plant north, port address, sometimes prevailing winds, reference point(s), horizontal
references etc..

You will understand that a whole process plant, usually can not be given on a readable drawing.
Therefore, a distinction is made between a Overall Plot Plan and a Detailed Plot Plan.


A Overall Plot Plan, sometimes this plan called a Site Plan or a Site Master Plan, you can compare
with a city road map. Important buildings, parks and street names are given, but not the house
numbers or the number of rooms in a building.
With the drawing in your hands, you should find a certain process tank farm and a specific tank, but
not a pump or a plate cooler, or heights of buildings, tanks and so on. That kind of equipment and
dimensions are not shown on a Overall Plot Plan.

On this drawing, as an example, a imaginary Overall Plot Plan will be shown.

Right down on the drawing you can see the starting point of this imaginary Overall Plot Plan.
North starting with N - 000.000 coordinate and East with E - 400.000 coordinate.
Both related to an officially recognized reference point, but in practice, the east coordinates refer
often to another reference object, and do not start with the coordinates E - 000.000.

Right on the top under "Notes" you can see the plant north coordinates and (important !) starting
reference elevation of this plant is EL.100000. (see Reference points)

There are no pipe-bridges, pipelines, pumps or other equipment shown on that drawing, but the
plan gives a good impression of a overall process plant.

In contrast with a Overall Plot Plan, a Detailed Plot Plan gives a overview (top view) of a part of a
process plant. Generally it shows a part of a certain area, floor or unit.
As you can see on the overall plot plan, the process building is largely equipped with a roof, and only
some equipment parts are visible from above.

This drawing, as an example, shows what is present on the fourth floor, under the roof of the FM-
AREA of the process building.

The plan shows the whole 4th floor on a elevation of EL.129200. These elevation are related to the
upper part, Top of Concrete (T.O.C.) of the 4th floor of the FM-AREA, and indicates a elevation of
29200 millimeters from the starting point (EL.100000) of the process plant. Furthermore, it shows
some equipment, a large pipeline and some smaller, a staircase and the columns of the steel
structure of the building.
Watch out, that all East and North dimensions, starting at the center lines of the columns.

A major advantage of a proper detailed plot plan is that you can determine from your office, or a
new piece of equipment in a certain area, floor or unit, can be placed. That however only applies to
the horizontal dimensions, because you cannot see possibly obstructions in the vertical level.

What you also cannot see on a plot plan, are the elevations of the equipment. That means that you
do not know, or a device on the 4th floor or may be already on the third floor begins...for this
reason, Equipment Arrangements have been considered.

Equipment Arrangements are drawings, which show the top and side-view of a part of a process
plant. The top-view is similar to a detailed plot plan, except that only equipment is shown.
Both equipment arrangements shows the equipment in a particular area, and sometimes a few
details around a specific device.

With a drawing of a site-view you can see the elevations of a certain device, and if the device is going
through one, or more floors.

This drawing, as an example, shows a top-view of the equipment on the fourth floor of the FM-Area.

This drawing, as an example, shows a side-view of the equipment on and under the fourth floor of
the FM-Area.

Plot plans and equipment arrangements are resources to help determine relative and specific
positioning of equipment on a process plant, related to the plant north, that on the drawings must
be shown.

Both help the development of support facilities and are used to determine the most cost-effective
construction sequence and methods. They are also used for operational needs, such as training and
emergency access, and are essential for obtaining permits and determining environmental and
personnel safety. They are the main documents used in assessing fire protection and if necessary, to
obtain government permits..

Plot plans and equipment arrangements are dynamic documents and evolve further during the
construction phase and the lifetime of a process plant.