Trade-off studies

Through the diverse experience of its professionals, SAXUM can offer specialized consultancy services which help to assess the feasibility of a cement, lime or mining project. Our professionals provide key facts and figures to aid decision-making, and also propose alternative solutions to putting our clients´ ideas and concepts into practice.  These alternative solutions are approached through the development of Trade-off studies that can give our clients a wide view of the project possibilities.  

Electrical studies

SAXUM has the capability and experience to performs different electrical studies in industrial plants aimed to assess short circuits, power factors, arc flash, load flows, motor starting, harmonics, etc. In the following these studies are summarized:

Short circuit analysis:

it allows to determine the fault currents and automatically compare these values with the short circuit capacities of each element that make up the electrical distribution system of an installation.

Load flow analysis:

This analysis allows you to determine if all the elements of the electrical system are well selected to perform the function for which they were installed. Transformers, cables, feeders, among others are submitted in this study to verify that their capacity is adequate for the installation/final consumers.

Selectivity and coordination studies:

The goal of coordinating electrical protections is to achieve selectivity and speed in isolating faults that may appear at any time in a system. That is, the protection closest to the fault must operate before any other and isolate it before it can cause damage to any component of the system. This must be achieved in consistency with the load served and with the generation source.

Motor starting analysis:

This analysis allows calculating the acceleration time of the motor and the impact of the motor voltage that starts in the electric power systems. Depending on the application and the process requirements, we study how the electrical system behaves during the starting of motors controlled by direct starts, soft starts, variable speed drives, among others.

Harmonic analysis & Power factor analysis:

This analysis enables the quality of the electrical energy available in an electrical installation or distribution system to be determined. Through the calculation and evaluation of the results, filter or capacitor banks are dimensioned, which will help to improve the energy quality of an industrial installation loaded with different types of consumers.

Arc flash assessment:

This study allows to determine the incident energy released during the arc process in faults (faults) and determines the required protection limits. Its objective is to design safe power systems and at the same time comply with the regulations or standards of the country where the installation is located.

Grounding analysis:

The study of the grounding of an industrial installation makes it possible to determine the grounding resistance, step voltages, contact voltages and ensure the protection values required for both the installation and people.

Piping stress analysis

SAXUM offers the following services:                                     

  • Mathematical modeling of pipe system considering all thermal and mechanical loading. 
  • Evaluation of maximum stresses and deformations in the different portions of pipe system.
  • Computational Fluid Dynamical Modeling
  • Evaluation of maximum resulting stresses/deformations in pipe systems and comparison with admisible stresses of pipe constitutive materials,
  • Experimental analysis based on extensión tests of the pipes for evaluating the maximum admisible stresses in the pipe system.
  • Determination of causes of cracks and fractures 
  • Performation of computational analyses (static and dynamic) to identify optimal reinforcement design of pipe system.
  • Issuing of corresponding detailed engineering of pipe reinforcements
  • Assistance in implementation of design solutions.

CFD Analysis

Computational Fluid Dynamics Analysis (CFD) are performed at SAXUM at the highest level of quality, in the following industrial problems:

Co-processing studies for the Cement Industry:

in this case, the main application is the evaluation of the efficiency of using alternative fuels in the pyro-process area of clinker production plants. The goal is to determine the optimal injection point of the alternative fuel in the pre-calciner and the ratio of the alternative fuel to be used.

Soils slope stability analysis for the mining industry:

CFD analysis with fluid-solid interaction is considered for the evaluation of infiltration lines in porous media like soils in the slopes of tailing dams and their consequences in the overall slope stability.

Stress analysis in piping systems:

 CFD analysis with fluid-solid interaction is also used by SAXUM to evaluate resulting stress distributions in piping systems under consideration of the real hydraulic properties of the fluid, its pressure, and the temperature conditions. These analyses give rise to the selection of the optimal designs of piping systems in industrial applications.

Soils investigations and reports

SAXUM has the capability and experience to perform soils investigations and studies for determining the classical and dynamic mechanical features of the subsoils/rocks, their hydraulic conditions, and the type of soils in each found layer according to the international unified classification. Based on these data, SAXUM assesses the most appropriate type of foundation system for each structure in industrial plants, the geotechnical equality, stability and bearing capacity, qualitatively and quantitatively. Also SAXUM performs complex dynamic interaction analysis between equipment foundations and subsoils during the operations of such equipment, including screens, ball mills, SAG mills, vertical mills, crushers, horizontal kilns, process fans, etc. We also assess the excavated soil for backfilling and filling materials, the conditions, compaction and water content of soil, and the possibility of chemical attack to concrete, as well as the countermeasures.

Geographical exploration methods by SAXUM allow determining the degree and location of inappropriate geological structures for foundations, such as broken and disruption plane, grotto & cave, soft bedding layer, stalagmite, soil cavity, etc. 

SAXUM performs different tests on subsoils and rocks including SPT, SASW, MASW, Down-Hole and Cross-Hole tests, Modified Proctor, consolidation test, direct shear test, unconfined compressive strength, compressive strength on rock samples, density of specific gravity of rock, modules of elasticity, moisture absorption of rock, CBR test, electrical resistivity, chemical tests on soil samples, plate loading tests, etc.   

Structural pathology evaluations and repair procedures analysis

Our professional team specialized in Structural Pathology Analysis performed specific computational modelling, simulations and on-site evaluations to accurately determine the diagnostic of causes of the evaluated structural pathology. We offer highly detailed analyses of structures subjected to any kind of loading conditions including physical and/or chemical attacks, allowing precise diagnostics and retrofit solution techniques. Expertise in both concrete and steel structural pathology as well as in foundation problems is our strength.

Causes for Structural Pathologies:

  • Faulty Design or false hypothesis of structural behavior and modeling,
  • Constructive errors,
  • Unexpected structural work conditions,
  • Unexpected foundation settlements 
  • Exposure to aggressive environmental conditions 
  • Effects of water or ice on concrete structures and foundations. 
  • Fatigue effects due to unexpected or neglected dynamic actions.

Mining, Cement & Lime Consulting

Alternative fuels analysis (Co-processing studies) for the cement industry

SAXUM's engineering staff has kiln operations and alternative fuel specific experience from working in and serving the cement industry.  It is well-known that there are practical, economic, and environmental advantages for the use of waste fuels in cement kilns.  The cement manufacturing process requires incinerator level operating temperatures, sufficiently long residence times, and a favorable oxidizing atmosphere which is preferential for most slow burning waste fuels.  In return, the replacement of coal and natural gas with waste fuels often reduces fuel costs and provides an environmentally acceptable disposal method for waste materials.  

The problem for the cement producer with waste fuels is that the fuels are inconsistent in terms of chemistry, required burn time, and sometimes availability.  The suitability of Alternative Fuels for use in the cement manufacturing process, effects on plant operation, product and environment need to be studied and established before the alternative fuel is justified for a process and before the optimum fuel replacement value is determined.  

SAXUM's staff has experience performing this analysis with Liquid Alternative Fuels, Solid Waste Fuels, and Refuse Derived fuels (RDF).  SAXUM can analyze the required capital investment for handling and use of any of these fuels whether it be modifications to existing plant equipment or installation of new facilities.  This includes safe storage and handling methods for fuels that cement clients may not be accustomed to dealing with.  Furthermore, SAXUM's process engineering staff helps its clients adjust or develop operating procedures and raw mix changes to accommodate the fuels.  

Upon justification and approval of the use of alternative fuels, SAXUM can help its clients complete their fuels projects by developing the design engineering for handling, processing and firing of the fuels.  

Stability assessment (static and dynamic) of soil slopes and tailings dams

Safety factors of existing tailing dams and similar slopes are about ten time smaller than those corresponding to hydroelectrical dams or embankments, being 1 over one thousand for the former and 1 over ten thousand for the later, being 10 times more probable to have a tailing dam failure compared with an hydroelectrical dam. Our experts have an extensive expertise in order to improve the security of th design of your dam and/or slope, by using both classical methods like limit equilibrium analysis and modern approaches like finite element method, together with geotechnical data obtained in field and laboratory. In this sense, our models are capable to predict complex failure patterns during tailing and slope management, including increasement of pore pressures during the operation, infiltration fluxes and its associated risk, dynamics increasement of pore pressures, among others important topics.

 Our stability analysis and designs includes:

  • Design of geotechnical campaigns
  • Data analysis of field and laboratory tests
  • Design of reinforcement structures like buttress and embankments
  • Computations of safety factors and failure probability by using limit equilibrium and finite element models
  • Calculation of tailings management parameters (Rate of rise, buttress construction velocity, pond and maximum infiltration, erosion risk)
  • Static and dynamic liquefaction triggering and assessments using advanced constitutive modelling.
  • Risks assessment with phreatic table rise and creep effects.
  • Slope and Dam break analysis
  • Seismic hazard studies
  • Monitoring of real time measures
Vibrations analysis of structures and foundations related to dynamic equipment

The operation of mills and crushers in plants of the mineral processing industries impose high dynamic forces to the surrounding soils, foundations and buildings. Their excitation forces usually involve spectra characterized by large frequency ranges. These features make of the design of dynamic equipment foundations related to crushing and grinding areas a very complex problem. 

SAXUM has extensive and relevant experience in the design of dynamic equipment foundations such as Vertical Roller Mills, SAG Mills, Ball Mills, crushers, screens towers, etc. Our capabilities include the ability to assess accurately the dynamic interaction between foundations of different dynamic equipment operating simultaneously, and to determine effective solution procedures to mitigate resonance effects existing in industrial plants.

Structural and foundation designs against severe dynamic actions such as seismic and explosion loads

SAXUM has relevant experience in the design of structures and foundations against severe dynamic actions such as impact, explosions, and seismic loads. We follow accurate numerical and fully dynamic procedures to assess the resulting stress and acceleration histories and, based on them, to design appropriately the involved structures and foundations.

Iron & Steel Consulting

SAXUM Engineering provides a wide range of engineering services for the Iron & Steel industry, for both Integrated and Mini-Mill process routes, from raw materials, iron-making, steel-making, refining, casting and rolling flat and long products and downstream processing.

Our Services include scoping and feasibility studies, trade-off analysis, process and operations assessments, raw materials, energy and Value-In-Use evaluations and optimization, conceptual, basic and detailed engineering in all disciplines including civil & structural, mechanical & piping, and electrical, instrumentation and control engineering.

The SAXUM engineering team uses the most efficient and comprehensive computational software for developing engineering designs in full 3D environments, allowing accurate integration between the designs of all the different technical disciplines. Furthermore, SAXUM’s engineering approach to Iron & Steel projects focuses on constructability aspects and value engineering through cost-effective designs.

Our engineering teams in each project are led and coordinated by highly experienced and specialized Project Managers, Project Controllers and QA/QC Supervisors; in addition, SAXUM's Procurement and Construction Management services provides projects with all the necessary expertise from early process and operations development to its successful completion. Our Construction Management team follows the most efficient methods, construction strategies and budgeting controls, as it is composed by multidisciplinary professionals to allow the coordination of all involved disciplines including safety, quality, contracts follow-up, administration, commissioning, and start-up. Thus, SAXUM is uniquely positioned to provide complete and overall EPCM services.

Saxum's services to the Iron & Steel Industry

Scoping Studiest
Feasibility Studies
Trade-off Analysis
Process And Operations Assessments
Raw Materials, Energy and Value-in-use Evaluations
Conceptual Engineering
Basic Engineering
Extended Basic Engineering
Detailed Engineering
Capex and Opex Analysis
Project Management
Construction Management
Project Controls

Oil & Gas Consulting

SAXUM provides a wide range of engineering services for the Oil & Gas industries, including scoping and feasibility studies, trade-off analyses, conceptual, basic and detailed engineering. Our engineering capabilities encompass all technical disciplines including civil & structural, mechanical & piping, and electrical, instrumentation & control engineering.

SAXUM’s Engineering Team uses the most efficient and comprehensive computational software for developing engineering designs in full 3D environments, allowing accurate integration between the designs of all different technical disciplines. SAXUM’s engineering approach to projects of the Oil & Gas industries focuses on constructability aspects and added value engineering through cost-effective designs.

Our assigned engineering team in each project of the Oil &Gas industry is complemented and, moreover, coordinated by highly specialized teams for Project Managers, Project Controllers and QA/QC supervisors, reservoir experts & managers, reservoir retrofit engineering/supervision, management of environment sustainability. Furthermore, SAXUM’s Procurement and Construction Management services provides the direction, regulation and supervision of Oil & Gas projects from early development to its completion. Our Construction Management team follows the most efficient methods, construction strategies and budgeting.

The team is composed by multidisciplinary professionals to allow the coordination of all involved disciplines including safety, supervision, quality, contracts follow-up, administration, commissioning, etc.

SAXUM services to the Oil & Gas Industry

Scoping Studies
Feasibility Studies
Trade-off Analysis
Multidisciplinary Engineering
Capex and Opex Analysis
Project Management
Construction Management
Project Control
Project Inspection
Site Supervision
Reservoir Management & Optimization

SAXUM´s multidiscipline engineering services to the oil and gas production and processing industry are the following:

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Cost and Schedule Estimation
  • Electrical, Instrumentation and Control Engineering
  • Mechanical and Piping Engineering
  • Process Engineering,
  • Risk, Safety, and Environmental Engineering
  • Equipment Sizing
  • Bid ff Materials

Our consultancy services span greenfield and brownfield developments and includes:

  • Advisory services – subsurface and surface facilities expertise, including reservoir characterisation, geological modelling and simulation.
  • Asset and facilities support – integrity, asset enhancement and modifications.
  • Dynamic simulation and transient analysis.
  • Flow assurance.
  • Complex finite element analyses such as fracking simulation for shell-oil and shell-gas.
  • Stress analysis.
  • Soil/rock mechanical feature evaluations.
  • Non-linear finite element analysis of porous materials and failure behavior.
  • Integrated field development planning – feasibility, concept, pre-FEED.
  • Late life asset management – production enhancement, concept studies, structural and marine assurance, cost estimating.
  • Operations support and production enhancement/production technology chemistry
  • Process technology and studies – upstream, midstream, and downstream support across oil production and processing, gas production, sour gas, gas monetisation and refining.
  • Renewables – offshore wind, fixed and floating facilities.
  • Subsea and pipelines engineering.
  • Vibration analysis and acoustic engineering.
  • Complex offshore structural analysis and fatigue / life extension assessment.
  • Structural damage/pathology evaluations and development of optimal solutions designs.

Flow assurance

Flow assurance is commonly applied in project design and in operations support. At the project design stage, engineers evaluate ways of combining technologies which would allow to extract fluids from the reservoir, having in sight a reliably and economically balance. With the ongoing and futures oil and gas discoveries, an increasingly demand of studies of flow in pipes will be requires. SAXUM have the capability of reproduce and simulate using multiphase flow computational fluid mechanics in order to assess the flow assurance of combination of gas, oil, condensate and water. All these components, together with sand and soils, have the potential to cause many problems like asphaltene and/or wax deposition, hydrates formation, corrosion, erosion, emulsions and slugging, among many others.

We have the capability to optimize the economics of production by tuning the performance of artificial lift, optimizing the routing of the produced fluids through the flowline network, and by solving problems of restrictions and blockages or surges in reservoirs, wells, flowlines, processing equipment and in export pipelines.

Our capabilities in design:

  • Assessing of flow assurance risk: Sand erosion and sand blockage assessment
  • Defining flow assurance mitigation strategies
  • Multiphase flow simulation in risers, manifolds, pipe junction and others machineries.
  • Defining flow operability
  • Finalizing the pipeline operating procedures
  • Optimizing system performance
  • Real time flow assurance monitoring

Our support during operation:

  • Production system monitoring for flow assurance model tuning with system data
  • System flow assurance condition survelianve for blockages
  • Maintenance implementation
  • Well start-up temperature insulation performance measurmennt
  • Chemical injection residual and performance monitoring
  • Shut-in cooldown temperature insulation performance measurement
  • Verification of chemical performance
  • Chemical incompatibility with material management
  • Chemical substitution and field trials.
  • Verification of chemical vendor perfomance

Fracking Analysis

SAXUM has the experience and capability to model and analyse the complex hydro-mechanical response behaviour of non-conventional reservoirs for shale oil and gas. Our experts have developed and validated mathematical models using the most advanced and innovative approaches, which are capable to reproduce very complex geometries and boundary condition, also in extreme conditions like the ones presented in this kind of reservoirs. SAXUM’s team of consultant in computational modelling of fracking processes for shale oil & gas is highly experienced in analysing full coupled hydromechanical failure processes in soil and rock, being participated in project in all around the globe together with industrial and academical partners, basing our leadership on different publications in the most important journals and congresses in the world.

Tunnelling and underground spaces design and consultancy

SAXUM team has worked, planned and designed multiple tunnels and underground spaces around the world, based on its high-skilled and multidisciplinary group of engineers, SAXUM faced projects for transportation, pedestrians, industrials, hydro-power, water supplies and sewerage.

  • Our experience and capabilities includes:
    Basic ,detailed and executive structural, geotechnical, mechanical and electro-mechanical engineering;
  • Wide experience in different constructive methods (New Austrian Tunnelling Method, Tunnelling Boring Machines, Drill and Blast, Pipe-jacking and Cut and Cover);
  • Hazard assessment and failure analysis or highly risky and/or huge tunnels;
  • Design and simulation of constructive procedures and failure analysis;
  • Permanent and provisory earth retention systems;
  • Non- conventional and forensic tunnel consultancy and assessment;
  • Seismic hazard studies and tunnels in high seismicity locations;
  • Design of non-conventional segmental linings and plan for advance of tunnels (PAT) for TBM tunnels;
  • Ventilation systems and fire safety