Engineering calculations as a deliverable: standards and references

In summary, your question relates to whether or not a set of rules of thumb or formulas can be used to produce engineering reports as a contract deliverable, and if so, whether or not the customer is aware of them. The answer is that there is no one right way to do things, and that the formality of the code will vary depending on the situation. Additionally, from the customer's perspective, they may only look at the report superficially, and if something goes wrong down the line, they will not be able to defend themselves.
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LT Judd
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TL;DR Summary
Question on the protocols and good business practice for referencing of assumptions and methods used . Are certain methods of calculation mandated by standards. Also on the customer side what are the expectations for reviewing engineering work.
My question relates mainly to mechncial engineering but I guess the general principle may apply elsewhere. Up until now I have mainly been an engineer on the customer side (marine and offshore) , reviewing contractor reports, "sense checking" them and general engineering firefighting and troubleshooting. But I recently moved to a consulting firm that does a great variety of things and may be required to produced engineering reports as a contract deliverable in the future.

I know that in some cases such as ASME pressure vessels code and also marine claissification rules , there are actually set formulas and calculations you should use. However in other cases , it doesn't seem so formalised. I just have a large collection of rules of thumb, excel workbooks and notes,old textbooks and some refence books like "machineries hand book". I wonder does this suffice when producing engineering reports as a deliverable. I am not talking about designing bridges or anything, its more like small process and mechancial investigations in exsiting plant.

Are there mandated steps to follow for calculating things, such as valve and relief valve sizing, heat exchanger sizing, orifice plate sizing.

Of course if it is stipulated in the contract , In my experience sometimes the customers don't really know what they want exactly, so you sometimes need to guide them. I always tried to go to some national or international standard or code of practice , but in the past I was on a salary and my "customers" were internal, so now I also have to mindful on how much time i spend doing that.

I know this may depend on national regulations , so any answers from European or Anglosphere context would be welcome.

Also from the customer side - how deep do customer engineering managers usualy go when reviewing contracator reports? I asked for guidance on this when I was at an oil and gas firm but never really got a satisfactory answer. I got the impression that most managers didnt spend too much time looking into them , unless some thing went wrong later on.
 
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  • #2
LT Judd said:
I know that in some cases such as ASME pressure vessels code and also marine classification rules , there are actually set formulas and calculations you should use. However in other cases , it doesn't seem so formalized.
I'm sure that the formality varies. But pay close attention to the text nuances also.

Industry norms are separate from the standards, but they are also something you should pay attention to.

LT Judd said:
Also from the customer side - how deep do customer engineering managers usually go when reviewing contractor reports?
Your scrutiny, customer's scrutiny, and scrutiny of the attorneys and the jury in case something goes wrong is what really counts.

You need to be able to defend your work against attack by others.

I recall a lawsuit about a power line that fell on a pedestrian. The case was won, when my colleague testified that, "The code requires a design that equally protects workers and the public." That's not a formula or a formality. It is hard to say what it does mean. But it won the court case. I cite that because it is an example where the non-formula part of the code became important.
 
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  • #3
LT Judd said:
I got the impression that most managers didnt spend too much time looking into them , unless some thing went wrong later on.
I think they've hired you because they can't, or don't want to, do the work themselves. So, I agree, the best you'll get from the customer is a cursory sanity check, probably not even that.
 
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Related to Engineering calculations as a deliverable: standards and references

What are engineering calculations as a deliverable?

Engineering calculations as a deliverable refer to the set of mathematical calculations and analyses that are performed by engineers to design and develop a product, system, or structure. These calculations are then documented and presented as a deliverable to clients or stakeholders.

Why are standards and references important in engineering calculations?

Standards and references play a crucial role in engineering calculations as they provide a set of guidelines and criteria for engineers to follow. These standards ensure that the calculations are accurate, consistent, and comply with industry regulations. References, on the other hand, provide a reliable source of information and data for engineers to use in their calculations.

What are some common standards and references used in engineering calculations?

Some commonly used standards and references in engineering calculations include the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) codes and standards, American Concrete Institute (ACI) codes, and National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards. These are just a few examples, as there are many other organizations and publications that provide standards and references for different engineering disciplines.

How do engineers ensure the accuracy of their calculations?

Engineers use a variety of methods to ensure the accuracy of their calculations. This may include double-checking their work, using multiple references, and performing simulations or tests to validate their results. They may also consult with other engineers or subject matter experts to review their calculations and provide feedback.

What happens if there is a mistake in the engineering calculations deliverable?

If a mistake is found in the engineering calculations deliverable, it is the responsibility of the engineer to correct it. This may involve revising the calculations, updating the documentation, and informing the relevant parties of the error. In some cases, the mistake may require further analysis and testing to ensure the safety and functionality of the product or system being designed.

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