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Turnkey Pilot Plant Design & Construction

Turnkey Design & Construction Method

fabrication of pilot plantsEPIC provides turnkey pilot plant system design by following our proven methods from concept to commissioning. Each system we build begins as an idea, and must be carefully integrated to achieve your goals. As both a design and pilot plant construction company, we provide true turnkey services under one roof. For each pilot plant EPIC designs and builds, we follow these steps:

Our Method: Design & Pilot Plant Construction

Outlined below is our turnkey design and pilot plant manufacturing method broken into main phases. To start discussing your pilot project, see relevant examples, or get more information contact an engineer or call EPIC: (314) 845-0077.

PHASE ONE: Pilot Plant Concept Development


Design and pilot plant manufacturingAt the heart of every pilot plant is its base process technology. One hundred percent of the time EPIC relies on our customer to bring the process technology to the project. EPIC takes that process technology and specializes in taking it from lab scale to a fully functioning pilot plant.

During the concept stage, we explore where you are at with your process design and what it will take to scale your technology to production level. We help you develop Process Flow Diagrams (PFD’s) or fill-in the intermediate processing steps before moving into the design stage and developing process simulations, P&ID’s, mass and energy balances, and equipment lists. 

PHASE TWO: Quotes, Rough Order Magnitudes (ROMs), & Front-End Engineering

Inherent to pilot plant design are technical unknowns about the process. EPIC believes in a phased approach to project completion, the first phase being Front End Engineering.  Front End Engineering allows our team to fully develop the scope of the project, specify equipment, develop base engineering documents, identify and account for critical project unknowns and to deliver a fixed cost and timeline for the project.

If you are not ready for a full front-engineering effort, EPIC may provide a rough order magnitude quote. Unlike with front-end engineering, ROM numbers are not final and much less design work is done to determine quoted costs. Discuss your specific needs with a pilot plant specialist from EPIC to determine the most appropriate effort for your project.

PHASE THREE: Process Simulation & Module Design

Our process scale-up specialists simulate your process to quickly move through scale iterations and determine optimal process conditions. Data generated during these simulations will help determine your mass and energy balances, equipment selection and general system layout. EPIC also completes both 2D and 3D pilot plant designs to prepare for pilot plant manufacturing. Design includes competing the following:

    • Detailed process design
    • Mechanical design
    • Structural design
    • Hardware specification

PHASE FOUR: Automation & Controls

The automation and controls work is done in parallel with pilot plant design and pilot manufacturing. Pilot plants come with the level of automation that best suits your needs. We provide solutions that range from mostly manual to fully automated. We work with a variety of programming platforms including DCS, Logic programming, PLC based, PC based, and HMI/Operator interface programming. We also program and integrate data collection and process instrumentation.

PHASE FIVE: Pilot Plant Construction

Our pilot skids get to market faster through superior fabrication and assembly techniques. Experts in modular system design, this pilot plant construction method results in an average of 24% savings. In addition, our full-time skilled craftsmen specializes in fabrication and assembly and works under ideal conditions at our pilot manufacturing company.

PHASE SIX: Pilot Module Installation

modular pilot plant construction and installationOur project managers fully integrate and install your new pilot plant into your manufacturing facility or research center. Pilot skids arrive fully tested and ready to “plug-and-play.” We oversee unloading, installation and the process of hooking up your process connections. We take every precaution to ensure minimal disruption to existing operations, and installation + startup normally take 3-5 days maximum.

PHASE SEVEN: Start-up & Commissioning


We ensure your new pilot module is running to spec, completing all punch-list items on-site. When we commission a pilot plant, our team remains onsite until operations and maintenance personal are fully trained. EPIC continues to support projects after your pilot plant is up and running as needed, providing top customer service as a leading pilot manufacturing company.

Case Studies: See More Examples of Past Projects

case-studiesDetailed descriptions of turnkey pilot plants, demonstration modules and commercial plants that EPIC has built.

Video Gallery: Watch Clips of Projects, Methods & More

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Pilot plant videos of turnkey projects and the proven design & construction process EPIC follows to successfully create them.

Press Releases: Read the Latest News from EPIC

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Completed pilot plant projects, company accolades and job openings – read about them all here.

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