Modularization is a current issue in the context of plant design. A modular system aims to reduce lead time and cost in design phases. An oil & gas plant consists of many Engineered-To-Order solutions to be submitted and approved during the negotiation phase. In this context, design tools and methods are necessary to support the design life cycle from the conceptual study to the detailed project. The paper proposes an approach to optimize the design of modularized oil & gas plants with a focus on the related steel structures. A test case shows the configuration workflow applied to a modular steel structure of about 400 tons. The modularized layout has been optimized using genetic algorithms. A Knowledge Base has been described to support the configuration phase related to the conceptual design. Design rules and metrics have been formalized from the analysis of past solutions.

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