AEC

AEC From the Ground Up: Plant and Piping Software

1 Oct, 2004 By: AIA ,H. Edward Goldberg Cadalyst

Vendors strengthen links between P&ID and physical plant model.


A Large segment of the CAD industry is dedicated to plant piping software. Designers and engineers in any industry that moves or manufactures liquids use this genre of software. Piping systems are found in locations as diverse as oil platforms, atomic energy plants, and food and beverage industries. Two general types of software are associated with piping design: logical (P&ID—piping and instrument diagram—in 2D, single-line diagrams) and physical (in 2D and 3D).

 Figure 1. AVEVA PDMS continues to control and automate the drawing production process from the 3D design, but the new solution lets you complete drawings using the AutoCAD user interface.
Figure 1. AVEVA PDMS continues to control and automate the drawing production process from the 3D design, but the new solution lets you complete drawings using the AutoCAD user interface.

P&ID drawings fall into two categories: dumb, which are basically CAD-centric 2D diagrams, and intelligent data-centric diagrams that range from simple database connectivity to a full-blown data model that includes engineering rules, automatic design validation, standards compliance, integration with design and calculation packages, and the like. The P&ID stage of design is generally considered engineering, and the physical stage is considered design or layout.

Physical 3D piping design is based on the engineering performed during the logical phase. It involves the arrangement of the specified pipes, vessels, valves, pipe supports, and instruments in virtual 3D space. Isometric drawings and BOMs (bills of materials) are extracted for fabrication and construction from this 3D design. Interference detection, in which the 3D model is interrogated and any clashes between components detected and flagged, occurs at this stage. Piping software is also used by engineering, procurement, and construction companies to design and construct new plants and structures, as well as to refurbish, retrofit, and expand existing plants. It's also used by plant owners to maintain, revamp, modify, and retrofit facilities. Many plant and piping applications also include basic structural packages for the design of support structures for piping.

AVEVA VANTAGE Plant Engineering, Plant Design Management System

www.aveva.com

According to the company, 80% of the North Sea oil sector uses AVEVA's PDMS (Plant Design Management System). In addition, 18 of the 26 power design institutes in China and seven of the top ten shipbuilders use AVEVA solutions (www.aveva.com).

The AVEVA and Autodesk alliance, announced last October, promises to provide a comprehensive 3D design and drawing delivery solution for the process and energy marketplace. The solution will be launched in October, with product shipment before the end of 2004.

Figure 2. Bentley P&ID combines drafting tools with user-definable data integration capabilities that provide access to the Bentley Plant project database and other external plant information.
Figure 2. Bentley P&ID combines drafting tools with user-definable data integration capabilities that provide access to the Bentley Plant project database and other external plant information.

VANTAGE PDMS integrated with Autodesk's drafting and documentation solutions should be beneficial. AutoCAD is the most-used software in the AVEVA customer base. The integration will provide PDMS users with an AutoCAD-based drafting interface for editing postproduction drawings. PDMS has always been completely data-centric, but users have asked for better drawing completion using industry drafting tools. AVEVA PDMS will control and automate the drawing production process from the 3D design, as before, but the new solution will let users accomplish drawing tasks such as annotation, labels, and layout using the AutoCAD user interface, ensuring that integrity is maintained.

VANTAGE Plant Engineering (VPE) P&ID is an AutoCAD-based, intelligent P&ID system with full change and workflow management. VPE P&ID fully supports offline (sheet-based) and online operation with a full project database configuration, enabling integration and change management of interconnected project P&IDs. VPE P&ID supports engineering design in a distributed environment by reducing time spent in P&ID production, managing information quality and integrity, and monitoring, controlling, and propagating project changes. It also provides intelligent engineering data that integrates with 3D design and project resources.

P&IDs created using VPE P&ID are produced as individual drawings that you can save to the database to produce an overall plant connectivity model that represents the interconnected set of project P&IDs. This approach supports two modes of operation during P&ID production: online, where VPE P&ID initiates and maintains a connection to the database foundation so that design information held in the database can be dynamically retrieved and displayed on the P&ID or used for validation purposes during the drafting process; and offline, where VPE P&ID functions as a stand-alone application with no connection to the database foundation. This mode is particularly useful to subcontractors who work on remote sites.

AVEVA is developing new P&IDs, due for release in early 2005, that will allow its applications to use Microsoft's .NET technology.

Figure 3. Intergraphs SmartPlant 3D integrates with SmartPlant P&ID and is driven by that applications specifications, attributes, rules, topologies, and built-in intelligence.
Figure 3. Intergraphs SmartPlant 3D integrates with SmartPlant P&ID and is driven by that applications specifications, attributes, rules, topologies, and built-in intelligence.

Bentley Systems Bentley P&ID

www.bentley.com/plant

Bentley Systems offers a P&ID solution that uses one license to interface with either MicroStation or AutoCAD. Bentley P&ID integrates with the Bentley Plant project database so that project team members can leverage the work done generating the P&ID for use in other disciplines. The packages include options for symbol libraries, including ANSI, ISA, DIN, and PIP configurations.

Bentley P&ID combines drafting tools with user-definable data integration capabilities. These provide access to the Bentley Plant project database and other external plant information. You can draw while you're disconnected from the project database, and then run user-definable rules to synchronize the data with the project database. You retain access to the project tag register and component data for tagging, placement, and annotation. The program can also load and save files in other formats.

Bentley P&ID offers drag-and-drop component placement and right-click, context-sensitive menus for creating custom component entries. The program also makes use of Visual Basic dialog boxes to access component attributes. You can customize and edit these dialog boxes for specific data entry needs and to perform data validation.

IN THIS ARTICLE
IN THIS ARTICLE

With MicroStation V8, the complete history of a design is now available in PlantSpace P&ID.

All data created by Bentley P&ID resides in a single repository. The interface also lets designers browse components defined in the project, such as P&IDs and datasheets, and insert them in the 3D model. The P&ID is available to the designer creating the 3D model. Bentley Plant provides integrations not only between functional and physical design solutions, but also with Bentley ProjectWise, a collaboration environment. You can publish all documents produced by the functional and physical design solutions, as well as the component index associated with those documents, directly to the ProjectWise environment.

Future plans for Bentley P&ID include links to the newest addition to Bentley Plant, Bentley AXSYSProcess, which will offer the ability to define a process flow diagram in AXSYS and have it generate the beginnings of a Bentley P&ID.

Intergraph SmartPlant P&ID 4, SmartPlant 3D

www.intergraph.com

SmartPlant P&ID 4 doesn't use a CAD program as its engine. It's data-centric, rule-based, CAD-free, integrated engineering software for creating intelligent piping and instrumentation diagrams. The product offers global work sharing, an engineering rulebase, a graphical user interface with drag-and-drop international symbol sets and integration, and calculation and automation interfaces. It runs on Oracle 8i and 9i, Microsoft SQL 2000, and Windows 2000/XP and is now certified to run in thin-client environments such as Citrix MetaFrame. The software also has controlled licensing and uses the PD_LICE mechanism.

Figure 4. PipeDesigner 3D 3.5 from QuickPen draws all fittings, valves, and pumps parametrically as 3D custom objects, producing graphically scaled representations of the actual objects.
Figure 4. PipeDesigner 3D 3.5 from QuickPen draws all fittings, valves, and pumps parametrically as 3D custom objects, producing graphically scaled representations of the actual objects.

Features of SmartPlant P&ID 4 include capabilities for multiple project execution, version tracking with data and graphical comparison, license control, and integration with Intergraph's TEF (The Engineering Framework). The program lets you manage multiple, simultaneous projects within the operating plant or design. Working concurrently, users can claim a system or object such as a pipeline or a feed pump, modify the design, and then merge the approved changes into the master as-built P&ID. For engineering companies, this enables application of multiple what-if scenarios to make design decisions or determine the impact of a change.

SmartPlant P&ID 4 also includes an adapter to TEF that enables global information access, notification, task communication, and documentation capabilities, so you can integrate SmartPlant P&ID with both up- and downstream engineering tools, including Intergraph SmartPlant 3D and third-party applications.

SmartPlant 3D is an advanced 3D system that, like SmartPlant P&ID, is not based on a CAD program. SmartPlant 3D integrates with SmartPlant P&ID and is driven by the specifications, attributes, rules, topologies, and built-in intelligence of that application. If piping engineers have questions about a particular pipeline, they can, for example, right-click on it to display the P&ID with that pipe highlighted. Rule-based design governs the interrelationships, connectivity, and behaviors of all items in the SmartPlant 3D model. The rules define the practical engineering and parametric behavior of these objects when they're created, modified, moved, and deleted. If a piping engineer resizes a pipeline or changes its piping spec, all parts that comprise that line update accordingly.

Clash or interference detection is a necessary task in 3D design and one of its big values. According to Intergraph, SmartPlant 3D is the only plant design software to provide concurrent, proactive interference detection. The company plans a general release of SmartPlant 3D in December.

QuickPen International PipeDesigner 3D 3.5

www.quickpen.com

PipeDesigner3D 3.5 is written in ObjectARX and runs on Architectural Desktop and AutoCAD 2000-2004 (2005 soon to be released). It includes QuickPen's VSME (virtual solid modeling engine) and a steel shapes package (Reirson Catalog). The package was designed specifically for mechanical contractors and engineers who design and build HVAC, plumbing, sanitary, process piping, water, wastewater, high purity, and general piping systems. The application is spec-driven and produces BOMs in multiple formats to fit your needs. You can export a BOM to facilitate ordering components. The product also has an ISO module to produce drawings for prefabrication.

Pipe designer 3D 3.5 draws all fittings, valves, and pumps parametrically as 3D custom objects, giving you graphically scaled representations of the actual objects. The system includes waste and vent fittings, mechanical joint, union joint, no-hub, bell, and spigot, as well as utility programs through which you can create your own steel shapes, pumps, vessels, tanks, hangers, and special equipment drawn as 3D objects. The package also includes a steel shapes module.

Because Pipe Designer uses AutoCAD as an engine, designers can take advantage of all of the upgraded AutoCAD and Architectural Desktop features. PipeDesigner 3D's libraries are accessible in AutoCAD Palette format. While AutoCAD 2004 produced a 40% increase in speed and a 40% reduction in file size, PipeDesigner 3D's VSME technology amplifies these reductions so that files are 75% smaller, according to the company.

PipeDesigner 3D ships with a database of fittings that contains parts from NIBCO, Tri-Clover, Condraco, Elkhart, Jay R. Smith, Hammond Valve, and Milwaukee Valve, along with generic parts, and it has more planned. The tables contain data on available part sizes, essential dimensions that define parts, and information about how each part interacts with other parts. The fittings are organized into different classes or specs. The program ships with several predefined specs such as 125lb, copper, insulation, PVC, and chilled water.

Besides common piping and plumbing items, the database includes nonstandard items used in the semiconductor, pharmaceutical, and food and beverage industries. PipeDesigner 3D 3.5 also provides several manufacturer-specific pumps with various nozzle orientations, nozzle sizes, flange ratings, and dimensions for each. See the company Web site for a demo version of PipeDesigner 3D 3.5.


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