AEC From the Ground Up-Plant Design Progress1 Jan, 2006 By: AIA ,H. Edward Goldberg
The latest in P&ID and piping programs.
With much of today's industry dependent on processes that involve the moving of liquids and gases, there is an ever-greater need for software dedicated to the design of these infrastructures. As I've mentioned in previous articles, these offerings create designs that fall into two broad groups: 2D schematics such as P&IDs (piping and instrument diagrams), and the physical design, which comprises 2D and 3D deliverables.
Software vendors have worked hard over the past years to produce tools for both schematics and the physical design that are easier to use and capable of producing deliverables that have value at each stage of the design and engineering process.
We are now seeing more 3D-based design packages at all price levels that automatically produce the 2D deliverables, reports and bills of materials that in the past were available only in higher-priced offerings.
Generally, most of these plant design solutions run on either AutoCAD or MicroStation. Some offerings, such as those from AVEVA and Intergraph, use their own graphics engine and output to either of the above widely used applications.
This article is an overview of some available products and their features. As always, be informed—go to vendor Web sites to get a better view of their offerings, and if possible, request a demonstration on one of your own projects.
AEC Design Group CADPIPE, ArTrA
CADPIPE, from AEC Design Group, is a series of AutoCAD-based applications for piping and plant design. CADPIPE Industrial 3D is the flagship option for creating 3D plant models. Its features include an equipment generator, automatic pipe placement, collision checking and automatic isometric drawing generation. CADPIPE P&ID handles creation of flow diagrams and P&IDs and can bidirectionally link to an external database such as Access, Oracle and others. CADPIPE ISO and CADPIPE Ortho applications are also available.
Once plant designs are created, ArTrA manages 3D assets for plant lifecycle management. It works with models from a variety of CAD applications. The ArTrA Librarian is used to create a database of information that links to items in the design model so that users can search for plant items and their associated data such as maintenance history, parts list, data sheets and so on.
AVEVA VANTAGE Suite
AVEVA offers four products in its VANTAGE series. VANTAGE Plant Design is a comprehensive modeling system that creates 3D designs and deliverables (figure 1). It features model management, advanced clash management, automated drawing production, visual review, automatic pipe routing and construction deliverables. Standard automated deliverables can be generated directly from the 3D model in the form of general arrangement drawings, piping isometrics and reports. The product comes with industry catalogs and specifications, and the entire Victaulic piping specifications catalog is available at no charge. In March 2006, AVEVA will launch a new Pipe Stress Interface, which will provide data integration between piping designs and stress analysis tools.
Figure 1. P&ID diagram viewed through VNET, AVEVA s Web information and collaboration portal.
VANTAGE Plant Engineering is an engineering data management system, built on Oracle technology, that can be operated across globally distributed project teams. The VANTAGE Plant Engineering P&ID drafting application uses AutoCAD or MicroStation as its underlying CAD engine. It manages the flow of engineering data from its own database, front-end process data, P&ID, the 3D model, project control and material management databases. Client-specific and industry-standard tag numbering and symbology conventions are followed, which ensures that the product can be used across a wide range of industries such as offshore, onshore, power, food and pharma.
Bentley Systems Bentley Plant
Bentley offers a very large number of plant design solutions based on both MicroStation and AutoCAD. Because of limited space, only a few are listed here (figure 2).
Figure 2. Bentley's AutoPLANT product runs on AutoCAD, and its PlantSpace product runs on MicroStation. Bentley is working to pull these two plant design suites together to offer users a single application that they can run on either platform. Image courtesy of Veco.
Engineering analysis solutions include tools to analyze stress and pipe stress, fluid flow and pulsation, and local stress. AutoPIPE calculates piping code, stresses, loads and deflections under static and dynamic loading conditions. PlantFLOW handles pipe network flow analysis using real-world 3D geometry.
2D tools generate intelligent plant schematics and instrumentation design and detail for plan design and maintenance. They include AutoPLANT P&ID and PlantSpace P&ID.
Plant information can be shared, synchronized and secured, and data can be leveraged throughout the plant lifecycle and on future projects. ProjectWise is an Internet-based management environment. Bentley Knowledge Manager extracts and cross-references tag information from drawings and documents, and Bentley Vision manages plant data and documents throughout the plant lifecycle.
3D physical design solutions handle the modeling of process, power, industrial and manufacturing facilities. AutoPLANT Isometrics uses spec-driven routing and component placement for isometric drafting. AutoPLANT Structural Detailer is designed for 3D structural design and NC and PPS/ERP detailing. AutoPLANT Equipment models 3D parametric equipment using object-oriented technology. Bentley Piping is used in a MicroStation or AutoCAD environment to route pipelines and place piping components.
Bentley says its AutoPLANT product, which runs on AutoCAD, is the most widely used piping, plant design and plant management software. Bentley also notes that its PlantSpace product, which runs on MicroStation, was the first fully rules-driven product on the market, developed originally by Bechtel as 3DM and acquired by Bentley in 1995.
Bentley is working to pull these two plant design suites together to offer users a single design application that runs on AutoCAD amd MicroStation. Bentley has already streamlined its licensing so that one license covers either version.
COADE CADWorx Plant Design Suite
COADE focuses on delivering an integrated solution that makes plant information available to subsequent stages of the engineering and construction process. Its CADWorx AutoCAD-based plant design suite is scalable to any size project and is built on a totally open architecture.
CADWorx Plant Professional uses specification-driven tools to ensure that the right piping components are placed in the model each time. Bills of materials can be created directly from the model or from within the project database. The suite comes with structural steel capabilities that employ framing, ladder, stair and ladder routines. Tools are available to model equipment, ducting and cable trays. To ensure a clash-free model, users can choose to be instantly alerted to a clash or perform batch collision checks as needed.
This package has bidirectional links to COADE's CAESAR II and PV Elite packages for piping and vessel engineering analysis. The creation of stress diagrams and links to ROBOT Millennium for structural analysis are also available.
CADWorx P&ID gives users the flexibility to create intelligent process diagrams (figure 3). As items are placed in the drawing, they are bidirectionally linked to an external database. To ensure that the latest P&ID and project information is available, CADWorx P&ID allows the linking of any document to any component in the project. This capability is enhanced by publishing a P&ID project with all associated database information and documents in a form that can be accessed by anyone with Internet Explorer. Users can also create instrument loop diagrams directly from their project databases.
Figure 3. Coade CADWorx P&ID creates process diagrams. As items are placed in the drawing, they are bidirectionally linked to an external database.
Intergraph SmartPlant P&ID 4.2
The latest release of Intergraph's SmartPlant P&ID offers three main functionality enhancements: system editing, update drawings and display sets. System editing takes advantage of connectivity between plant items, such as equipment, piping and instruments, along with established rules. Users can set a property value on one item, such as a pipe, and have it flow (propagate) to the connected items defined by rules. System editing provides real-time user feedback. Once the property of an item is selected, users can view the system editing scope for that property.
The Update Drawings tool analyzes drawings and provides visual feedback in Drawing Manager or in a Microsoft Excel report, detailing which drawings are out-of-date with respect to the criteria analyzed (figure 4). Drawings are analyzed by a process that checks for data dictionary changes, including specific lists and filters, format changes, symbol changes, moved and missing symbols, rules changes and Options Manager changes such as heat tracing, gapping and symbology.
Figure 4. With Integraph SmartPlant P&ID s Update Drawings feature, drawings are checked for changes to the data dictionary, formats, symbols, rules and more.
Display sets enable users to see what they need to see to design more effectively. They are automatically available in each P&ID of the plant and for every user. Previous versions of SmartPlant allowed users to define display filter tabs within the drawing environment.
ProCAD 2D Designer, 3Dsmart
2D DESIGNER is ProCAD's 2D piping and plant design software suite that runs on AutoCAD. 3DSMART is ProCAD's 3D design solution, which features these modules: 3D Modeler, Project Manager, Specification Manager, BOM Generator and BOM Settings Manager. 3DSMART Modeler is a database-driven application that runs within AutoCAD. It provides a full set of intelligent modeling tools for plant design, skid design and other specialized construction.
The Project Manager organizes project settings and data. The Specification Manager is a piping specifications management program that allows users to generate multiple piping specifications.
The Bill of Materials (BOM) Generator helps manage a project's material easily and efficiently. Users can generate reports for a single 3D model or select a group of models and extract a BOM for an entire project. Finally, the BOM Settings Manager lets users customize the BOM report fields and format to conform to company standards.
QuickPen Int'l PipeDesigner 3D 3.6
Pipe Designer is a 3D piping design program based on AutoCAD. It ships with a database of fittings commonly used for piping drawings. The database contains parts from NIBCO and Tri-Clover as well as generic parts. The tables contain data on available part sizes, essential dimensions that define parts and information about how each part interacts with other parts.
In the latest version, Watts carriers further enhance the extensive hanger and carrier libraries introduced in v3.5. The Q-Palettes toolbar now includes a fly-out carrier menu that lets users load both Watts carriers and Zurn carriers into AutoCAD palettes. To make carrier access even easier, v3.6 introduces the Q-carriers toolbar, which allows users to quickly toggle between the Watts carriers library and the Zurn carriers library.
The new Sections toolbar decreases the amount of time it takes to initiate, target and save clipped views by allowing users to automatically initiate a view, pick a target, enter a view name and save it to the AutoCAD view utility. The Sloped Route toolbar provides quick access to sloped router line commands and includes values for positive and negative slope, as well as automatic 1/4 and 1/8 slope values.
H. Edward Goldberg, AIA, NCARB, is a practicing licensed architect and AEC industry analyst. Ed's full-length book, Autodesk Architectural Desktop 2006: A Comprehensive Tutorial (Prentice Hall; www.prenhall.com) is now available. Contact Ed for online Architectural Desktop training delivered directly to the desktop. Visit www.hegra.org for more information, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Author: H. Edward Goldberg
In her easy-to-follow, friendly style, long-time Cadalyst contributing editor Lynn Allen guides you through a new feature or time-saving trick in every episode of her popular AutoCAD Video Tips. Subscribe to the free Cadalyst Video Picks newsletter, and we'll notify you every time a new video tip is published. All exclusively from Cadalyst!