What's New in Generation 6 of MPDS4

CAD Schroer releases the result of years of research, analysis and development with the latest generation of MPDS4 R6. The 3D design solution open a new chapter for the integrated planning of manufacturing plants and factories. The new R6 generation of MPDS4 is available now.

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New Features, Updates and Enhancements

Significantly expanded: Piping catalog

The pipe catalog in MPDS4 has been completely revised and reorganized. In the process, a clear organization of the individual standards, such as DIN, ANSI and BS, was a high priority. More extensive pipeline specifications were also included here, to make it easier for new users of the software to start their specification-driven pipeline planning with good examples.

Completely customizable: Mechanical handling conveyor catalog

The Mechanical handling conveyor system catalogs have been fundamentally revised. Many new standard conveyors and related items have been added to the catalog. These are fully configurable in terms of the dimensions of the individual conveyor component or of the conveyed material. Fundamental planning of conveyor lines in a plant or factory is greatly simplified, since far more suppliers components can be covered by the new catalog.

Laser scanner data can be integrated as 3D Point Clouds

With the new MPDS4 version, laser scanner data can now be uploaded in the form of monochrome or coloured point clouds. Currently, MPDS4 supports the point cloud formats PTX, XYC and OOC. The uploaded point cloud can then be clipped to a specific area in MPDS4. That allows an MPDS4 3D design to be compared to the real-life plant or factory. It also completely eliminates labour-intensive measurements on site, since measurements can now be taken in MPDS4. 

Completely reworked Version Management Tool

The MPDS4 Version Management tool has been revised in the new software version and made easier to use. Thus it is now simple to create individual versions (what if’s) within the MPDS4 design, and to merge them later on. The vastly improved interface gives clear understanding of which components have issues as well as viewing and helping to solve them. 

New Hierarchy Dialog

In the new version of MPDS4, the hierarchy dialog for administering systems and sub-systems in MPDS4 has been completely revised. For instance, users can access dynamic filtering mechanisms in order to choose a system more quickly. The entire system structure can now also be exported after it is created, and then imported into a new project. That makes it much simpler to create systems in new similar projects.

Equipment dialog improvements to optimize model loading

In order to make it even easier to load and import models in MPDS4, the dialog for loading models has been further optimized. Individual directories where the models are typically found can be saved as favourites in the dialog and the parametric equipment settings are more dynamic thanks to an auto filter. It is also quicker to choose systems, since the hierarchy dialog now only shows the relevant systems during the model loading process. 

Optimized Model Export

Model exports in MPDS4 have also been optimized, and now include many new tools to make exports more flexible. For instance, a plant or factory can now also be exported in the form of individual 3D models. Before the export, the entire factory can be analysed in terms of the individual model sizes being created, which optimizes the export. Each exported model is exported using a reference point, so the plant can also easily be uploaded to customers plants with different coordinate systems. The spatial relationship between the models always remains the same. 

Reducing the model size for export

Another benefit comes from the features for reducing overall model complexity. Here, users can determine the maximum model size for an export in advance; if these are exceeded, those components are transformed into a box. This can also be done with models that are not to be provided in detail in the export. These functions help simplify data exchanges with third-party systems, and thus support better in-house and external collaborations. For instance, MPDS4 3D models can quickly and easily be prepared for use in other 3D programs.

Improved 2D drafting

Drawing functions in MPDS4 have been significantly improved, and were coupled much more closely to the 3D environment. For instance, dimensions in a 2D drawing that were derived from the MPDS4 3D design can now be updated. As a result, any changes to the 3D design will also automatically update all of the 2D dimensions for the new component positions. That saves an enormous amount of time, since the dimensions in the 2D drawing no longer need to be modified manually. 

Free placement of catalog components

With the new version of MPDS4, individual catalog components can be inserted into the plant even more dynamically. For instance, a flange or a valve can simply be chosen from the catalog and dynamically placed in a pipeline. The component will automatically orient itself according to the direction of the pipe. When it is placed, the pipeline will automatically be broken at this spot, and the component dropped in. With free placement, auxiliary points are defined for the pipeline, instance.g. to place components exactly in the middle of a pipe section. For connections, the component to be loaded is automatically oriented to the existing connection. Naturally, this function applies to all of the MPDS4 catalogs, such as pipeline construction, ducting, cable route planning and materials handling. 

Adding Nozzles to Equipment

With the new version, MPDS4 offers even easier creation and use of individual items of equipment. Uploaded models, for instance tanks, can have nozzles added directly in MPDS4 from the wide range available. MPDS4 uses the standard catalog and its parametric components to create every imaginable flanged nozzle. First, the user chooses the position and orientation of the nozzle, then chooses a flanged nozzle from the extensive catalog or configures a new one. Once it is positioned, this nozzle is a permanent part of the model, and will be shown with this 3D item of equipment for every drawing derivation and model export. This functionality supports pipeline construction by letting you generate individual equipment easily from the generic. It also reduces the lead times that would normally be needed to have another department or supplier create a new component model. So use the same basic tank, but add project specific nozzles to each instance of the tank.

New: Creating shortcuts for equipment and catalog components

The new version of MPDS4 lets you create shortcuts for frequently used catalog components and 3D models. These are then shown on the Dashboard as standard. As soon as a model or component is added to the shortcuts, you never need to search for this equipment again. A single click on the shortcut will load the selected equipment directly. Shortcuts can also be moved after being created into the MPDS4 Tablet Menu. In general, shortcuts make it easier to find frequently used components, so it is faster to create your design.

New options: Intelligent in-graphics drag tool handles speed manipulation

In the new version of MPDS4, the dynamic tool for dragging and rotating objects offers an additional option for interactive use. When you select any instance, a new small blue dot will be shown on its datum. Clicking on this dot will automatically enable the drag tool. For components located directly on a pipeline, such as valves and flanges, the “drag on the pipeline” tool will automatically be enabled, allowing you to dynamically drag the component precisely along the pipeline. It also makes working with steel frames even simpler and more dynamic.

High performance: The centreline routing tool

The routing tool has been significantly further optimized in the new MPDS4 version. The already-mature tool now allows even higher-performance operation to help plan complex plants and factories. Individual pipes and conveyor lines can now be created even more easily and dynamically.

Improved zone handling

With the clipping box introduced in the new version of MPDS4, it is now very simply to create planning zones. The clipping box can easily delimit a space for a zone, using drag & drop, and then generate the zone directly. The clipping box then allows you to limit the representation 3D plant view to the individual zone boundaries or to edit the zone more easily. 

Nuts and bolts for flange connections

In the new version, the MPDS4 piping catalog was expanded to include fixings, such as nuts and bolts. The new components can be placed on a flange pair automatically using a tool; the orientation and type of screw connection can be easily modified. Naturally, all of the nuts and bolts are described in the detailed parts list. 

Pipe fall Tool

Pipe fall Tool In the new version of MPDS4, the automatic creation of pipe falls has completely overhauled, especially in the case of non-planar piping, making this feature is even more intuitive to use. 

New options: Coordinate system symbol

For even simpler navigation in the 3D space, the 3D view can now also be rotated in MPDS4 using the coordinate system symbol at the bottom left of the graphics window.

User Interface Customisation

The new user interface is completely customisable at three levels. A user can show / hide / change button size of tools in the ribbon and dashboard. A single command returns the interface to the start-up state. Administrators can manipulate buttons, groups and even ribbons to create an optimal company or department user interface. Dialogs can now be created using the industry standard GUI tool – Qt Designer. 

New in Project Manager


The new version of MPDS4 Project Manager, the tool for simplified project management, has a completely revised user interface. A ribbon menu was used to structure the individual features making them - more accessible for users. Additional information and descriptions can now be saved in the Project Manager for each individual project. In addition, the Project Manager can now also store detailed objectives for a project. During the project, the MPDS4 Project Manager shows the degree to which a milestone has been realised. That gives project managers an excellent overview of their projects, and lets them perform ongoing control and monitoring with the latest data. 

Special viewing functions

The MPDS4 Project Manager has also been further improved in terms of the viewing functionality and the exchanging of data. Individuals wishing to view project status can now be assisted far more effectively; data and documents can also be viewed without MPDS4, directly from the Project Manager, using various viewer tools. 

Sending a database as e-mail

In addition, a project database can now be sent by email at the touch of a button. The system puts all of the data into a portable format and sends the database as an email attachment – quickly and easily. Effective immediately, the MPDS4 Project Manager is included in every MPDS4 package. 

New in P&ID

Update of the DIN EN ISO 10628 Standard to the 2013-04 Version

The new MEDUSA4 R6 comes with the updated DIN EN ISO 10628 as per the 2013-04 version. It contains all the symbols in accordance with the current standard. The old version of the DIN EN ISO 10628 symbol catalog is, of course, still available to the user.

Language–independent Symbol Properties

In MEDUSA4 R6 the properties for individual symbols and whole diagrams have been designed to be language independent. This means that when switching between languages in the project configuration mode, the property descriptions change accordingly, irrespective of the language used to create the diagram.

Enhanced Options for Crossing Pipelines

In MEDUSA4 R6 processing of lines which cross in diagrams has been optimised. The user now has various options to display them as gaps or curves. Priority over which line types show the break can also be configured. multiple crossovers can be changed to the desired configuration by a single mouse click.

Search Function for Equipment and Piping

The search functions have been extended in MEDUSA4 R6 to aid finding components and pipe lines in complex flow diagrams. By inputting a component or pipeline ID, it is now possible to immediately locate it automatically in the diagram and highlight it.

Reports available in PDF, XLS, RTF or HTML formats

With MEDUSA4 R6 report formats have been extensively extended. In MEDUSA4 reports can now be generated in PDF, XLS, RTF, HTML as well as CSV formats. Also the format of individual reports can be customised for individual organisations. The option to create reports as tables on drawings and to preview in a dialog are, of course, also still available.

New Symbol Property Tables

This new function has been added in MEDUSA4 R6 to allow the generation of symbol property tables. Tables connected to the symbols can now be placed onto the diagram sheet. These tables contain the attribute values of the associated symbols. If the attributed values are changed, the values in the associated tables change automatically. Individual tables can be configured and can be adapted to respective corporate standards.

Viewing more detailed Data and Attributes

As an extensive 3D system for reviewing current planning data, MPDS4 REVIEW features tools for measuring and viewing detailed data and the attributes of individual components. With the new version, the software now includes the option of viewing even more detailed data and attributes of individual components during the planning phase. 

New: Full-screen Mode

Now the software has a full-screen mode that makes it much easier to present the data. By using various new light and shadow settings, models can now be made convincingly expressive, with much better representation. 

New: 3D Point Clouds

In the new version, the previously supported HSF and MOD formats have now been supplemented by additional formats which extend our 3D viewing possibilities. The new supported standard formats are HMF, STL and VRML. In addition, 3D point clouds in OOC format are supported, as well as plant planning data in the proprietary DGN® and new plant interchange ISO 15926 XML format. As a result, MPDS4 REVIEW has become a comprehensive 3D reviewing tool for plant and factory planning data from a wide range of systems and planning tools

New products

New: Update Client

With the latest version of MPDS4 and MEDUSA4 we deliver an update client. This automatically notifies the administrator of the software whether updates are available, for MPDS4 or MEDUSA4, then downloads and installs them on request. For the automatic download of new updates, access to the CAD Schroer Customer Portal is required, then the client will automatically recognize available updates. 

New: Trial Version

The new version 6.1 of MEDUSA4 and MPDS4 can now be downloaded from the CAD Schroer website as a free trial version. Of course, CAD Schroer provides the testers with complete documentation and tutorials in order to make evaluation easy. For individual questions about the software the MPDS4 and MEDUSA4 experts are available to testers via online support. 

New & Free: MPDS4 VIEW

In addition to the commercially available MPDS4 REVIEW, CAD Schroer has released a free 3D viewer with the new version. MPDS4 VIEW can now be downloaded from the CAD Schroer homepage.MPDS4 REVIEW