The advantages of integrated piping design and how to ensure plant design projects are a lasting success
Cambridge, UK and Pittsford, NY – 28 April 2021: Piping design is one of the most important design disciplines in the field of process engineering. Due to the enormous complexity of modern process plants, specialised software solutions are required for fast, high-quality design implementation.
If a comprehensive integrated solution is used from the outset, this benefits not only the design phase, but also the operation and associated maintenance of the plant.
Data breaks are a real challenge for piping design
Piping design is often plagued by breaks in data flow between individual project phases. Design concepts often arise as paper sketches and must then be replicated in the form of P&IDs. Parts lists and other reports are often then generated manually. The components and pipework described in the P&IDs then have to be modelled in 3D, which represents another data break. These breaks are a prime opportunity for human error to creep in throughout the design process.
All too often, software is still being used today to create P&IDs as simple graphical illustrations which do not contain detailed information about the individual components and process lines. 3D pipework design is also being performed without the benefit of a standards-based catalogue or consistency checker, even though it is precisely this type of rule-based and specification-driven approach that ensures design quality. Once the 3D pipework design has been finalised, piping isometric drawing are often required for fabrication. Without specialised software to generate the piping isometrics from the 3D pipework model, they have to be drawn manually, which is a laborious, time-consuming process, prone to human error.
A virtual tour through a plant is an impressive way to present the design to the end customer. The improved visualisation with a walkthrough helps to recognise errors at an early stage and thus increase the efficiency of the design process.
Smart design avoids errors in the design and problems at the construction site
For companies that want to set high standards in their industry, the question arises as to what their next steps might be to achieve their goal. How can the automation of design processes be improved, not just marginally, but really taken to a new level? The key to success is to focus on the break points, because no matter how well individual processes may already be digitalised, if there is a break in the transfer of information between processes, the automation stops abruptly and the scope for errors increases. With an integrated software solution for comprehensive plant and pipework design, data breaks can be avoided right from the start.
When designing plants, the challenge is to keep the data and specifications of individual components up to date in all project areas. This concerns areas such as piping design, steel design, cable routing and the creation of piping and instrumentation diagrams (P&IDs). Due to the ever-increasing time and cost pressure in many industries, it is important to manage information efficiently and also to be able to access data quickly. Efficient design also makes it easier to deal with maintenance work, and also more complex tasks such as plant modifications.
„Ready for intelligent plant and piping design?“
The M4 PLANT software offers a wide range of functionality for P&ID creation and 3D plant and piping design. The software also generates fully dimensioned piping isometrics completely automatically from the 3D pipework. The easy to use P&ID tools are an integral part of M4 PLANT. Comprehensive symbol libraries enable the quick and easy creation of P&IDs which contain intelligent attribute information. This valuable data can be reported and used as the basis for subsequent 3D piping design.
The high degree of design automation can considerably shorten design times. Users are provided with extensive catalogues, not only for P&ID creation, but also for 3D pipework and other design disciplines, which further accelerate the design process. With M4 PLANT, CAD Schroer offers an integrated solution for all phases of plant design.
The piping package for integrated design
The engineering software developer offers a software package specifically for plant & pipework design. It contains all the modules necessary to meet even the most demanding design challenges. The plant design process begins with P&ID creation for which an intelligent P&ID module is provided. Modules are also provided for designing 3D pipework, hangers & supports, steelwork, ducting, cable routing and much more. When the 3D design is complete, 2D drawings can be generated directly from the model. To ensure a seamless integration with manufacturing, fully-dimensioned piping isometric drawings can be automatically produced together with NC pipe-bending instructions, ready for fabrication at the push of a button. In addition, the software can be used to perform interactive 3D walkthroughs and generate videos. The entire plant design can also be exported for viewing in virtual and augmented reality.
All modules for piping design in one software package
Piping package: Trial version free of charge for 30 days
The M4 PLANT piping package is available for €167 per month directly from the manufacturer, and gives a rapid return on investment due to its extensive time-saving and quality enhancing functionality for pipework design. A free 30-day downloadable trial of the software is available for new users to try out the software for their own applications. Comprehensive video tutorials and 1-to-1 support are also provided to ensure a rapid start with the software.
Efficient design right from the start
The use of a modern plant design system such as M4 PLANT offers enormous savings potential for pipework design. This is because many costly design tasks are streamlined, and manual processes are eliminated. Furthermore, the integrated consistency and interference checkers detect problems that would otherwise cause unnecessary rework and downtime on the construction site, which can be particularly costly later on.