The P&ID process requires an intelligent schematic design. This means that behind the symbols and lines in the drawing there is a logical engine that knows what is connected to what, which port it is connected to, how large the pipe is etc. Autcad 2D does not have this intelligence. (Autocad plant does).
Some of our electrical schematics partners that provide such intelligent schematics systems also have P&ID solutions. We are working with them to provide the required interfaces to the SW P&ID process, In fact Zuken were demoing a prototype of this at SolidWorks World this year.
I hope that these will be available before long.
The interface uses a .xml file. Pretty much any smart schematics package should be able to output this format so other systems can easily be supported.
That's about the best I can tell you at the moment. I'll post more information as and when I can.
Thanks Andy we're looking forward to it!
Is there any update from Zuken regarding P&ID for SolidWorks ?
It appears that most of the engineering companies involvolved in plant design generate xml files from their P&ID’s. In order to generate the file, the text data must already be present in the drawing file. The text data (i.e. valve or equipment number, size, line from and line to, etc) is stored as attributes applied to each block in the drawing file. When a drawing block is created, it can be set up with attribute fields which will prompt the drafter for information when the block is inserted into a drawing.
The process begins in the standard version of AutoCAD, where the P&ID drafter has a pre-created set of drawing blocks. For each different item on a P&ID there will exist a block for it (i.e. 1 block for knife gate valves, 1 for centrifugal pumps, 1 for butterfly valves), when a valve or pump is added to the P&ID, the drafter will insert the relevant block and then enter the relevant attribute data. These attributes can be either set to display as text underneath the block in the drawing (such as an equipment or valve number) or hidden and only display when the properties of the block are viewed.
Once the attributes for the blocks are defined, a .xml or .xls file is able to be created by exporting the attributes from AutoCAD, this is done by using the attribute extraction tool, which can extract attributes from multiple drawings (say all drawings in an area or even a project) to create a database of all the equipment in those drawings (providing it has been entered in previously by the drafter). Using excel and xml schema files (known as .xsd files), the xml data can be manipulated/rearranged to a layout suitable for valve lists, mechanical equipment lists or a suitable format for SolidWorks to use and interpret.
A relevant AutoCAD tutorial describing the process can be found here: http://www.we-r-here.com/cad/tutorials/level_2/2-4.htm for more information on xml and the .xsd schemas see here: http://www.mrexcel.com/articles/using-xml-in-excel.php
There exists another version of AutoCAD called AutoCAD P&ID which is inherently set up for this feature and provides greater ease of use, but I have not come across any companies that use it.
I don’t often find reason to promote AutoCAD products but it seems that this is the current tool for the job. It would be great to see this functionality in SolidWorks: i.e. have a swx block that is linked to a model, that can be put into a particular line, allowing the user to design both model, P&ID and mechanical equipment list concurrently.
Hope this is helpful.
Thank you for your research into this issue. Of course I hope that you comments will illuminate how incomplete SolidWorks is for product development. Somehow SW thinks we only use SW to design mechanical parts, which are incorporated into assemblies that have no process or electrical functionality.
I often have to provide PID's for clients. And I use SW to perform this task because I do not want to pay for AutoCad premium services that I rarely use. So, I have created "blocks" for various valves, heat exchangers, compressors, etc. which can be used to create a PID. But even after all this is done, It is still very labor intensive. In fact, downright painful. I do have Routing, but it is totally useless for PID's. Too bad. In my world, the PID comes before the detailed piping design. I have heard that Visio might provide a cheap solution, but given that Routing ( once upon a time Piping) has been in existence over ten years, should we not expect that PID would be a reasonable improvement????
Likewise there is no functionality for wiring diagrams in SolidWorks. I do my wiring diagrams on Auto Cad LT 2001 with a Via add-in, on a very old x32 laptop. No x64 support for this application. Do you think that there may be others who design products with electrical components??? Apparently the Dream Team at SW is singularily focused upon "mechanical" assemblies which have no process or electrical importance.
I would be very interested to know if Dassault Sytems Catia supports these functionalities. And if there is any possibility to upgrade SW to Catia..................
Too bad. In my world, the PID comes before the detailed piping design.
Yes, I agree with you, usually people cerate P&ID at the first stage then continue to build the 3D piping.
Likewise there is no functionality for wiring diagrams in SolidWorks. I do my wiring diagrams on Auto Cad LT 2001 with a Via add-in, on a very old x32 laptop. No x64 support for this application. Do you think that there may be others who design products with electrical components???
Have you try this module : http://www.zuken.com/products/e3-wireworks.aspx
P&ID should come first: but how about "concurrently?!": i.e. as you populate your P&ID, you could start laying out your model equipment and have your mechanical list parametrically created! That would be great!
Ever got to the end of your P&ID, started to lay it out and realise "hey that's just not going to work like that"... ? Or had a Mechanical equipment list that didn't match the P&ID or the assembly model entirely?
Let’s get concurrent SolidWorks! Like the rest of the product
Keep up the good work...
At least Dassault Systemes are offering a “free” alternative to AutoCAD: “Draftsight”. It looks like attributes and xml are supported – so hopefully you won’t have to shell out any more. I haven’t tested this functionality yet so don’t quote me on it…
It’s perhaps doubtful that people would want to shell out for SolidWorks premium for this functionality either, given that most process/electrical engineers won’t even use even basic SolidWorks functionality. Usually only 2d layouts:
Yes Visio is an option: but have you ever tried to draw in it? Let’s just say there is a very good reason why Microsoft aren’t known for their drawing packages… Visio, for what were doing, means a great deal of re-work and double ups to get it to a deliverable standard.. never a good idea.
The reasoning that I have heard is that Solidworks is simply choosing to ignore this demographic in its target market; thus not offering this functionality or claiming to be the leader in this area. There are some other very holistic solutions out there with regards to process and electrical but they too are at a price.
Personally I think that anything autocad standard can do- Solidworks should be able to do better: so none of the reasons thus far, for me, have been particularly valid. It should be on the map if the resources are available to develop it. Surely it’s a question of joining the dots between existing functionality: blocks, custom properties, models, tables, routing… etc. It’s the “extra mile” that seems to be the problem. That said: I’m not a developer and probably don’t fully appreciate how long this would take to do.
I know of many users that would jump at the software if this kind of stuff was built in from the ground up…
I couldn't agree more. Autocad is unrivaled at drawing and editing lines. Trying to do a line drawing in SWX is absolutely PAINFUL. SWX is great, but if your drawing package includes P&ID's or wiring diagrams, be prepared for pain.
How are you progressing with this "P&ID > XML > solidworks" tech?
Very keen to hear from the industry how folks are making this actualy work; it's a nice demo but if you know of anyone doing this please let me know.
Its been a while: just checking in to see if any more has happened in this arena?
Can you tell me how the sample P&ID xml was generatied; from which package?: can the source file be made available?
C:\ProgramData\SolidWorks\SolidWorks 2012\design library\routing\piping\pnid sample 2011.xml
I see a few enhancements in the area of electronic routing with similar functionality: did anyone join the dots yet?
Would like to know minimum requirement for “values”. Do you need them all??: there are 48 values in the sample: only 26 used – 4 duplicates.
In Excel, is it possible to view the column headers by their description (as shown in the xml source task bar) rather than “valuexx”?
There also appears to be some new enhancements for 2011"
"• The Tag Schema Manager for defining the syntax and format of tags in imported
• You can use the Tag Schema Manager to define the syntax and format of tags in imported schematics, which allows SolidWorks to interpret the data in P&ID documents. You can define the number of fields in each tag, the name of each field, and the number of characters in each field. You can also define the delimiter character."
Not had a chance to play with it yet but looks promising.
Good to see you are still around :-)
The only problem is it will require libraries to be built that contain this information (I have just started updating my libraries to contain the ISOGEN codes so it can export to ISOGEN), now we will need to go thru all of our libraries again if we want to embrace this new functionality.
Long time no see! Yes Library creation will always be a pain but if its something that is used regularly; its time well spent. I know your not a stranger to this notion .
Still I'd rather have the ability to do this than not at all.
Perhaps the development of the provided tool that allows you to link existing 2d attribute blocks to models (flagging missing data) whilst you are working in either environment would be a useful solution: so you could do it easily on the fly.
Better still: the SolidWorks community would benefit from more users like yourself who get on with it and then share their libraries with the community!
Good to hear from you...
Hi Merry! Just got back to this thread and wondered if you have successfully updated your libraries/have a useable workflow for generating isogen drawings? If so, will you be making them available? cheers
I want to jump in here and agree that the P&ID comes before the 3D model/layout but it frequently changes too. This can cause alot of rework in the model due to changes in "design intent".
We use Acad Lt for P&IDs, SW to see how it will fit into the physical space and then lately SW to produce spool drawings for production.
Heres where it gets tough. SW is great for development/production type projects where you get to revist the design and improve issues found in the first production run. But in plant design, no 2 are ever the same. It must be right the 1st and only time. This means alot of time drawing/modelling/remodelling.
Spool drawings are quickest to produce (dare I say it) by hand (that hurt) where scale is less important and a tee or new branch can be added in about 30secs. I am getting pressure to go this way in the future.
Heres the question. Do you guys ever get your work 3rd party verified. We do often as part of the contractual agreement. If you do, it what form do you supply it to a verifier?
Could I ask you to send some examples of spool drawings that you produce - and images or models that show the 'real' spool. Breaking down the pipes into spools is one of the things we have been asked to implement but we need to more fully understand how different customers do this and what the output should look like.
The most common way to communicate to 3rd parties is via the .pcf file. Many analysis tools can read .pcf. If you don't want to fork out large sums of money on Isogen you could try 10PiTube (just google it, it is free!). Some customers have tried this and are happy while others say it is too simplistic. It will create a .dxf or .dwg file the same as Isogen.
Id be glade to to send you through some models and drawings of what we produce here, pls forward me a link so I can do so. I think you have my email. The Package would be pretty large and I think Ive maxed out my "yousendit" account for the month.
The model I'll send was analysised by a 3rd party using Bentley Auto Pipe. They created a model based on a drawing that I created from my model in SW. I then recieved their revised model as a 3d .dxf and read it in Autocad Lt. Then I manually dimensioned it and checked it against my model for changes. Many of these where quite subtle.
They also needed to know the mass of various valves etc, which points where anchored (like pump connections) and how much stress the pump and boiler connections could obsorb, as well as how much load the walls of the building could take at each support.
Then there came the site installation variations so the process had to be repeated.
It was as long and labourise as it sounds.
Attached is an image of the model. As a idea of scale, most of the pipe is 8.5 inch od
I used colour to seperate out the indivual spools and loose flanges. A change in colour repersents a site welded or bolted connection. This worked ok but I found some issues in the colour regeneration.
I'll send more with the package.
How do I go about exporting a SW model (dwg) to a .pcf file?
Glad to hear spool development is on the map: its quite common practice to run the entire line around the plant and then break it down into manufacturable sections.
The way I have managed this in the past was to create everything in the one route, and then use configurations to suppress components for the purposes of drawing spools individually. This was problematic and tedious - especially when making changes to the route.
A few ideas on the subject: Colours also would definitely be handy: Having a way of designating the "service" (i.e. air, diesel) etc.. of pipe which dictated the colour of a line/spool to the existing standards with the ability to tabulate this would be very useful. As would the ability to identify each section of pipe with a number (more involved than an item number- linked to the "service") without having to edit the custom properties for each config... Auto balloon doesn't cut it- it always attaches to the end of the pipe so it is impossible to discern which of the adjoining components it's pointing at and you end up having to do it manually anyway.
I do agree with alot of the information that is being discussed here. I too am discouraged that there is no solution thus far from the p&id process to isometric single line drawing creation. I feel that indeed this topic has been ignored for discussion for sometime. We upgraded to Solidworks premimum licenses for the sole purpose of pipe routing and was quick to realize that there isnt a solution capturing all areas form beginning to end. I did However come across a SW solution parter that sell a package called smap3d. See the attached link and comment if you have insite to this software. Let keep this discussion constantly going so others people in the SW community can share their experiences thus far. http://www.smap3d.com/Piping/en/overview.html Thank you, Justin
I agree with you that this thread should remain active. While I have known and commented previously on the lack of SW ability to do P&ID diagrams, I have always thought that one could create a simple 2D piping diagram by creating blocks for valves and other piping components and lines to connect them. But after a lot of effort over the past 24 hours I have come to find that SW cannot even do blocks as well as you can do in an Excel spreadsheet. A few of the problems with blocks in SW:
1. You cannot create blocks in SW without dimensions. You can turn the dimensions "off" but when you move a block or group of blocks, all of the dimensions reappear during moving which is very annoying.
2. It seems to be impossible to scale blocks, or more importantly groups of blocks when trying to get the diagram to fit your page. Just trying to do so crashes SW on my computer running SW2009.
3. Just trying to mirror a block will crash SW. About 8-10 times just this evening.
4. Converting a piping diagram with blocks to a .dwg file for editing in DraftSight is no answer either. DraftSight won't even turn off the dimensions on the blocks. So much for DraftSight being an answer to AutoCad..........
So, I fear that SW is fundamentially flawed when it comes to basic 2D drafting. And if you invested in SW Premium to get Routing only to learn that you will also need a program that will do P&ID like smap3d for about 4,000 Euros, plus annual maintenance..............
But the good news for me is that when I get back to my office tommorrow, I can still maybe boot up AutoCad 2001LT on an old laptop and get the piping diagram done in about 20-30 minutes. But I am very disappointed to find out that SW cannot even do blocks as well as Excel.
Just had a play with the new spool functionality in 2012 beta 2 and wanted to say publicly: Nice work! It's a big step in the right direction!
My appreciation is amplified by just having experienced the world of PDS... I do feel sorry for the engineers in the world who sit in that dark cave all day.
thanks for your (and your team's) efforts: they are greatly appreciated. This is one occasion where I would even jump the gun and implement Beta software.
We have solution now for P&ID which works as add on too of SolidWorks.
Please contact me for further details.