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339days
Posts: 19
Registered: ‎07-15-2010
Message 1 of 8 (761 Views)

Similar Components with Differing Descriptions

761 Views, 7 Replies
07-24-2012 10:53 AM

Allow me to preface my message by saying I am a new user migrating from CADWrox. The company I am with is exploring using Plant 3D as a replacement to CADWorx. I am in the role of Piping Engineer and am responsible for developing our piping specifications. I am also a former heavy CAD user and act as the office guru on most issues CAD related. I am currently testing Plant 3D for mass use within the office.

 

With that being said, here is my current dilemma. First of all I utilized keywords quite heavily in CADWorx, so naturally, none of my specs are converting in any condition that saves me any time in getting the specs worthy for use. Essentially I am starting from scratch.

 

Therefore, I started up a new spec and went to add some pipe. I open the ASME Pipes and Fittings catalog and filter down by PIPE, PL end type, in the range from 2" to 2". My specification calls for SCH 80, but there is none listed. So that is the first issue: Do I need to add/modify/build catalogs to include such common parts as 2" SCH 80 A106-B pipe?

 

Moving along I was a bit confused on how to code in pipe, it all seemed to share the same Long Description (Family). My spec calls for the following: up through 2" NS is SCH 80, 3" through 10" is SCH 40, 12" up to 24" is SCH STD. Do I need to enter these as separate line items I ask myself? I begin to do a little research and find that Autodesk has provided the PIP specs. I go ahead and download them to see how they handle it, as their PN06CB1S01 specification has multiple SCH through the range of pipe sizes.

 

In the spec editor they have 5 separate entries for pipe. So that is how they do it on this end, but what does the designer have to work with? So I start up a new project and point to the PIP specs I downloaded (and had to subsequently migrate). I pull up the spec in question and begin drawing. On the Dynamic Pipe Spec Palette the pipe description says: Pipe, Seamless, PL, 80 when I draw with it, I get the following:

 

2": PIPE, SEAMLESS, 2" ND, PE, ASME B36.10, ASTM A106 GR B SMLS, SCH 80

3": PIPE, SEAMLESS, 3" ND, PE, ASME B36.10, ASTM A106 GR B SMLS, SCH 80

4": PIPE, SEAMLESS, 4" ND, PE, ASME B36.10, ASTM A106 GR B SMLS, SCH 80

 

Which does not match the spec editor description. And just as a for instance that description says:

PIPE, SEAMLESS, 3" ND, PE, ASME B36.19, ASTM A106-B (EJ=1.00), SCH STD

 

To say the least I am a bit muffed. Why did the description not match and furthermore how do you enter components, do I have to have a separate line item for every variant of a component?

 

I am coming from a program where I could type: {MAIN} PIPE {SCH}, {PIPEMAT} SMLS  in my specification.

For ALL pipe (i.e. one line item). The text in the curly brackets would then reference a separate (simple) file created in notepad that filled in the pieces when the pipe was drawn. The designer would pick "pipe" from the tool bar and the rest of the heavy lifting was handled by the spec?

 

And as a bonus what do I do when I have optional end types for pipe? As an example 2" THRD and 2" WELDED in the same specification?

Contributor
339days
Posts: 19
Registered: ‎07-15-2010
Message 2 of 8 (754 Views)

Re: Similar Components with Differing Descriptions

07-24-2012 01:39 PM in reply to: 339days

Follow Up.

 

I have kept working and found that I was working with the wrong spec loaded. This has fixed a few of my above issues. But of course, now they are spreading.

 

- Do I need to add/modify/build catalogs to include such common parts as 2" SCH 80 A106-B pipe?

 

- Why did the description not match and furthermore how do you enter components, do I have to have a separate line item for every variant of a component? I got this one answered through learning that I and the wrong spec queued up. for some reason when I migrated the PIP spec I got dozens of others and I didn't verify what spec I was using (because I though I only had one). To answer the question, you have to have a separate line entry for each variant of the item, e.g. one for SCH 80 pipe, one for SCH 40 pipie, one for SCH STD pipe

 

- What do I do when I have optional end types for pipe? As an example 2" THRD and 2" WELDED in the same specification.

 

- How do you show schedule or bore on fittings (i.e. flanges, elbows, reducers, tees)? How do you show multiple schedules on reducing fittings?

 

 

*Expert Elite*
dave.wolfe
Posts: 654
Registered: ‎12-04-2009
Message 3 of 8 (746 Views)

Re: Similar Components with Differing Descriptions

07-24-2012 05:21 PM in reply to: 339days

So there are a couple concepts that you have to get used when working with Plant 3D vs CADWorx.  In Plant 3D, the each size of a component is considered a part.  In CADWorx, we tend to consider each item with the same long description as a part which had a size range of options.

 

So Plant 3D uses the Part Family Long Description to group components together.  The result is that the part family long description should never include the size.  The part size long description is the field that includes the physical size of the component.

 

The other thing you'll want to look into is long description styles.  In effect you can do the same thing as keywords, but specifying the order and placement of the properties in the description.  The long description styles is effectively a template that you can use to modify the descriptions of a spec so that the family or size description gets updated based on column values (like schedule, size or rating).

 

Also, in the spec editor there is a check box you can check to override the sch, material code, and material as you add an item from the catalog to the spec.  

 

Plant 3D doesn't have optional endtypes, you have to create components for the end types you want to make available.

Dave Wolfe
Isaiah 57:15

ECAD, Inc.
Tips and Tricks on our blog: Process Design, from the Outside

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Contributor
339days
Posts: 19
Registered: ‎07-15-2010
Message 4 of 8 (703 Views)

Re: Similar Components with Differing Descriptions

08-13-2012 04:07 PM in reply to: dave.wolfe

Thanks for the explanation, but so far my experiences have been frustrating and annoying and just growing more so.

 

Again, my viewpoint is heavily tainted from CADWorx, but I find myself longing for the system of the pre-2013 CW specification system. Are there any other CW converts in here? What made the switch bearable?


Some of my frustrations to date:

  • Typing the same thing over and over in a component for each size variant
  • Having to have a separate component for every possible end-type configuration on a nipple, swage, etc.
  • Having to have all the drafters exit the PROGRAM to make an update to a specification
  • Specs continually mapping to my C:\ drive instead of the local network for the catalogs
  • The descriptions the designers see is cryptic, vague and generally useless (a lot of trial and error)
  • Odd errors about spec updates that change BW elbows to THRD elbows, causing a loss of time while the designer goes back to fix the issues
  • Having to convert all the specs available at the Autodesk site for 2013
  • Having disconnects for no particular reason (been trying to figure out why a Victaulic flange will not mate to a RFWN of the same rating)
  • When exporting to Excel not having the ability to edit all columns (end-type)
  • Fighting the long description styles since there isn’t a decent library to pull from (For instance going back to the ultra-rare 2” SCH 80 BW pipe)

Is there something I’m missing? This is painful and time consuming.

 

Now I understand why during the dog and pony show we weren’t shown the specification tools.

 

Bonus: I just figured out that in order to get my computer to read the network license I have to reinstall the software.

Employee
TomislavGolubovic
Posts: 534
Registered: ‎12-01-2010
Message 5 of 8 (701 Views)

Re: Similar Components with Differing Descriptions

08-13-2012 04:32 PM in reply to: 339days

I'll try and go through each of the items in the list.

 

Q: Typing the same thing over and over in a component for each size variant

A: Look at exporting the catalog to Excel, you'll be able to edit some fields, alternatively, look at the Catalog Builder. You can build parts en-masse via Excel then export to a Catalog

 

Q: Having to have a separate component for every possible end-type configuration on a nipple, swage, etc.

A: I thought that would be normal practice. I'm from a Piping Designer background (although never worked with CADWorx, but I have used PDS, PDMS and AutoPlant on all sorts of projects), I've never seen a part that is just generic and where you can have different end types.

 

Q: Having to have all the drafters exit the PROGRAM to make an update to a specification

A: Thats normal. I usually suggest to people to have two copies of a spec. One in a \Master\ folder, and one in a \Working\ folder, and the updates happen during a lunch period, or before/after work.

 

Q: Specs continually mapping to my C:\ drive instead of the local network for the catalogs

A: There are two places to change this. In the Specs and Catalog editor, click on "Tools" at the top menu and then "Modify Shared Content Folder". You change the path here to a network path. You can also do this inside Plant3D itself, the command is MODIFYSHAREDCONTENTFOLDER as one word. You will have to do this on everyones machine.

 

Q: The descriptions the designers see is cryptic, vague and generally useless (a lot of trial and error)

A: This probably relates back to the catalogs/specs. Look inside the Specs and Catalogs editor for something called "Long Description Styles". This is where you can create the long descriptions by concatenating various parameters.

 

Q: Odd errors about spec updates that change BW elbows to THRD elbows, causing a loss of time while the designer goes back to fix the issues

A: Don't know about this one, is anyone updating specs while working?

 

Q: Having to convert all the specs available at the Autodesk site for 2013

A: Some Catalogs would have been done back in 2011, or 2012, so yes, you would need to update them to 2013.

 

Q: Having disconnects for no particular reason (been trying to figure out why a Victaulic flange will not mate to a RFWN of the same rating)

A: Look at the Piping Connection Settings in the Project Properties. This is where the connections are defined. You might not have populated certain fields, which it wants to match when making a connection.

 

Q: When exporting to Excel not having the ability to edit all columns (end-type)

A: Again, refer above to Catalog editing via the Catalog Builder

 

Q: Fighting the long description styles since there isn’t a decent library to pull from (For instance going back to the ultra-rare 2” SCH 80 BW pipe)

A: No Catalog is ever going to satisfy everyone, so yes, you would be adding your own items if there isn't anything in the downloaded or installed catalogs. Again, please refer above comment about using Catalog Builder to make catalogs in excel.

 

Hope this helps you so far.



Tomislav Golubovic
Plant Solutions Engineer
Autodesk Australia / New Zealand
Autodesk, Inc.

Contributor
339days
Posts: 19
Registered: ‎07-15-2010
Message 6 of 8 (687 Views)

Re: Similar Components with Differing Descriptions

08-14-2012 07:07 AM in reply to: TomislavGolubovic

I appreciate the time you took to look over my concerns thus far...

 

One of the biggest issues moving forward (as the rest of my gripes seem to be "normal") is the description seen on the palette. I have edited the long descriptions in Excel to read what I'd like them to say, but the text in the palette does not match the long description.

 

Next up: How do you handle BW fittings? Do I need to create copies of each fitting to be able to put a schedule on the fitting?

 

For instance the current long description on a elbow reads:

ELL 90 LR, 12" ND, BW, ASME B16.9

but there is no mention of schedule. Do I have to create a barrage of parts, one with each schedule or can Plant 3D pull the schedule off the adjacent pipe?

 

Is there a manual I can print, like a PDF, of the help files? I loathe the browser based help documentation.

 

 

Contributor
339days
Posts: 19
Registered: ‎07-15-2010
Message 7 of 8 (677 Views)

Re: Similar Components with Differing Descriptions

08-14-2012 03:29 PM in reply to: 339days

Continuing to fumble though my Plant experience, I have taken previously given advice to edit in Excel - which was only eye bleedingly painful - to get the catalog part names to better coincide with what I would like to see, however, I now have another question.

 

If I use the Property Overrides function when I add a part to the spec, is there a way to prevent all three (material, material code, and schedule) from being overwritten.

 

I have the following issue in for my pipe. I have the material and material code how I want them, but when I use the Property Overrides to insert a schedule - it overrides my material and material code with blank space. While I can work around this in the mean time by reentering the material and material code data in the override prompts, I'm thinking in the future when I may not want the same characteristics for all components.

 

 

Mentor
PatrickByrne
Posts: 164
Registered: ‎10-06-2010
Message 8 of 8 (663 Views)

Re: Similar Components with Differing Descriptions

08-15-2012 03:35 AM in reply to: 339days

I am also in the process of transferring from CadWorx to Plant 3D. Here are a few things I came across in the process.

 

If you need to copy between Catalogs http://www.pdoteam.com/2012/02/copying-between-catalogs-for-autocad-plant-3d/

 

There are some good videos which include creating custom parts for example Expansion joints (yes they are not part of Plant3D) and Valve handles. I was able to bring in the valve handles I was using in CadWorx by this method. http://docs.autodesk.com/PLNT3D/2011/ENU/plant/pip/ap3d_movielist.htm

 

Good training manual, well worth working through http://in-the-pipes.typepad.com/in_the_pipes/2011/12/autocad-plant-3d-courseware-and-other-useful-li...

 

Plant 3D does not put the trimmed angle (cutback angle) into the material list as default, you need to edit the IsoConfig.xml file for this to happen. http://forums.autodesk.com/t5/AutoCAD-Plant-3D/How-to-get-Elbow-Bend-angles-to-isometric-Plant-3D-20...

 

Project settings, Isometric settings and Connections are all stored in their own xml files. In the case of the Isometric settings there appears to be a lot of advanced settings which are not listed in the GUI and for which there is no documentation for.

 

When using the PLANTCONVERTLINETOPIPE command be careful if you have sloping lines. For example a line falls 3 degrees and the drops vertical. If you draw this as lines and then use the PLANTCONVERTLINETOPIPE command it does not trim the elbow. It puts in a 90deg elbow and connects which can be hard to spot. The way around this is to change the PLANTSLOPETHRESHOLDANGLE to 0 and put the line in point to point.

Totally agree that the locking of the specs when a user starts Plant 3D is a pain and serves no function other than to annoy the guy writing the specs. Better to have the specs in a network location with read only permissions for the users. http://forums.autodesk.com/t5/AutoCAD-Plant-3D/Swich-off-the-locking-of-Specifications-by-Plant-3D/t...

 

The tool palette description was also a surprise, it is made up of Short Name, Spec, etc. I have been adjusting the short name but putting in a comma so when we do a BOM I will be able to separate the short name out. There is also a button in the Part Insertion which invokes the Plantspecview command, this will bring up the spec much like Specview in CadWorx. It shows all sizes unlike CadWorx which only shows what is available for the size you are working in. There are a few users which want this changed.

 

Check out the Victaulic spec works great.

 

Plant 3D does not use Isogen, it has it’s own isometric package which will improve. One of the annoying things at this stage is that not all the symbols that were available in Isogen are available in Plant 3D. This is something that they are working on. http://forums.autodesk.com/t5/AutoCAD-Plant-3D/Isometric-symbols-update/td-p/3532160

 

Isometric symbols are AutoCAD blocks which is a vast improvement when you need to change the symbol.

 

There is a Long Description (Family) and a Long Description (Size). For creating Isometrics you can specify which one to use in the material list. I have found the Long Description (Size) useful since we have a lot of special pipe which has flanges which do not match the NB of the pipe. For example DN200 flange on a DN150 pipe, I can now specify these in the Long Description (Size). In CadWorx I had to make up indivual line items.

 

There is no Isogenstartpoint to indicate the direction you want the spool numbers to appear in.

 

No weights in most of the supplied catalogs. This could be a pain when it comes time to export for piping analysis. CadWorx supplies catalogs for carbon steel in all the different pressure classes plus and stainless steel catalogs, copper etc. All weights are supplied.

 

This discussion group is very helpful.

 

I am sure there are more things I will find out but all up I believe that it is a good package which will improve. Looking forward to release 2014.

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