Can any expert who has worked on several plant design software help me with a selection?
My situation is that the company I work for (Global Petrochem giant) needs a software upgrade FAST! All the plant engineering drawings iso's, layouts mechanical vessels, equipment and structures are still done in 2D!!!
I have started here as the first resident draftsman and the ropes have been given to me to steer the changes that is desperately needed! We have duplications of line numbers, no line numbers and drawings which have not been updated since I was a pre-schooler... So I'm looking for a solution to remedy this and to do things right from now on.
So, I have been looking at various software packages on a sales brochure basis only and each and everyone sounds good but I'm leaning more towards Plant 3D however a CADWorx demo was presented to us and it also looked quite good. Bentley presence within SA is almost non-existent so just on the fact that there is no support means no.
In short there are three packages which we are interested in, Intergraph Smartplant or CADWorx or Autodesk Plant design suite Ultimate...
Smartplant is a bit too expensive... Lets just leave it at that. Therefore CADWorx or Plant 3D.
Which one of those platforms will be best in an owner/operator situation where we also do our own in-house engineering work (smaller scaled projects) BUT, when we have contractors doing our large scaled projects we also want to control and administrate the "process and engineering data" from the models etc. When they use software like PDMS, Smartplant, CADWorx, AutoPlant or even Plant 3D?
Please give non-bias facts, recommendations whatever to help me steer this. I know that there must be 100's of these posts...
I think it all depends on what fits your process best. Plant 3D is young, but has a better whole project approach and MUCH better reports.
CADWorx 2013 now has a new spec/catalog editor though, so I'm sure there are bugs that would have to be worked out of its new pipe routing system.
Our company, ECAD Inc., was the number one CADWorx reseller for 13 years, and we decided it was the right time to switch to Plant 3d.
Also, I believe the reseller makes a big difference in your experience.
Thanks for the feedback!
I was an AutoCad & Inventor user a few years ago and then had to migrate to Bentley systems due to a company change and then a few years down the line I suggested Inventor and the department migrated to it and have been using it again ever since (only for pressure equipment).
Now... I'm working for a new company but on a much larger scale with regards to documentation of drawings and its downstream documentation and we use Bentley systems again (vicious circle, I know). It seems to me the trend is to revert back to Autodesk but given that as you stated P3D is still young and CADWorx might have bugs in their new and improved software... The fact that P3D is young, does it mean limited functionality or just we have not sorted out all the shortcuts yet? Which in my opinion is better than having a "double click spacebar tap" program that crashes or corrupts data at every autosave! ( I'm not saying that is the case with other solutions, it might or it might not)
The heart of the problem is that we did not have a resident drawing office for years and only recent it has come of age and due to the fact that there was no "ownership" of the work the design contractors did, a lot of inherent mistakes and documentation slips have through the years compounded to such an extent that you cannot trust a drawing or a line number on a P&ID for that matter!
Now it is my odyssey to find a solution and fix the ever so increasing headache in parallel to doing our in house design and drafting work, hence my dilemma of which software can do the best job with my limited resource in a cost effective and productive manner and yet still providing the most accurate results.
Oh before I forget, how Bi-directional is P3D with analysis software such as PVElite and Caesar II?
I meant that the workarounds are all developed yet. For example, yesterday we figured out a way to format generated iso file names to include the project number, line number, and then revision. It wasn't something that was documented or exposed in the UI, but because of the way they developed the isometric generator, it's extremely flexible.
Autodesk is still adding functionality, but IMO it is a great platform to commit to.
Allright fair enough, I have to agree that no software will ever be an ideal or the only solution and that things improve in it's natural (in a technology POV) way.
Speaking of which, how easy to use and functional is the Iso generator (Seing that it is not ISOGEN)?
One thing that may be important - CADWorx can run *without* a database. That means less support requirements. Naturally, you don't get the benefits either. And as a "large" company you likely have some SQL Server or equivalent architecture and management in place. But if you have a lot of small projects which need to spool up quickly and have limited hours not having to create those projects can make a difference.
Make sure you check out ortho/GA drawing creation in both programs too.
For isometric drawings be sure to check out the Isometrics WS project in the Labs - online isometric creation via PCF file. There's a few intellectual property issues that may be of concern, and I'd *really* like to get something other than PCF, but it's still a cool concept especially if you have geographically distributed offices.
Yes we do, SAP is our data management system, to be honest I've only worked at small to mid scale project firms and we rarely relied on "data management" systems. Alot of our project data was dummy stored on a central drive and all disciplines did their engineering and then referenced it in the master model for weekly model review.
So...I have not yet worked in an environment where like "vault" or where live models are kept on a SQL or SAP system. I would love to though because of the backup and secure facility but not much expierience in that regard...could not be too hard?
About the ortho creation.... Because CADWorx uses AutoCad as it's graphics module the drawing creation and annotation is exactly the same as AutoCad, that saying 2013 has an excellent feature such as "baseview"....
We have absolute strict IP rules so Online iso creation is a no-go...
Which country do u work in? and what the company name??
I have worked with PDMS and Autoplant in the past, We have only been working with 3D Plant for about 6 Mths on a smallish project as a test case, and all though we have had teething problems we finished the project ahead of time. In my opinion is that it worked well and the 3d model was easy as really like the way it worked and with a little playing around got the iso's looking great ( work to be done on them) but better than isogen!!!! and the G.A's were the saving grace really!! knocked out 5 G.A's in about 2 -3 days. over all i could teach my 5 year old to use the package it was great. Dont get me wrong we did have teething problems but now where near the Admin intensity of PDMS but perhaps on par if not slightly better than Autoplant. It intergrated with Tekla seamlessly.
Thanks for the comment, I am in South Africa working for the leading Oil, Gas & Petrolium manufacturer in the country if not the Southern hemisphere.
Thats just the thing I'm looking for a package that can provide well detailied engineering design and drawings but not all that administration as the giant PDMS or SmartPlant purely due to the fact that there is no dedicated "CAD administrator".
This acquisition will be but the first step in the race...
In a worst case scenario...what was the biggest challenge?