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 AEC+Compliance Paradigms

Archive for September, 2017

Is it Dumb to Have Smart P&IDs?

Saturday, September 9th, 2017


The most valuable source of engineering data for a facility is arguably the piping and instrumentation diagram. From its inception and well into daily operational use, P&IDs are the lifeblood of a manufacturing facility. (for the full version of this blog, go to

But while the possibilities associated with maintaining “smart,” or data-driven P&IDs versus standard AutoCAD/Microstation equivalents, there are endless barriers to progress that remain. Take, for example, the meeting I had with one of the largest U.S. integrated petroleum refining / petrochemical facilities. Here’s a brief synopsis of the meeting and opportunity:

  • Facility has ~2,000 P&IDs
  • Environmental Department has paid to have 80% of its P&IDs converted into “smart” P&IDs within AutoCAD Plant-3D
  • CAD Department can replace non-intelligent AutoCAD-based (DWG format) P&IDs at minimal up-front cost (< 20% of standard) with equivalent smart AutoCAD P&ID drawings and database
  • CAD Department can leverage Autodesk Plant-3D for improved P&ID management and validation, as well as to import its existing 3D models to auto-generate isometrics
  • Engineering, Operations, Maintenance, Reliability, and Inspections Departments (the list goes on) can utilize P&ID data exports and data embedded within P&ID to report, search, and manage data associated with plant equipment


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