Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Solid Edge Blog

CAD Partner introduces "ScanToCAD" at Solid Edge University 2016

Siemens Genius Siemens Genius
Siemens Genius

CAD Partner are a regular supporter of Solid Edge University and this year will be exhibiting their new Smap3D "ScantoCAD" solution in addition to their well known Smap3D Plant Design software.

Smap3D ScanTo3D will be demonstrated at SEU16Smap3D ScanTo3D will be demonstrated at SEU16

Smap3D ScanToCAD transfers high volumes of point cloud from 3D scans into Solid Edge easily and quickly . Smap3D ScanToCAD merges the various referenced scans or the individual scans into an overall project and transfers selected 3D geometry directly in Solid Edge.


CAD Partner will also present Smap3D Plant Design, a unique solution that allows you to bring P&ID data into Solid Edge for use in your design of process plant and equipment. If you want to use P&IDs, standard pipe specifications and isometric drawings in your Solid Edge design process, Smap3D Plant Design is a proven solution with several published case studies including from brewery equipment designer Kaspar Schulz.

Using the information from the P&ID to automatically generate pipes in Solid Edge significantly increases the speed and accuracy of the design process. Modifications to process plant design can be time consuming, but the integrated process chain provided by Smap3D allows implementation of all tasks in parallel. Best of all, changes can be made directly to parts and assemblies because Smap3D Plant Design automatically generates Solid Edge models. This allows the user to make changes at any time, to any part and assembly without the involvement of other software. 

CAD Partner will also be exhibiting Smap3D Plant Design at SEU16CAD Partner will also be exhibiting Smap3D Plant Design at SEU16

Benefits of Smap3D:

  • After choosing the pipe specs and diameter and pressure, the pipeline is automatically created
  • The completely integrated software then takes over the placement of curved pipes and bends
  • T-pieces, flanges and gaskets are also created
  • This reliable process reduces errors and saves significant time

So please stop by the CAD Partner booth at SEU16 to check out the new Smap3D ScanTo3D software and Smap3D Plant Design. Alternatively, if you cant make it to Solid Edge University this year you can access a free trial of Smap3D.



Automated process plant design with Smap3D and Solid Edge

Siemens Genius Siemens Genius
Siemens Genius


Christian Montag lr.jpg

Design of a complete processing plant together with the associated piping and equipment is a complex task that requires specialist techniques and knowledge. Off-the-shelf 2D and 3D CAD software can be used to support the design process but huge benefits can be achieved by using specialist plant design software that is integrated closely with your CAD software. Smap3D Plant Design software from CAD Partner integrates closely with Solid Edge to provide an excellent solution for process plant design. According to Christian Montag, group leader of mechanical design  at brewery equipment manufacturer Kaspar Schulz "with the integrated solution for pipeline planning, we are working up to three times faster than the previous process. The combination of Solid Edge and Smap3D, piping design, PDM and ERP has improved our efficiency, reduced costs and increased quality.“


Integrated process chain for plant design

Smap3D Plant Design provides three components in a single software solution for an integrated process design chain: Smap3D P&ID, Smap3D Piping and Smap3D Isometrics. Depending on the individual requirements these specialized programs can be used individually or together with Smap3D transferring data between the individual programs. A separate export or import of data is not needed. At the same time, Smap3D Plant Design enables a centralized, as well as company and project-specific, definition of pipe classes. This is an essential baseline that ensures standard, or customer specific, piping and associated components are used in the design process. This in turn assures the quality and reliability of the final plant design while keeping design and manufacturing costs down. With predefined pipe classes, the conformity of associated components such as valves and other fittings to these standard sizes is assured.

integrated process chain.jpg


 Some key Smap3D product features

  • A key baseline is a centralized database of standard pipe classes, and the database can be configured for specific customers and projects
  • A to-do list that provides a direct link from 2D P&ID diagrams to 3D piping design in Solid Edge
  • Includes Smap3D standard part libraries and Smap3D PartFinder that support efficient use of Smap3D Piping software
  • Substantially increases design process consistency
  • Smap3D Isometric to create isometric drawings, with output in DXF, DFT, SLDDRW, DGN and PCF formats for collaboration with suppliers and customers

Smap3D P&ID: Intelligent P&ID diagram creation

The 2D flow diagram (also known as the P&ID schematic) is the first step and a key document in the process chain for plant design. SMAP3D supports the relevant international standards for P&ID diagrams; for example in the USA P&ID diagrams and all associated content for process engineering plants are regulated by ANSI/ISA 5.1 to 5.5. and similar standards exist for Europe. All systems and components like containers, pumps and fittings are represented as symbols, and pipelines are represented by connecting lines marked with nominal width, pipe specifications, ID number (TAG) and more.



Using Smap3D P&ID the user has all the relevant charts, diagrams, drafts, and design evaluations at hand in a single software package. Smap3D P&ID also automates and simplifies frequently repeated tasks. All drawing sheets, project sheets and reports are template-based and are fully configurable to meet the needs of specific customers.


Smap3D Piping: Piping system design

Smap3D Piping works as a fully integrated 'add-in' within Solid Edge. The program automates the design and modification of 3D pipe systems within the Solid Edge assembly environment, a complex task that an engineer or pipeline planner would otherwise have to carry out in separate stages. The basis of this highly automated 3D pipeline design is the use of pipe specifications tables in which the associated components (fittings, flanges etc) are determined by the relevant company, department or project-specific pipe system characteristics.



A large number of automatic design routines for the fittings required for pipeline design are also available. These include the automatic placement of bends, tees, collars, flanges and gaskets and more. Further intelligent automations are the creation of pipeline reductions or expansions, the splitting of pipes when a maximum length is reached and the placement of connectors. These routines speed the design process and ensure a consistent and high-quality end product.


Smap3D Isometric: Instructions for pipeline manufacturing

Isometric graphics creation is the third step of the typical process chain for plant design. A pipeline isometric is a technical drawing in the form of an isometric 3D image that is used to aid the design and manufacture of pipelines. The pipeline isometric is not to scale but contains the information that piping manufacturers and installation engineers need to complete their tasks accurately and efficiently.



This blog post was written in conjunction with our software partner CAD Partner and is the final post in a series of three. You can also read the case study for brewing equipment manufacturer Kaspar Shulz, and an overview of the challenges for process plant design. You can also register for a free trial of Smap3D Plant Design software and watch a video of Smap3D and Solid Edge in action.

Challenges and solutions for process plant design

Siemens Genius Siemens Genius
Siemens Genius

Engineers have to deal with many different tasks for process plant design from the overall layout of a complete plant, to design and integration of specific equipment. Modern plant design methodologies can take advantage of the latest CAD software to speed the design process, and ensure a smooth transfer of engineering data (with no disjointed export/import steps)  from one process step to the next. These modern CAD tools can help close the gap between plant, equipment and mechanical engineering while speeding the design process, ensuring quality and keeping costs at manageable levels.


This blog post was written working with our software partner CAD Partner and references their Smap3D plant design software.


The journey begins: How engineering software tools are transforming the plant design process

Process technology had its beginnings in piping and boiler engineering, but it has now developed into an interdisciplinary science. In order to design the plant required to perform a complete process, this can no longer be divided into basic operations with only one physical process, such as mixing or evaporation. Instead, these basic operations are strung together to comprise the overall process. This approach is used to create a high level diagram of the process.


P&ID diagram created using Smap3DP&ID diagram created using Smap3D

The next step is to create the detailed process and intstrumention (P&ID) flow chart. In the P&ID flow chart, all components required to operate the facility such as containers, vessels, pumps, compressors, heat exchangers, piping systems, valves and gauges are symbolically displayed and connected with lines that represent the complete system.


In process plants the individual processing stages flow into each other in a continual, connected procedure. In order to complete the process, pipelines are needed to convey materials from one stage to the next. It is vitally important, in the detail engineering stage , to plan and process these stages quickly and accurately in order to achieve successful process plant design.


Certain areas require more specific attention during the design process. For example the whole area of hydraulic and pneumatic control systems for the supply of lubricants, fuels, and cooling and heating cycles. Other examples extend from small pumps and pumping stations to heavy duty cranes. To implement a 3D plant design system for these tasks can be a costly  and complex proposition as off-theshelf 3D CAD software often lacks the functionality and automation needed for the process plant design engineer to complete his work efficiently.


Key areas of focus for optimizing plant design

These are some of the main focus areas for optimizing the process plant design process:

  • specific design tools for the initial concept design phase
  • automation for generating piping designs and routing
  • automatic checking for design errors (eg. Interference checking)
  • minimize errors by automatic generation of BOMs and parts lists
  • eliminate manual data entry into related systems
  • intellectual propert for your design process should be protected
  • easy and fast to make design changes when needed
  • automatic creation of 3D isometric diagrams

The performance advantage for top performers

Independent research firm Tech-Clarity have analyzed performance of engineering-to-order manufacturers and concluded that the top performers have better processes in many different aspects of quoting, engineering, and manufacturing custom products. And the end result is that top performers report that they perform “very well” 3.5 times as frequently as their peers in the area of engineering leadtimes and 2.2 time as frequently in having accurate manufacturing documentation. You can read the full research paper "Driving engineering-to-order differentiation and profitability" here.




What to look for in process plant design software

pipe specs.jpg

1. Ability to define pipe classes to be used for a specific project
With pipe specifications, the compatibility of components (fittings, valves, etc.) is uniquely defined in line with particular company or project specifications for pipe system characteristics (diameter, material, etc.). The central definition of pipe classes prevents user errors, saves time and ensures a more consistent end product.


2. A specific P&ID solution

A specific P&ID solution is needed, not just an adaptation of a 2D drafting system. The P&ID solution should use the same pipe classes as in the 3D solution and be simple to integrate into 3D. It should include symbol libraries and symbols from common standards and contain intelligent connections between symbols and lines, so that they can be easily and conveniently moved. It should allow you to generate parts lists and analyses that can be exported, processed in formats such as XML or MS Excel. An integrated design review and validation capability is also important.


3. A 3D piping design solution

The piping software solution should be able to read and utilize all the information from the P&ID diagram.

It should use the library of pipe classes that the designer specifies should be used for a specific project and should be integrated into the 3D CAD software so that equipment locations and pipe routing can be accurately planned. Changes in the pathway and/or diameter of the piping should be accomplished quickly.



isometric view example.jpg

4. Isometrics

An isometrics module should be available that generates isometric images directly from the 3D plant assembly model in the 3D CAD software. It should recognize various parts lists such as materials, cutting and welding lists and reproduce them on the drawing and in a separate text file. It should also offer a fast transfer of the pipeline data to external programs.


This is not the end of the journey...

You can investigate Smap3D plant design software to meet the needs described above. You can also read a case study on how one manufacturer is using Smap3D software together with Solid Edge to design and manufacture brewery equipment.

Building a better brewery: How modern methods improve an ancient craft

Siemens Genius Siemens Genius
Siemens Genius


This blog post is the first in a series of three posts that focus on how Solid Edge together with Smap3D provides an excellent solution for process plant design.

The Bavarian town of Bamburg, home of Kaspar SchulzThe Bavarian town of Bamburg, home of Kaspar Schulz

In 1677, the quest for the perfect pint led master coppersmith Christian Schulz to start a business in Bamberg, Germany supplying local breweries with “finely forged and hammered copper kettles.” During the next 300 years, Christian Schulz’s humble coppersmith business turned into Kaspar Schulz, a successful designer and manufacturer of brewing equipment that is installed in breweries around the world. 


Alongside its vast experience of brewing processes and equipment design, innovations are critical to its success. A recent example is a new, gentle boiling process for wort. The quality of wort depends on combining different raw materials into a mash, which is agitated with a radial agitator. Because it is possible to germinate and kiln-dry in a single drum, microbreweries can brew beer to consistent quality standards and clearly establish their brand identities. These innovations are developed in collaboration between Kaspar Schulz’s brewery production engineers and equipment designers.


Copper domes have been manufactured by Kaspar Schulz for more than 300 yearsCopper domes have been manufactured by Kaspar Schulz for more than 300 years

Design productivity with Solid Edge and Smap3D

In 2004, product development shifted to 3D design technology using Solid Edge® CAD software from Siemens PLM Software and Smap3D Plant Design software from CAD Partner. “Solid Edge convinced us to use these products with the integrated module for pipe routing, XpresRoute, outstanding 2D functionality and the intuitive user experience,” says Christian Montag, the team leader of design at Kaspar Schulz. “In addition, a module for sheet metal construction was integrated right from the start.” SMAP3D Plant Design software adds specialized capabilities for process equipment and piping design, plus the creation of 2D piping and instrumentation (P&ID) diagrams.


Brewing containers are designed as modular systems using variables stored in an Excel® spreadsheet. In a short time, detailed 3D CAD models are created that meet the customer’s specific needs. All the sheet metal parts are defined and developed within the Solid Edge Sheet Metal environment. A material table contains the parameters for the copper or high-grade steel materials used to manufacture the brewing equipment. Using these predefined values, the module is used to calculate all the necessary design information for sheet metal manufacturing, from cutting material to size (where the profile data is sent in DXF format to plasma cutting equipment) to bending and forming.


The designers work together on custom projects using architectural plans of the client’s premises. These plans are typically provided in DXF or DWG formats that are easily opened in Solid Edge. “Data exchange with the architects, import as well as export, works very well,” says Montag. “We usually request third party data about parts from suppliers in the STEP file format, and we’ve never had problems processing that data.” A complete 3D model of the entire plant emerges from the original 2D layout, and in the case of a large brewery, there can be as many as 10,000 components in about 600 subassemblies. “Steadily increasing module sizes poses a challenge to performance,” says Montag. “But the desired areas can be processed quickly by hiding and showing different areas with the help of different display options.”

A complete brewery design modeled by Kaspar Shulz using Solid Edge and Smap3DA complete brewery design modeled by Kaspar Shulz using Solid Edge and Smap3D

Speeding up piping design and routing

Collision detection and checks for accessibility are performed quickly. For microbreweries, achieving a tidy, elegant design and a clean, ergonomic operating environment are a top priority. The design is influenced by the pipework routing and the location of fittings and instruments. In the past, 2D schematic drawings of the pipe routing were given to manufacturing; now these design data are available in 3D. “With the 3D pipe routing with Solid Edge XpresRoute, we have made an important stride forward,” says Montag. By defining just two points within the 3D modules, the system can automatically propose collision-free paths. An important objective is to avoid welded connections because every weld seam is a potential hygienic “failure point,” and the piping data is saved in the IGES format. It is then sent to bending machines for accurate manufacturing.


The initial pipeline layout can be defined using 2D flow diagrams that are easily created using an extensive icon library. The icons are linked to database elements that the designer then places in the piping module in accordance with a task list. Differences between the P&ID diagram and Excel parts list are thus a thing of the past.

Creating a 2D P&ID diagram using Smap3D is a critical first step in process plant designCreating a 2D P&ID diagram using Smap3D is a critical first step in process plant design

With the piping module from Smap3D Plant Design integrated in Solid Edge, the potential for errors significantly drops and design productivity increases. The designer selects from a library of standard piping sizes and corresponding fittings. Until recently, this took place using 2D drawings and lists of components stored in Excel files. Now Smap3D Piping design and component selection is fully integrated into the 3D design process. “The modifications due to errors that are not detected until production have decreased tremendously,” says Montag. In addition, the Smap3D database elements are linked to item records in ERP systems. As a result, designers are saved from doing the same work twice to create parts lists. “The integrated solution for pipe routing has made us up to three times faster in comparison to the earlier procedure,” says Montag.


You can read the full Kaspar Schulz case study here.