PlantTools are a set of applications and utilities specifically designed to enhance the workflow and functionality of the Autodesk Plant Design products, AutoCAD P&ID and AutoCAD Plant 3D.

The ability to synchronize, copy and rename projects and manage selection lists give administrators powerful tools to manage the AutoCAD Plant 3D and AutoCAD P&ID projects in their organizations. PlantTools offer the ability to easily extend your workflows to users who do not have AutoCAD Plant 3D or AutoCAD P&ID installed on their desktops. PlantTools significantly enhance project data management and reporting. Linking project data to external data sources takes workflow and functionality to new levels quickly.

In addition to producing the top supporting applications and utilities for Autodesks Plant Design products, full solution oriented approach is geared to ensure the successful adoption of AutoCAD P&ID and AutoCAD Plant 3D. From assessment to support and every step in between, our experts possess the knowledge and experience to get your organization maximizing the returns on your plant design investment faster than traditional “buy the box and train” approach.

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The PlantTools modules – detailed description

PlantDataManager was developed for project team members who use plant project data in their daily workflows. With AutoCAD P&ID and AutoCAD Plant 3D, project teams can only access and modify project data through the Autodesk applications which typically require workstation grade machines to run on. PlantDataManager is a stand-alone application that enables access to and control of plant project data from standard desktop and laptop computers that do not have AutoCAD plant products installed.

With PlantDataManager, project engineers, process engineers, instrumentation engineers, and designers can access plant project data in an intuitive tabular user interface. PlantDataManager allows multiple users to edit project data even while the drawings containing the data are open in production.

Until now users of AutoCAD P&ID and AutoCAD Plant 3D could only capture data for objects
placed in drawings or into a model. A key new feature of PlantDataManager is the capacity to create non-placed objects, or NPOs. NPOs enable project teams to create and manage, from the PlantDataManager interface, plant projects components that are typically not represented by graphics or 3D components.
Also, because NPOs can be converted into P&ID or Plant 3D objects, project teams can pre-populate project components into the plant project database even before creating P&ID graphics or 3D models.

Extending the functionality of AutoCAD P&ID and Plant 3D further, PlantDataManager also allows users to define and create relationships between plant project objects. Relationships can be defined between graphical objects, between graphical objects and NPOs, or between NPOs.

PlantDataManager significantly extends the native data handling capabilities of AutoCAD P&ID and AutoCAD Plant 3D, providing increased flexibility and functionality of your plant design workflows.

Because plant customers have varied requirements for their design solutions, Autodesk developed highly configurable environments for AutoCAD P&ID and AutoCAD Plant 3D. Most companies will create a default configuration, or reference project, to conform to specific internal and/or external standards. PlantSync enables your organization to easily synchronize configurations between your AutoCAD P&ID projects and/or AutoCAD Plant 3D projects.

Once your project administrators have spent the time to develop reference project(s) for your organization, managing even minor changes to base reference projects can be difficult. Using only AutoCAD P&ID or AutoCAD Plant 3D administrators need to open and modify not only a base reference project, to incorporate any change or updates, administrators would need to open and modify any active project(s) using the same standard.

If the administrator did not make the exact same modifications, or synchronization, to every
project based on the standard, sharing files between the projects would become problematic because, in effect, they would not be using the same standards and settings. There would also be problems in re-using completed drawings and models from AutoCAD P&ID and Plant 3D projects where updates to the standards did not happen.

PlantSync makes the job of managing configuration modifications and updates fast and simple through an intuitive user interface. PlantSync enables project administrators to synchronize projects easily by first analyzing the differences between projects. The project administrator then has the option to synchronize individual differences or all differences in a project. PlantSync can synchronize one project to a source project or multiple projects to a source project.

PlantSync helps companies maintain high quality, consistent project configurations and saves project administrators considerable investments in time. PlantSync is a must for any busy plant design organization.

Out of the box AutoCAD P&ID and AutoCAD Plant 3D can be installed using either a basic but powerful SQLite database or an even more robust SQL Express database. Whichever database you use, it is the heart of your AutoCAD plant project because it houses all of the information about your project and project components. PlantLink significantly extends the capabilities of your AutoCAD plant project by providing flexible and reliable unidirectional or bidirectional linking to one of multiple external databases.

In one example of the power of PlantLink, data can be driven into the P&IDs or plant models
by linking to one or many external databases and keying into one or more field values. If the external database contains matching values to the mapped fields and you have configured PlantLink to return the description and spec number from the external database, then the properties in your P&ID or plant model will be updated automatically. This capacity to easily populate properties and even annotate your P&ID and plant models from external data sources is potent as it supports many workflows, which were previously difficult or impossible.

PlantLink can also be configured to simply view data from external databases using the extend mode, or, by using the update mode, values from the external database(s) can be copied into your plant project database, drawings, and models. PlantLink also has a write back option which enables AutoCAD P&ID and AutoCAD Plant 3D users to write properties
to external databases from their P&ID drawings or Plant 3D models. PlantLink serves as the missing link in design project data management for AutoCAD P&ID and AutoCAD Plant 3D.

The simplicity and versatility of PlantLink make the possibilities for data handling nearly limitless.

PlantReporter is a tool for the creation of formatted reports, data/spec sheets, and data exports from AutoCAD P&ID and AutoCAD Plant 3D. PlantReporter is simple and intuitive to configure and provides output at the push of a button for any project team member.

Because PlantReporter is stand-alone from the Autodesk plant applications, any user with just PlantReporter can access up-to-the-second project data output from a standard-grade computer.

PlantReporter’s report designer provides a high level of configurability which can produce reports and output matching your company’s exact requirements. Output can be configured
to conform to varied image types including JPG, TIF, or PNG. Output can also be configured to conform to varied data types including PDF, Excel, CSV, Text, and HTML.

PlantReporter also takes plant component relationships into consideration, allowing users to create reports that not only show a component’s property information, but also show that component’s relationship with other components (i.e., what pipeline is a valve on, or where does a process line begin or end). Reports created with PlantReporter can contain fields that add lengths, quantity of parts, or fields that contain calculated values.

When you combine PlantReporter with the functionalities of PlantLink and PlantDataManager, you will have a potent and complete engineering solution.

Information from your project P&ID or 3D model combined with the information from external databases allows you to create and generate accurate reports at any given moment in a project.

PlantReporter is easy to use and allows you to present and share your project data in any way you need.

PlantExpressTools is a must-have set of utilities to assist Autodesk plant project administrators in common tasks not easily accomplished in AutoCAD P&ID and AutoCAD Plant 3D.

Import/Export Selection Lists: Autodesk did a good job with the configurability of AutoCAD
P&ID and AutoCAD Plant 3D. However, managing the content of project selection lists can be time-consuming and frustrating. Our utility allows users to import, edit, and export selection lists from XLS/CSV files. The Import/Export Selection Lists function reduces time for list administration to a fraction of what it is without it.

Rename/Copy Project: Once a project is set up, attempting to rename or copy the project is very difficult without PlantExpressTools’ Rename/Copy Project function. A project configuration has the project name and location embedded into its configuration files. Rename/ Copy Project makes renaming and copying projects simple. Using an intuitive dialog, Rename/Copy Project rewrites the embedded information creating a ready for production new project or renaming an existing project.

AutoCAD P&ID and AutoCAD Plant 3D enable users to create new projects based on existing
projects without copying existing drawings, models, or data from the source project. Using Rename/Copy Project to copy a project will copy the entire project to a new project, where it can then be renamed and re-used to begin a new project without losing any data or connectivity.

Coordinates: With the Coordinates function in PlantExpressTools, users can add additional data properties to each symbol that carries a configurable grid location. These grid location values can be used in reports and make it easier to locate each object on its drawing during project team meetings or discussions.

When working with AutoCAD Plant 3D, users will route piping and create steel structures, equipment, and other physical components. Chances are, if you have a larger facility with multiple disciplines you will be working with xrefs from adjacent plant models and other disciplines. AutoCAD Plant 3D’s Project Manager can effectively manage models but cannot identify clashes between them.

Many Autodesk plant customers use only AutoCAD Plant 3D and are not interested in buying and learning a new software to perform clash detection. Coordinating the clashes between discipline xrefs in your plant model can now be done within AutoCAD Plant 3D with PlantClashDetection.

PlantClashDetection can detect clashes between practically any AutoCAD and AutoCAD Plant 3D object. Not only are AutoCAD Plant 3D objects recognized and processed for clashes, but AutoCAD solids, blocks and xrefs are recognized and processed by Plant-ClashDetection as well.

PlantClashDetection has an easy, intuitive user interface, from which users can check, analyze, detect, and resolve clashes without having to leave AutoCAD Plant 3D. Ourcustomers value PlantClashDetection for its ability to locate and resolve model clashes, which cannot be done with AutoCAD Plant 3D alone.

PlantCenter is a free application from. PlantCenter offers a convenient central project launch user interface for your Autodesk plant and PlantTools applications. Once the current project is selected in PlantCenter the selected project will then open by default in AutoCAD P&ID, AutoCAD Plant 3D, PlantReporter or PlantDataManager when launched from the icons in PlantCenter.

PlantCenter also allows users to open AutoCAD P&ID or AutoCAD Plant 3D project drawings without having these applications installed on your computer. By installing either Autodesk’s DWG TrueView or Design Review, free viewers from Autodesk, PlantCenter will open selected project drawings using the free viewer of your choice.

When Autodesk DWG TrueView is set as your default viewer in PlantCenter then selecting a project drawing will open in its native DWG format. When Autodesk Design Review is set as the default viewer then the DWG is used to generate a DWF which is then opened in Design Review. Each viewer has a different set of features and benefits which can be found on the Autodesk website. Select the viewer that fits best with your companies’ workflows. PlantCenter with Autodesk DWG TrueView or Design Review is a very powerful combination that can bring value to your plant design workflows.

Spec driven design has been at the core of advanced plant design technology for years. AutoCAD Plant 3D utilizes spec driven design, a key reason our customers ask if the same can be done for Plant 3D’s partner product, AutoCAD P&ID.

Currently under development PlantSpecDriven brings spec driven design to AutoCAD P&ID. By leveraging the AutoCAD Plant 3D’s specs and catalogs, PlantSpecDriven will provide the same functional workflow to P&ID as it does for Plant 3D. Using PlantSpecDriven to develop P&IDs will enable efficient design and increased consistency. Because P&IDs will be more complete than would be the case without PlantSpecDriven, modeling in AutoCAD Plant 3D will move considerably faster.

PlantSpecDriven is a new PlantTool that will bring the Autodesk Plant Design products to a new level in design quality and consistency.