Automatic pipeline routing
Manufacturer of industrial ventilation systems
Reduction of piping system design time
– Drastic acceleration of the 3D pipe design process
– The designer has more time to spend for other activities
In complex systems, once the operational P&ID scheme has been defined, the tracing of pipelines in 3D space is a long, iterative process, the result of which depends very much on the experience and choice of the designer.
There are many variables to consider, including:
• fluid type
• flow rates, pressures, head losses
• spatial design constraints
• positioning of components in the system (tanks, reactors, burners, combustors, etc.).
• quantity and type of pipe supports
Once the piping and instrumentation diagram (P&ID) has been fixed, the positioning of pipelines in three-dimensional space is a usually long and iterative process for the designer, typically characterized by repetitive tasks. With the increase in the number of pathlines and the multiplication of branches, the number of possible configurations grows exponentially. 3D design evolves starting from the choice of a specific configuration, among the infinite possibilities, derived more from a personal experience than from objective and quantitative reasoning. The final design does not ensure the choice of the simplest solution with the best performance parameters.
The piping software developed by Nablawave aims to reduce the design time of piping systems by means of automatic 3D tracing of the pathlines, significantly reducing the number of iterations and choices made by the designer.
As a starting point, the software imports a CAD model that defines the 3D space where to place the pipelines. The geometry is simplified by means of filters to eliminate all superfluous details that would burden the calculation.
Subsequently, the multiple inlet (sources) and outlet (sinks) positions must be indicated for each pipeline. Based on criteria chosen by the designer, the relative weight (importance) of some parameters is defined, such as, for example:
• the total length of the pipeline
• head losses
• pipeline overall weight
• proximity to structural elements
This choice allows the algorithm to elaborate a unique optimal solution, avoiding the obstacles found in the 3D environment and any interpenetration between pipes: the designer can therefore vary the relative importance of the individual performance parameters and obtain different configurations, but always Pareto-optimal.
The result is a drastic acceleration of the 3D piping design process, especially at higher pipeline complexities. The designer is exempt from repetitive tasks and can devote himself to choosing between different configurations that are already optimal in themselves, based on the importance he assigns to each parameter.
• civil and industrial plant engineering (hydraulics and ventilation)
• chemical and pharmaceutical plants
• aeronautical and aerospace engines sector