Save time and reduce errors in design phase with data exchange

Liisa Rosenqvist

Posted on May 12, 2021

The industrial environment is highly competitive, and companies need to make every effort to increase efficiency and gain a competitive edge. The CADMATIC Web Api adds efficiency to the design phase of projects by seamlessly integrating third-party system data with e.g., CADMATIC 3D Plant Design.

These integrations ease and speed up design work by drastically reducing the need for manual data input from third-party systems. The desired data is automatically included in design outputs such as 3D models and documents. It also ensures that the third-party data in CADMATIC design products and outputs is always correct and up to date. In some cases, it can also ease change management and the estimation of related costs.

Typically, design companies or EPCs want to create integrations to the CADMATIC design system to include data that is hosted in, for example, their Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Document Management (DMS), Product Data Management (PDM), and Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) systems in their CADMATIC 3D models and documents.

Benefits of CADMATIC Web API:

  • Easily link CADMATIC design solutions with third-party systems such as ERP, PDM, PLM, and DMS
  • Speeds up design work and eliminate information flow gap to third-party systems.
  • Ensures highest possible design quality – reduce manual inputs by automatically assigning attributes.

Open system enhances automation and reduces manual work

The CADMATIC software development philosophy is focused on openness rather than secrecy: Interoperability is something we strongly believe in. Over the years, we have created a range of integrations based on industry needs to offer our customers maximum openness.

This has been done to ease the work of our customers and give them the freedom of choice and to allow them to take advantage of automation, thereby eliminating errors and minimizing manual work.

The CADMATIC Web Api is an extension of this philosophy of openness. The benefit is that customers can themselves create and maintain integrations with the CADMATIC design as required.

Integrating part data without manual inputs

An integration with CADMATIC library parts can, for example, assign desired data to 3D model objects from third-party purchasing systems or storage systems, etc. When the designer selects the object from the database, the necessary attributes are included automatically in design outputs without any manual inputs from designers.

A typical example could be the use of the same library object, for example, a valve in several different projects where the customer has a coding system in place for the valves. With the integration, when a designer selects the valve from the CADMATIC part library, all the desired coding data is already in place.

This means that the designer does not have to search for additional storage numbers or purchase numbers as all data related to the purchasing or inventory is included in the coding. The integration also means that CADMATIC and third-party systems (e.g., PDM, ERP) are constantly up to date, minimizing the risk for miscommunication between the design and purchasing departments and the warehouse.

Using Position IDs to support error-free design

P&ID and 3D model integrations can be used when unique Position IDs for objects are defined in a third-party system (PLM, PDM, ERP, etc.) before the design project is started.

In bigger projects, the most expensive and important pieces of equipment are selected long before the design process has started due the significant cost impact on the total project cost. The equipment is given a unique ID and allocated in a third-party system (PLM, PDM, ERP, etc.) before it exists in the design system database and before the design process has started. The PDM system may contain several projects with similar engines or pieces of equipment. In such cases, the position ID helps to identify what equipment belongs to which project.

With the Web Api integration, the designer can pick the correct equipment from the object list and place it in the P&ID or 3D model. This means that the designer does not have to manually type the long position ID, which reduces the risk of mistakes that only become apparent later in the project. The data needed for the 3D model, such as power usage needs or coloring are automatically transferred with the selected object.

Documents and revisions

“Empty documents” can be created in CADMATIC design applications with all the required metadata from a customer’s linked document management system (DMS). Larger projects can commonly contain hundreds of documents, and in these cases the integration saves a great amount of time when the documents are created in advance with the necessary data in place.

Integrations between CADMATIC and DMS also allow designers to publish design work results in CADMATIC, after which the integration ensures that documents are handled correctly in the DMS. This integration functions equally well in distributed design environments where work may be published in a replica site. There is no need for local saving of documents or the use of other software to inject documents.