Research projects boosting CADMATIC
Importing piping specifications from PUMA 5 and routing multiple branched pipes with algorithms
This article highlights two research projects that have been conducted by CADMATIC employees. The first focuses on research regarding the automatic importing of piping specifications into CADMATIC from CLA’s PUMA 5 software, while the second delves into how multiple branched pipes can be routed in CADMATIC with the help of algorithms.
Importing piping specifications from PUMA 5 into CADMATIC
M.Sc. thesis by Aleksi Juhola
Aleksi Juhola works as an Application Specialist in CADMATIC’s Turku office. He is currently also finalizing his thesis on automatically importing piping specifications into CADMATIC. As the result of his research, Aleksi has participated in the development of a tool that can be used to import piping specifications from CLA’s PUMA 5 piping management system into CADMATIC.
The title of his thesis is Generation of piping specification objects and developing a piping specification tool. He hopes to finalize his thesis in the Autumn of 2020 and graduate soon after from the University of Tampere.
At CADMATIC, Aleksi is responsible for help desk related tasks: support tickets, software development requests and training. He says that research and development is also close to his heart.
“R&D requires some programming knowledge, but I enjoy it the most as you can actually see something concrete come alive.”
Aleksi Juhola in the CADMATIC Tampere office.
The eternal quest for greater efficiency
The motivation behind the research was reducing the laborious manual work associated with data transfer and speeding up data transfer between different data formats, something which can be very time consuming and inefficient in design projects.
Aleksi has been particularly interested in finding out how the importing and updating of data from piping material management software can be made more flexible. The goal has been for pipe materials management software data to be imported into CADMATIC so that the piping specification can be used directly for 3D modelling after the import. All the pipe part objects in CADMATIC are generated with data from pipe material management software including attributes such as part numbers and part preparation status.
For this purpose, he developed a new method to model pipe specifications in CADMATIC from external data. The interface Aleksi and the R&D team has developed can be used to import piping specifications from PUMA 5 into CADMATIC. This improves the quality of the pipe specification data, eases the workload of the administrators, and facilitates the response to rapid changes in the design process.
The tool currently handles the import with the use of ASME standards. Aleksi has now set his sights on improving it further to generate objects from any standards, or even to generate customized objects.
The pipe specification import tool
Significance of PUMA 5 integration with CADMATC
Piping material management systems are critical in ensuring that the piping specifications used in the design phase are according to standards and regulations. The interface aims to eliminate the gap between PUMA 5 and CADMATIC.
The way data transfers are handled throughout project life cycles is crucial in gaining a competitive advantage. The more precise, flexible and faster data transfer and generation is in the early design phases, the better the quality is in the long run.
Read more about CADMATIC 3D Plant Design
Routing multiple branched pipes using Multi-Terminal Pipe Router and Conflict-Based Search algorithms
M.Sc. thesis by Aapo Nikkilä
Aapo Nikkilä works as a CADMATIC software engineer in Tampere, Finland. In May 2020, his thesis on routing multiple branched pipes using Multi-Terminal Pipe Router and Conflict-Based Search algorithms was published.
Pipe routing usually involves multiple pipes with branches that are routed in the same search space. The goal is to find a routing solution with as low a total cost as possible.
In his thesis, Aapo defines a specific variation of the pipe routing problem as well as a process consisting of a set of algorithms used to solve it. He focuses on multiple pipes with branches that are routed in a shared search space that is a weighted graph.
He deconstructs the problem into a low-level and a high-level search problem. In the low-level problem, individual branched pipes are routed with the new Multi-Terminal Pipe router algorithm. In the high-level problem, low-level searches are performed to find a globally optimized solution free of conflicts. This is achieved by applying the Conflict-Based Search algorithm in the pipe routing problem.
The application of the research could provide greater automation in the early stages of pipe routing, where a routing algorithm can be used to find optimized routes for pipes. However, further assessments of the system and its practical need must be done before any implementation can be considered.
Aapo currently works as part of the 3D Outfitting and Plant Team in Tampere, where he is developing CADMATIC's Plant Modeller software.