Version 2009 and Before

Design and operating documents are created to design, build, operate, and maintain a plant piping system.  These documents are used throughout the life of the plant, for that reason they are often referred to as life cycle documents.  This Knowledge Base article includes examples of how to use the system model as a life cycle document.

Life cycle documents are those documents referenced during the life of a fluid piping system.  Many of these documents such as equipment specifications, calculation sheets, design studies, engineering drawings, purchasing documents, equipment manuals & drawings, and test documents are compiled during the design phase of the project.  

After the completion of the project, these documents are turned over to the system owner / operator.  The documents continue to provide vital information needed for the remainder of the plant life.  The owner / operator also add procedures involved with plant operation, maintenance, and safety.  Maintenance history records chronicle the work done on every piece of equipment in the plant.  

These life cycle documents are required for the operation of any plant.  This article describes how a PIPE-FLO piping system model can be an excellent life cycle document.  An example piping system model called Sample PSV File can be found at the end of this article for download, and will be used to demonstrate the many points presented in this article.  

You will also need to have a copy of the PIPE-FLO Viewer installed on your computer to open the example piping system model.  If you do not have the PIPE-FLO viewer installed you can download it from the Engineered Software Website.  

Every step discussed in this article can be accomplished using the PIPE-FLO Professional, Compressible, and Stock programs, or the PIPE-FLO Viewer.

1.  The Piping Schematic

A piping schematic provides a total picture of any piping system showing the location of the tanks, pumps, components, controls, and interconnecting pipelines.  The PIPE-FLO piping schematic has the look and feel of a drawing created by a CAD program, but unlike a CAD program, PIPE-FLO also shows how the piping system operates.  

You can get around a piping schematic using the zoom and pan tools, the operation of these tools is similar to those found in most CAD packages.  

To zoom in and out:

  1. Select the "Zoom" tool from the toolbar and move the pointer in the drawing area.
  2. To zoom in, click the main mouse button (the one on the left), to zoom out click the alternate button (the one on the right).
  3. Click on the "Zoom drawing to extents" button to display the entire piping system drawing in the FLO-Sheet window.
  4. If your mouse has a thumbwheel, you can zoom in and out by moving the mouse pointer over the FLO-Sheet window and rolling the thumbwheel on the mouse.

To pan around the drawing:

  1. The scroll bars on the bottom and left side of the FLO-Sheet window move the FLO-Sheet viewing window left & right, and up & down.
  2. If your mouse has a thumbwheel, you can pan left and right by pressing the Ctrl key on your keyboard and rolling the thumbwheel on the mouse.
  3. If your mouse has a thumbwheel, you can pan up and down by pressing the Shift key on your keyboard and rolling the thumbwheel on the mouse.

Notes & Call Out Boxes:
The notes on the FLO-Sheet are floating text providing additional details about the piping system.  Floating text notes can be placed anywhere on the FLO-Sheet.  You also have the option of choosing the text size and color.  By double-clicking on the note you can view its content, which is helpful for long notes.

The look of the Drawing:
The FLO-Sheet has the look of a flow diagram or P&ID (Piping & Instrumentation Diagram).  PIPE-FLO's grid commands (also found on CAD programs) make it easy to create a professional looking piping schematic.

Named Items:
The names of each item on the FLO-Sheet can correspond to the equipment identification scheme used in your plant.  In this example, each item has a unique name that is used by the program and displayed on the drawing.

Change Drawing Options:
PIPE-FLO provides you with a variety of drawing options so you can customize the look of the piping schematic.  To change the drawing options:

  1. Select the "System / Settings" menu item.
  2. On the "System Settings & Properties" dialog, select the "Drawing Options" tab.
  3. You can select the displayed items on the FLO-Sheet under "Viewing Options" or choose the "Results Options" displayed on the FLO-Sheet.
  4. To adjust the size of the text and symbols click the "Adjust Sizes" button and move the slider bar to the desired position.
  5. Click on OK to close the dialog boxes.

Calculated Results :
PIPE-FLO displays the calculated results on the FLO-Sheet.  You can see the pressures and flow rates on the piping schematic.

2.  Viewing System Operation

A piping system is a collection of pipelines, pumps, components, and controls all working together.  PIPE-FLO provides you with a variety of design tools to assist in the pipe sizing, pump selection, and control valve evaluation.  In addition, PIPE-FLO calculates how the total system operates using its advanced hydraulic calculation engine.

System Operation:
The piping system is designed for the most demanding conditions in which the system is called on to operate.  Often the plant operates at different operating conditions.  To view different operating conditions select a Lineup from the drop down list located on the right side of the toolbar.

  1. Notice the flow rate next to the pipelines on the FLO-Sheet.
  2. Click on the drop-down list and choose a different lineup.
  3. Notice the new flow rate next to the pipeline on the FLO-Sheet.

Fly-by Viewer:
The piping schematic displays information next to various items on the FLO-Sheet.  Using PIPE-FLO's fly-by viewer you can get additional information about each item on the FLO-Sheet:

  1. Move the mouse pointer on top of the pump symbol for CCW 15 in the upper right side of the piping schematic.
  2. Notice the operating information displayed in the fly-by-viewer on the bottom of the PIPE-FLO window.

List View:
The list view provides additional details about the selected item in a tabular format.  To demonstrate:

  1. Highlight pipeline HVAC75 located on the center of the drawing below the Cooling Tower box.
  2. Click on the List button on the toolbar.
  3. The list window is displayed on the right side of the screen showing all the pipelines in the system with their details.
  4. Move the mouse pointer to the column head area of the list window, click the context mouse button and select the List Controls menu item.  
  5. The control window displays the calculated results for the control valves.
  6. Choose a different lineup from the Lineup dropdown list, notice the valve conditions of the new lineup are displayed.
  7. Click on the List button to close the list window.

View Pipelines:
To view the detailed information about a pipeline in the system:

  1. Double click on pipeline HVAC02a (the discharge of CCW15 pump.)
  2. The pipeline details are displayed.
  3. The Specification tab displays the pipeline's specification.
  4. The Fluids tab displays the fluid properties for the pipeline.
  5. The Valves & Fittings tab list the valves and fitting used in the pipeline.
  6. The Notes tab displays any notes written for the pipeline.
  7. The Links tab displays the hypertext links and their link addresses.

View Equipment Information:
Tanks, pumps, components, and controls each have a dialog box providing the equipment details.  We'll demonstrate this by displaying the dialog for the CCW-15 pump.

  1. Double click the mouse on the pump symbol for the CCW-15 pump.
  2. The name, elevation, and operating information are displayed for the selected pump.
  3. The Properties tab displays the source of information for the selected item.  This tab only list data when a pump or control valve is selected from a manufacturers supplied catalog.
  4. The Notes tab displays the notes about the selected item.  The notes can be up to 7,200 characters in length.
  5. The Links tab displays a list of the available FLO-Links for the object.

Graph Window:
The graph window displays a graph for the selected pipelines, pumps, and components.

  1. Highlight pump CCW-15 on the FLO-Sheet.
  2. Click the Graph button.
  3. A graph window for the selected pump is displayed.
  4. Enter a flow rate in the Flow: text box and the program calculates the head value.

3.  Sharing the Results

Any project, large or small, involves communications between the members of your team, and piping projects are no exceptions.   PIPE-FLO provides easy to understand results showing how the total system operates.

Printing reports:
The printed reports are used to provide documentation of the calculated results.  To view the printed report options:

  1. Click on the Print button on the toolbar.
  2. Select the report type in the Print Report dialog box.
  3. The List report provides a tabular listing of deign data and or results.  You can select the desired lists.
  4. The FLO-Sheet report prints the active FLO-Sheet.  PIPE-FLO supports large format printers and plotters.  You also have the option of tile printing the FLO-Sheet on multiple pages.
  5. The Bill of Materials report list all the items used in the project.
  6. The Pipeline report provides a detailed data sheet for the selected pipelines in the system.

Printing reports as PDF documents:
All printed reports can be saved as PDF (Portable Document Format) files.  To save a report as a PDF document, select the Print to PDF option in the Print Report dialog box.

E-mail reports:
You can e-mail any PIPE-FLO report from with the program.  To e-mail a report:

  1. Select the File / E-mail Report menu item.
  2. Select the report format in the Print Report dialog box.
  3. Click OK.  Your e-mail client creates a new e-mail, attaches the report in PDF file format.
  4. Enter your remarks in the e-mail and send the report.

PSV file:
The PIPE-FLO Professional program can also create PSV files.  The PSV file is a read only document that can only be opened using the PIPE-FLO Viewer program.  The PSV files can be saved to disk, or can be e-mailed from within PIPE-FLO Professional.

4.  Accessing Information
It takes a large number of documents to build, operate, and maintain fluid piping systems.  Using PIPE-FLO's hypertext links, you can get one click access to the specification documents, CAD drawings, manufacturer's manuals, and various plant procedures.

Every item in a PIPE-FLO project can have multiple FLO-Links attached to it.  FLO-Links can display the Notes for the object, links to a given Web address, links to electronic documents located on your network, or provide a command line to start a Windows or Web program.  

Piping System Links:
Documents that apply to the entire piping project can be created as links.  To view a Piping System Link:

  1. Move the mouse pointer over the FLO-Sheet, taking care to not select an item, and click the right mouse button to display the context menu.
  2. Select the Links menu item on the Context menu.
  3. Select one of the Piping System links.

Pipe Specification Links:
Each pipe specification used in the project can have a link associated with it.  These links can be to your company's pipe & valve specification documents, or any other document associated with the pipe specification.
To view a Pipe Specification link:

  1. Right-click on a pipeline on the FLO-Sheet, and select the Links menu item from the context menu.
  2. The Pipe Specification links appear are displayed.
  3. Select one of the Pipe Specification links.

FLO-Sheet Links:
Each object in the FLO-Sheet can have a link associated with it.  These links can be to your company's specification documents, a vendor supplied document, or to a maintenance management program.
To view the FLO-Sheet links for pump CCW-15:

  1. Move the mouse pointer to the black triangle to the right of the CCW-15 label.
  2. Click the mouse on the black triangle to display the available FLO-Links.
  3. Click on the desired FLO-Link.


kb1350-Piping System Viewer Example.psv

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