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PDMS SOFTWARE : Getting Started

Updated on September 1, 2015

Getting Started: Introduction to PDMS

PDMS (Plant Design Management System) is 3D design software package developed by AVEVA Group Plc. PDMS provides various functions which are useful for Engineering, Design and Construction of Chemical Process Plants (both offshore and onshore Projects).

PDMS is Multi-User, Multi-Discipline 3D design tool which can be customized with PML (Programmable Macro Language) and C# to suit company or Project Requirements. PDMS Global allows big and complex projects to be divided over geographical regions/offices on which users can work concurrently from their respective locations depending upon scope of work agreed.

PDMS enables you to design 3D interactive computer model of Chemical Process Plant with full colour shaded representation. PDMS User selects and positions components from available catalogues.

3D Model becomes source of engineering data for all section and disciplines involved in design project.

PDMS clash checking facility ensures clash free model to be generated to eliminate scope of error that could arise on site while construction. Reports can be generated from PDMS to perform quality check in design so unwanted errors could be avoided. 2D engineering drawings which are produced using PDMS forms sharing links to transfer information from Design office to Construction site.

PDMS stores all kind of data in respective Database depending upon type of data to be stored. Databases are created by Administrator as per project requirements along with Users who will work on those databases with required access rights.

PDMS is split into a number of Modules which are used at different stages in Plant Design Process.

Availability of PDMS Modules differ depending upon type of license agreement between Engineering design company and Aveva Solutions ltd.

In following section, we will discuss about PDMS Modules and their role/ Functionality in Plant Design Process.

1. Design Modules


Design is Main constructor Module in which Complete Chemical Process Plant is 3D modeled. User selects required components from available specifications and catalogues and positions them as per engineering design. 3D model data is stored in Design database for individual site created. Design Module provides facility to check elements for Clashes, Reporting to produce various design documents for quality checks, Material Takeoff and Preview of Piping Isometrics.

Design Module has Applications which provides suitable functions to work on particular discipline. E.g. Equipment, Piping, Cabling, etc.


Spooler is used for pipework spooling. In this Module, Pipework design can be split into logical sections (i.e. Spools) which are ready fabrication. Spool data created in Spooler module can be output as Isometric Drawing using ISODRAFT Module.

2. Drafting Modules


In this Module, Fully dimensioned and annotated 2D drawings of 3D Model are created. Data required for creation of drawings is accessed through Design Database while rest of data is stored in Draft database. Like Conventional Engineering Drawings, User creates views to show particular area of 3D model in required direction. Dimensions and Labels are attached to design elements which are stored under respective view.


This Module is used for creation of P&ID, HVAC and Cabling Diagrams. This Application uses AVEVA Design Platform GUI and Diagram Layouts are created using an Embedded Microsoft Office Visio drawing control. Data entered into this application is stored in Schematic Database.

This Module uses Diagram, Stencil and Template Path to create Diagram File. User need to select mode to work to create either PID/HVAC/Cabling Diagrams. Diagram files created in this module can be saved in binary format or XML format.

III. Schematic Model Manager

Schematic Model Manager is used to Import P&ID data from XML file into Schematic Database which can be viewed and Modified if required in later stage of Project.


ISODRAFT is used to produce automatic annotated and dimensioned piping Isometric drawings along with Material list for that pipe. User need to select from Option file available for project working on. Option file can be customized to suit company or project requirements by administrator. ISODRAFT provides option to take MTO which can be saved to Text file for each Pipe, which can be later used to generate Bulk MTO for Plant.

4. Catalogues and Specification Management Modules


This Module Used for creation and modification of Catalogues which are referenced by Specification

reference of Component. Administrator is directly responsible for catalogue creation & modification.

Component Catalogue normally holds information about connection, physical Shape, Obstruction and

Bolting requirements.

Paragon also stores specification to be used for project, connection Compatibility information of Components, Material and Detailed description of components.

Catalogues must be setup properly in order to avoid any errors in 3D modeling.


SPECON is Specification Constructor Module, which allows administrator to create or modify specification to suit Project requirement.


PROPCON is property Constructor Module, administrator create or modify properties database. Properties database hold information about properties of Component and materials which may be used for stress analysis, calculation of weights, Centre of gravity for components.

5. Project Administration Modules


ADMIN is main administrative module which plays important role in setting up Project, database creation, User Creation and access rights for Users. Depending Upon size and complexity of Plant, Plant is divided into individual areas (either on basis of Physical area or Design Area). It allows administrator to setup fonts, Module definitions for Project.

ADMIN module provides important features which are useful for Project Maintenance such as compacting Database to reduce database size by removing unwanted data, Upgrading PDMS Projects when database structure changes.


LEXICON is used to create User defined attributes. Every element in PDMS has set of attributes which can be set or read. Sometimes default attributes provided by AVEVA may not sufficient; in that case we may define our own attributes which can satisfy requirement which are called as User Defined Attributes. UDAs created in LEXICON are held in Dictionary database. Administrator can choose type of attribute, scope of attribute (e.g. Pipe, Equipment, etc.) and maximum value for UDA.

UDAs are normally prefixed with Colon (:) and treated in same way as that of default attributes when extracted to drawings or reports.


MONITOR module serving as Entry point to PDMS whenever User starts PDMS. This module is commonly used to query system status, Users, MDB, Databases, Teams, and Modules.

Batch Processing and messaging can be done in MONITOR module.

MONITOR module can be used to change Project Password. Also, User and MDB can be changed.

If there is problem in Project which prohibits another PDMS module to load, Monitor module will be opened automatically.


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