Sharing Awesomeness Part 2 – Data Population in AutoCAD P&ID

This entry is part 2 of 3 in the series Sharing Projects with AutoCAD Plant 3D

In our last post, we looked at the techniques behind sharing projects. The next couple of posts are going to demonstrate how the information is shared, so that you can have confidence in how the process works.

Today we are going to look at two situations, common classes and properties, and off page connectors. For readability, Working Project will be highlighted in blue (project in progress), while Master Project will be in red.

Common Classes and Properties

When project share classes and properties, the data transfers without and issues. If the drawing being copied doesn’t exist in the project, all of the information is added to the project. Let’s look at the scenario where a drawing does exist.

In this example, PID001 is in the Master Project and has these drawing properties:

PID001 also has some generic information in it:

We have a second project, Working Project that also has PID001. However, in this project the information for TK-001 has not been filled out yet, and the discharge from P-001 has not been routed.

By copying PID001 from Master Project to Working Project, we can update the second project with new data and objects. However, using the normal Copy Drawing to Project dialog, you get this warning.

So, to update an existing project with new drawings, you have to perform the copy/paste procedure through Windows Explorer.

Once that is complete, PID001 can be opened. When it is, a dialog will display saying that the project data is out of date with the drawing. Clicking update the project data will allow us to use the new information.

You will also see this dialog, which shows whether there were any class or properties conflicts.

With the updated drawing, our Data Manager reflects the new property values.

Off Page Connectors

After we brought our new PID001 into Working Project, the line and off page connector were brought in. However, they were not connected in either of the projects. To see what happens with off page connectors, we need to examine a couple scenarios:

  • New, Unlinked
  • New, Linked
  • Existing, New Linked
  • Existing, Removed Link

Unlinked, New OPCs

We have already evaluated this situation, and saw that new unlinked opcs are simply added to the project.

Linked, New OPCs

To demonstrate this, P&IDs Linked1 and Linked2 will be copied into Working Project from Master Project. Because both drawings are new, the link will be created and maintained. For new drawings, Copy Drawing to Project is used to add them to a new project.

Existing OPCs, New Link

To demonstrate this scenario, we will look at PID001 again which has an unlinked opc here:

In the original project, a linked OPC was setup with PID002. Copy drawing to project is used to bring PID002 into Working Project, and then we will use Windows Explorer to bring the updated PID001 into Working Project.

When we open PID001, we see that the new OPC is connected, and the project is going to update itself from the new drawing.

Existing OPCs, Removed Link

In this scenario, the link between Linked1 and Linked2 in Master Project is broken. Because both of these drawings are existing, Windows Explorer must be used to update Working Project.

After copying Linked1 into Master Project, we get prompted to update the project data. Examining the updated drawings, shows that disconnected OPCs do not update when brought in from an outside project.

In summary, bringing new information and objects in from other drawings is simple and straightforward, use copy drawing to project, and all of the information is populated in the current project. In addition, modifying existing drawings and objects is easy; replacing the drawing file with the new version allows the project to get updated the next time the project is opened. The only real scenario that you need to be aware of is when off page connectors are disconnected in the working project. Those opc need to be noted, and manually modified in the master project.

Series NavigationSharing Awesomeness in AutoCAD Plant 3D – Sending ProjectsSharing Awesomeness – Skipping Classes and Properties