A while back, I asked this question for a free Piping and Instrumentation Diagram (P&ID) software on softwarerecs.SE. I described the core features of a P&ID software thusly:

Where a proper P&ID software differs from a drawing tool like Visio or Diag is that the P&ID tool can output a parts list listing all components and connectors. Components and connecting lines can have additional specifications (like the power and type of a motor, or the size and material and pressure level of a pipe). This specifications can then be written to the material/component list.

Confession time: I've never worked with a P&ID software, this is just what I think (from poring over plans and counting valves) would be really helpful.

What core features do working engineers need from a modern P&ID tool?

Edit to clairfy: I'm not looking for a specific product, I'm looking for the core features that make a tool great.

  • $\begingroup$ I want to add a P&ID tag, but the & is omitted, also what is a good tag for workflow or engineering-process or productivity? $\endgroup$
    – mart
    Mar 25 '15 at 9:14
  • $\begingroup$ @mart I would avoid a P&ID tag if it rejects the ampersand, because that will be too easily confused with PID, which is a control scheme. Unless you already knew that, in which case, carry on not doing that. $\endgroup$ Mar 25 '15 at 18:20
  • $\begingroup$ good idea to avoid 'pid', maybe piping-instrumentation-diagram? $\endgroup$
    – mart
    Mar 25 '15 at 20:13
  • $\begingroup$ We generally do call them pi-diagrams maube that is a good tag name $\endgroup$
    – joojaa
    Apr 19 '16 at 15:15

Axsys may be what you are looking for:


You can link your drawings to your simulation files (HYSYS, PRO/II etc). I.e. Axsys can read relevant data (heat exchanger sizing, pipes, valves etc) and then allows you to generate datasheets, equipment lists etc. So if you need to make a design change you can just update your simulation file and it will propogate to your drawings (PFD and P&ID) and equipment datasheets.

Pretty convenient if you'll be going through several design iterations. That said, I haven't used it professionally so I can't say how well it works. And, its not free.


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