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Visio for Process Engineering PFDs and P&IDs

Started by visProcessEng, July 02, 2008, 04:21:49 PM

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I have made some critical statments about the Process Engineering Stencils that ship with Visio Professional.

To back up these comments I reckon it is up to me to put-up-or-shutup.  I have attached an example of what my expectations are for "Smart" P&ID shapes.

Please note that all valves shown in the attached file share a common master "Block Valve". 

Please also note that when saved as a dwg file, a hatch pattern replaces the fill pattern (in fact the hatch pattern lays under the fill pattern in the attached so if you don't have acad you can just turn off the fill pattern either by format or using shapesheet and see what I am talking about).

I hope this will generate some comment and interest,  I have more exciting stuff than this but I have to limit my posting space.

As I feared, I have exceeded the limit on postings (File Size is 227kB.  Maybe Visio Guy can grant me a special dispensation for more space.  I attempted to compress it but the file was only reduced 10%

Best regards,


The attachment is empty?
I've also been working on some shapes for P&ID drawings, besides the basic shapes Visio shipes with, I made loads of shapes specific to a company I did the work for. As P&ID's are works in progress, you need to be able to change shapes without going true the hassle of reconnecting everything, so I made a template to easily add new shapes using CAD drawings.

I made variation to the shapes possible by for example having the top level group make the isolation group its normal size or 0*0 (hidden).

More basic shapes like valves have all the options like normaly open and normaly closed, 2-way, 3-way and angle valve etcetc.

All the shapes have shapedata that makes them linkable with PDM software. Visio is able to create (basic) listings from the visio file.
I then created a Excel template that can be then edited to look the way they like, and then be used to fill in data (instrument listing) then the Excel can be linked with Visio...

All in all I think Visio is an amazing tool for P&ID drawings, they become far smarter then the plain drawings you would end up with using CAD software.

I won't be able to upload my stencils though, as I did all this for a company...

- Lars


It has taken a little longer than I had hoped to get this resolved (I took the family on Vacation)

I am hoping the link below will be of interest to those who may have been disappointed in the empty upload.

Visio Guy

This is a really cool demonstration of what multi-shapes can do: One single valve shape has 100 different permutations, all configurable via Shape Data fields.

It is interesting to look at what happens to the file size, since all of the valves on a page inherit some information from the original master shape.

I created some drawings with varying numbers of valve-instances on the drawing page. The drawings, of course, have one master in the Document stencil, from which the valves inherit their behavior.

The file sizes are as follows:

11 KB       Empty Visio drawing (with no local masters)
36 KB       0 blocks on page (with one local master)
43 KB       1 block on page (with one local master)
396 KB      67 blocks on page (with one local master)

That means, we're adding roughly 5 - 6 KB per instance, even though the master itself is around 25 KB.
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Thanks for the positive feedback.

Work and family vacations have kept me out of contact this summer, but I hope to get a conversation on this subject going.  If there is anyone else out there who is interested in producing these documents in Visio, and is willing to help in developing the shape stencils required,  I am all to willing to share my work to date.

Best regards,

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