Engineering Base – Principle Workflow [Video]

In this video, Aucotec Application Consultant Pouria Bigvand shows how to use Engineering Base for front end engineering design [FEED].


Hello colleagues. I am Pouria from the Application Consultant Department. I have prepared this movie in order to have another sample presentation use case.

This movie is about using EB [Engineering Base] in the field of process and plant design, instrumentation, and electrical, and it can be called as front end engineering design or FEED. In this movie, I would cover the complete design of a plant based on this flow chart. We will start from conceptual design, which includes block diagram, PFD, and simulation. Then we will continue to basic and detailed process design including the P&ID, instrumentation, and 3D. Then we will continue to basic and detailed electrical design of a plant.

For the start, imagine that we have planned our project in a project planning tool like MS Project. Here you can see the list of my tasks that are defined for different departments. Here, you can see the duration, start, and percent complete of each task, resources assigned to each task, and the Gantt chart.

In Engineering Base, I have a project, I have an Equipment folder, including all the physical devices. I have a Functions folder, including the logical structure of my plant. And I have a Documents folder including all my documents, including process, EI&C, hydraulic, patterns, report, and template.

Then here, in the Project Control Panel, in the tab of MS Project, we have the same tasks in the MS Project. This tool is completely integrated with MS Project. You can see the same tasks, duration, start, and priority, percent complete, notes. Whenever you want, you can update it from MS Project. This is the path of MS Project, this is the name of the project, and this is the project start and end time.

In order to start the design of the plant, as a project manager, I go to the Documents folder > Process folder > Block Diagram, and then I will open my block diagram. Then I go to the Functions folder, line B. This is my plant. Then, Server Recovery Section. Then the Selection Column.

Now, I want my process engineer to start working on this new block. I will place the block on the block diagram. I will connect it to the other blocks. Then, I will go to the Project Control Panel and I will create a new task for my process engineer.

I will assign it to the department of Process. I will attach it to the task of Process Design from MS Project, and I will say that this task is 5% of the major task. You can see that the total percent left is 90%. I will assign it to the user Process Engineer A. The state of the task is New. The due date can be end of next week. The quality check person can be Project Manager. Then the task type is Task with Attached Items, because I want to attach this column to the task. I go here, select the item, and I will attach the item to the task, and I will create a task.

For the purpose of presentation, now I go to the Resources, and I will change my role to Process Engineer A. You can see that as soon as I change my role, I get a new message from Windows that I have a new task from Engineering Base. If I go to the dashboard, I can see that I have a new task. I can accept the task, request more info, reject it, view statistics of the task. There are five steps inside the task and 0% is finished.

I can navigate and I can modify the task. Here on the right side, you can see the funnel of the tasks based on the due dates. Here, you can see the statistics of the tasks, which are: In Progress, New, or More Info. Then here, you can see the statistics of the task which are assigned to different people.

I will accept the task and then I go to my task list. Here is the task. I can double-click and see the specifications of the task. Here is an attachment of the task. If I close this tree and I double-click, then it will navigate automatically to the task.

These are the steps that I have to follow. The first step is to design the simulation and import it into Engineering Base. I will run the wizard directly from that step. I have already designed a simulation in the PRO/II software, so I will select it from here. I can open the simulation to see what’s going on in the simulation if I want to modify something. I can directly run the simulation and solve the flow sheet. I can import the devices into Engineering Base.

First, I will import the equipment into Engineering Base. You can see all the equipment have been imported into Engineering Base. Now we close the simulation portal. I will go the Equipment folder > Area 200, and I will open the PFD.

Then I will rearrange the streams to the appropriate folder. I will place streams into Material Balance. Simultaneously, you can see that the Material Balance Table has been populated. I will put the devices into Section 1. Then I will place the Distillation Column into the drawing. Then I will place the Tank, Pump 001, and Pump 002. I can assign the FEED to here and to here, and I can continue to design the PFD as follows.

Before that, I want to import the specific engines of the streams into Engineering Base from simulation. I will zoom to this table and then I’ll go to the Functions and I would find my distillation column. I’ll go to Simulation Portal. The simulation is already selected. I’ll go to Receive Data, and I will select my streams. I press Import Data, then all the data is imported from the simulation to Engineering Base, and it is showing me the table and all the relevant fields in the PFD. Now that I have finished designing the PFD, I can go to the Project Control Panel and mark my tasks as resolved.

Of course at any point of time, the person who created the task can go to the task and then view the statistics of the task and see how much is the task finished. You can see here, now the task is 40% finished. If you want to update the MS Project file, at the moment, you can see that the process design is only 10% finished, but when we update it, now it is 12% finished. If you go to the MS Project file, you can see that process design task is 12% finished.

In the same way, all the people in the project, they can create a task for each other based on a certain workflow and they can track the task and the percent complete of each task based on the real engineering data.

Now that I have imported my simulation into Engineering Base, I can go to the Material Balance folder, then Chemical Composition, then select my stream. I can see the data which is imported from my simulation.

Here, I can modify the data if I want. I can change the units for flow rate or for composition, and I can apply to the stream. If I want to import the material balance into PFD, I can go to the Material Balance > Insert Worksheet in Visio > select Material Balance, and the table would be imported into PFD. I can modify the table as I like.

After the PFD, the next step would be designing the P&ID. I open my P&ID and then I will assign the distillation column and the tank to the P&ID. I would create a new pump, P-001A, and also P-001B. I can rearrange them. Now, I have the P-001A and B, and then A and B in different devices.

In order to increase the speed of P&ID design, I can use some predefined modules. I’ll go to Modules Libraries > P&ID Design > Pump. I will drag and drop my module here. If I zoom to this part, first of all, you can see that the destination of this pipe, which I can navigate to it in my pipelines, is already defined automatically. The Destination 1 is from Column 001. Now, when I connect the pipe to this pump, you can see that the Destination 2 is Pump 001A and Pump 0001B.

Also, the chemical substance is passed through all the devices. So if I go to this valve, then I can see that the chemical substance with all the specifications is passed through the devices. There is no need to mention that automatically, my Pipe Schedule is populated in the Reports lists. If I go to the Documents Folder > Reports, and then Reports > Pipe Schedule > Section 001, if I open it, then I can see that Pipe 007, the Destination 1 and Destination 2 is automatically assigned here.

Now that we have designed some parts of the P&ID, now we can link it to the 3D model. I will come back to the P&ID.

This is my P&ID. I have a distillation column, a boiler, a tank, two condensers, and four pumps. I have prepared a 3D model for an example in AutoCAD 3D. In AutoCAD, we have the Engineering Base 3D ribbon and then we have the 3D model of our P&ID in AutoCAD. You can see that there is a distillation column, two condensers, one tank, one boiler, and four pumps. From the P&ID, I can navigate to my distillation column. This is my distillation column. I can build an association between Engineering Base and AutoCAD 3D model. The association has been built.

Now, this 3D model is just another representation of the item in database. If I open my Column Properties as a comment, I can see this is in 1D. If I go to P&ID, I can open it again and I can see this is 1D. Now, I can change it to 2D. When I go to the 3D, I can open it and I can see this is 2D, and now I can change it into 3D. This is just another representation of the item.

Other options that I have here are: navigation between Engineering Base and 3D model, inserting the objects from the 3D catalog of Engineering Base into the 3D model, managing the associations, creating new Engineering Base device in 3D, and modifying the blocks. Of course it’s possible to design the isometric drawings in Engineering Base. For example, if I go to my P&ID and I will navigate from one of my valves to here, and I can see that this valve is also represented on the isometric drawing. This is my valve on the isometric drawing, which was also represented in the P&ID and also can be linked to 3D model.

For the final step in the process design, I will come back to the P&ID. On this tank, I will create a new sensor for controlling the level of a tank. I will press Control and I will press ALT. I will copy that sensor to the left side of the tank. By pressing ALT, you’ll see that the connection is automatically done to the tank. When I open the sensor, I can see that’s a copy of my sensor, so I will rename it. I can navigate to my sensor. Here’s my sensor. I will place it under the tank.

For the final step, I will go to the PCE Portal > PCE Configurator. I will select my sensor. I will select my target Plant > Line B > Server Recovery Column 001. PCE name is following the name of the sensor. PCE function is following the rules. I will follow the rules of NAMUR NE 150.

Now automatically, I have my PCE function and all the controller specifications. Now, here I can navigate to the function. You can see that on Column 001, my function has been created, the controller with all the specifications is created, and this is my association to the sensor.

Now that we have this sensor on the P&ID, we can create the specification on hookup for this sensor. I will navigate to the sensor. I will go to the Select Hookup Wizard. From the Hookups list, I can preview the hookup that I want and I can select it for my sensor. Also, I will go to the Select Specification Wizard, and from my Specification Wizard, I will select Level Switch. Now, if I close Equipment and Functions folder and go to my Hookups folder and open the list of my hookups, I can see that my sensor is listed in the hookup list. I don’t have to care about the reports because all the reports are created automatically.

Also for the specifications, I can go to the specification that I have selected. I can see the association to my sensor. If I want, I can open the specification to see the details. I can assign as many sensors as I want to this specification just by opening the worksheet of Sensors, and then associating all of the sensors to the same specification sheet.

If I want to create the kind of data sheet for my sensor or for any other device in Engineering Base, I can navigate to the device, and then under device, I have three options. I can create a data sheet, I can export a data sheet to Excel, or I can import a data sheet. When I press on Create Data Sheet, the data sheet has been created for my sensor, including all the information which is necessary for my sensor. Obviously, this data sheet is not just a report, it’s a dynamic report from the database. Whatever I change in the database or on the drawing or on the worksheet, the data here will be changed.

Now that I have created the sensors in my database and I have placed them on P&ID and other types of drawings, I might need to get more information about the sensors from external parties or even I want to buy the sensors and I want to have the price of the sensors. For this reason, I will go, for example, to my sensors and I want to export these sensors to an Excel file so I can send the Excel file to main automation contractor or any other external partner.

Under Transmitters, I will open Smart Excel. I will select Transmitters and I will select the primary key for my sensors and I will export it to the desktop. Now that I have exported my sensors, I can go to the Project Control Panel, select the exported sensors. For their Design State, I would say they are New, and for Bidding State, I would say they are Exported. In this way, I will create and I also add a version, so now they have Version 2. Now in this way, I will create the history points for these sensors.

I also can go to Transmitters and create a snapshot from my exported worksheet. I will call it A. The snapshot on the exported worksheet has been created. Now the main automation contractor can open my Excel file, can see all the information about current state of my sensors. At the end, there are some places for transmitter price and currency. External party can fill these fields and he can save the Excel file and send it back to me. When I receive the Excel file back in Engineering Base, I can run the Smart Excel again. I can go to the Import tab, select the Excel file, and see the parts that have been changed. I can import some of them and do not import the rest of them.

At the import process, I would say that these items are Purchased. Their design state is Received. They have been created 4 days ago, but I receive the information about them today. I will extract the import. At this point of time, I can create a new version for them, which means they are approved. Their design state is Released and Finished. Now, their design state is Finished, Approved, and Purchased. Some of them are purchased. I can go to the item history of each of them and see what are the changes.

I can go to List Versioning and compare my old snapshot with current state of the project. I can see that these three items are modified. If I come to the end, I can see the modifications in the worksheet. Also, if I go to the Live Log, I can see that all information is shown here, including the price, the currency, and the changed states of the items. The Live Log is showing me all the activities which are happening in the project.

Now that we have created sensors in the database and we have placed them on the P&ID, we are ready to create the loops for the sensors. Therefore, I’ll go the P&ID and I will navigate from my sensor to the function. I can close the Equipment folder. In the function, I have PCE and I have association to my sensor. I will go to the Typical Manager. I will select the typical for my sensor. I can preview the typical. Here, I can Apply or Okay. Here, you can see all the devices including the input, wires, cables are created. If I opened the loop, the sensor has been merged with my already available sensor, and the rest of the devices including the I/O is now created in the database.

Utilizing typical copy for creation of the loops is not the only way of creating the loops in Engineering Base. Imagine that we already have all these alphanumeric devices, for example, coming from an Excel file, and now we wanted to create the drawings automatically from the alphanumeric data. For this reason, I will close this loop drawing, I will go to Pu, and here, I will run generate loop drawing creation. I can modify the configurations. The system will automatically place all the devices including the sensor, I/O, and all other auxiliary devices into the drawing for me.

Now, I can open my loop drawings, and the loop drawing is complete. I can navigate to the items or I can open and modify the items.

In order to continue the electrical design of the plant, I will go ahead with two other types of drawings: single line diagram and circuit diagram. I will close the Equipment folder and Functions folder and I will close the loop diagram. On the EI&C folder > Circuit Diagram Drawing, I will open Circuit Diagram #6. Now I want to place a motor here on the circuit diagram and also on the hydraulic diagram and also on the P&ID. Therefore, I will open the P&ID and also I will open the hydraulic diagram. In order to see the list of my motors, I will open the report of my motors. Since I want to see all of these pages altogether or make a multiple view, I will zoom the different parts of my drawings.

I will go to my Catalogs > Standard Catalog > Motors, and I will select the motor to drag and drop it over the circuit diagram. You see the shape on the circuit diagram is according to the circuit diagram standards. The P&ID shape is changed according to the P&ID standards. On the hydraulic diagram, the shape will change according to the hydraulic diagrams. The intelligence of the system will not allow me to use a wrong shape on a drawing.

As soon as I place a motor on the circuit diagram, you’ll see that one motor is added to the report and the motor is placed on the drawing. I can navigate to my motor and I can place it on the other drawings. Obviously, If I change the name of the motor in the drawing or in the database, all the changes will propagate through all the drawings and reports.

Now, if I want to show a comment of my motor in different languages, I can open my motor and in the comments, I can type for example “Motor Control Unit,” and the comment will be shown here. If I want to show it in different language, I can go to the project properties to the dictionaries, and for example, I can activate the Chinese. I can view the comment of my motor also in Chinese.

In order to continue the design of the circuit diagram, the next step would be designing the wires.

Therefore, I’ll go to the EI&C folder > Cables > Folder 1. Then here, I will run the Cable Wizard. The name can be W001. I need three power wires and one ground. I can re-number them so they have the correct numbers. I can change the colors if I want. I can add the wire size and gauge, and I can press Okay. Now, I have my cable. I have all the wires which I require. I can select the wires and I can drag them over the drawing. As soon as I grab these wires over the drawing, their destination is automatically created here. You can imagine that the wire schedule report is automatically populated and created in the database.

Now, we go ahead and design some terminals. Equipment folder > Field Cabinet Room > NB001. Here, using Terminal Block Wizard, I would create a new terminal. I would call it T001. Create four terminals. Here, I can create terminals, terminal segments, male connector terminal, female connector terminal, and if I want, I can select it from catalog, but now I’ll just select normal terminals, and I have my terminal. I will select my four terminals and I will drag them over the drawing. As soon as I get my terminals, if I go to the wires, the destinations of the wires are completely assigned automatically and the wire schedule is updated.

Another method for designing the wiring is Wiring Manager. To show you the Wiring Manager, we’ll navigate to the cable. Under Cable, I will run the Wire Manager. In the middle side, you can see my cable, W001. These are the wires inside the cable. On the left side, you can see the left device. On the right side, you can see the right device. From our motor, these wires are connected to the terminals. If I want, I can select some wire and disconnect it. Now, we can see one wire is disconnected. If I would like, I can connect it back. With the same method, we can continue designing the whole cables and wires with left and right devices.

With the same method, we can continue to design the circuit diagrams or we can let the system do the circuit diagrams automatically. To show this method, I will close this circuit diagram and I would close the Equipment folder. Then I will navigate to the functions. Here, I have three functions. I will run the Typical Copy for all these three functions. You see that Typical Copy has created the basic template of the function. Now, I can close this sheet. I can close my functions. I will select them again. This time, I will run Typical Configurator. I can select some options or I can select variants, which are a mixture of different functions. Then, I can click Apply. The system will open this sheet, place the objects automatically, and will form my circuit diagram automatically. Of course, it is possible to later on update the modules, variants, and options.

Now that we have designed the circuit diagrams and single-line diagrams, we can go ahead and allocate I/Os to the controllers. For this reason, I will close the Functions folder and Equipment folder. I will go to the EI&C > Circuit Diagram > Circuit Diagram #6, and I will open the Controller Drawing #5. I am making multiple view.

These are my I/Os and this is my controller. Now, I want to assign these I/Os to the controller. On the Equipment folder, I will run the Manage Device Wizard. On the left side, I can load all the inputs and outputs. On the right side, I can load the controllers. I’m looking for K5.4, so I will select K5.4.

I can see that all the I/Os are open. Here, I will select my I/Os. On the right side, I will select 1 and 2. When everything is correct regarding the specific attributes, I can match the I/Os to the controller. You can see that the information about the controller is represented on the I/Os, and the information about the I/O is represented on the controller. Therefore with the same method, I can continue to allocate all my I/Os to specific controllers.

For the last step, we will see how Engineering Base can help us to create and design the cabinet layout. I will close these drawings and then I will go to the Cabinet Layout. I will open the Cabinet Layout. Here on the cabinet, we have some mounting forms. These mounting forms have some dimensions and already we have all the equipment with their dimensions and placement on the Equipment folder. Therefore, we can run the Mounting Rail Assignment.

Here, we can select all the devices which are relevant. Here, we can select all the mounting rails. Here, we can select the rule that the system should follow to place the devices on the cabinet layout. Then I will run the Layout Options. The system will place all the devices automatically in the layout. I can zoom to the devices. I can open them. If I want, I can navigate to the devices. You see the structure in the tree is Control Room > +C1 > Cabinet > Door 1, Door 2 > Mounting Plate, and on Mounting Rail 9, I have my devices.

Now, if I want to complete the design of the cabinet by the routing, I can select the drawing and then I run the Routing. I have to close the sheet. The system will give me the list of errors. When I go to my Cabinet Layout, all the wires are routed to the cable docks based on certain rules. If it is required to design the functional chart of the plant inside Engineering Base, it is also possible to design and also it is possible to export it to PLC systems or DCS systems. To show this functionality, I will close the cabinet layout and then I will navigate to the P&ID. From the P&ID, I will navigate to one of the signals. Here is my function and these are the signals. From the Function Chart, I can open my function chart. From my Modules, I can add a module of functionality or logic. I can modify the logics if I want, or otherwise, I can go to the project and drag and drop my signals to the function chart.

With this method, I can go on and design a complete function chart of the plant and control system. At the end of the project, we can make a revision over the whole project or we make a revision over some part of the project. For example, I go to Documents folder > Process > P&ID. In the P&ID that we have modified, I would create a new revision. When I open the PDF file of the revision, I can see all the parts that have been changed.

Thank you for watching this movie. I hope you enjoyed it.

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