The Pipe Loadings Transfer Program transfers an output file data from piping stress analysis to an input data file of a structural analysis program. The program flow chart is shown in Fig. 1.
FIG. 1. FLOW CHART OF PIPE LOADINGS TRANSFER PROGRAM
The concepts of a pipe support vector and a beam vector are employed in the Pipe Loadings Transfer Program. They are the key of the success of the file data transfer method. First, piping designers locate a pipe support with a tag number to identify the pipe support coordinates as a pipe support vector; then this tag number is picked up by the plant design software in a file export menu of a PXF file or a PCF file. When a stress analysis program opens a PXF file or a PCF file, it will treat this tag number as the name of a pipe support vector. The analysis results of a stress analysis program then assign a restraint node number with the tag number, and the forces of a pipe support in a restraint reactions table as shown in Fig. 2. All these information for a pipe support will form a unique database system and the file data contained in this system unit can be manipulated in later analysis.
FIG. 2. RESTRAINT REACTIONS TABLE
The Pipe Loadings Transfer Program has the capability to build a DXF file for a structural frame, and to assign beam numbers in a form of beam vectors for a structure as shown in Fig. 3. For a given beam, the coordinates at a start point with a beam direction are represented as a beam vector of a piping frame. This will be accomplished by filling in the origin of a structural frame at its X, Y and Z coordinates and the increments of the structural grid in the eastward, or northward and the elevation respectively as shown in Fig. 4. This program has a unique feature to link pipe support vectors to a beam vector; accordingly, this program has the ability to group all pipe support loadings, which belong to a beam, to form the beam loadings. Because the format of a beam vector is similar to the format of a pipe support vector, once an individual beam is chosen, then the elevation and the direction of the beam are determined. Those pipe support vectors with the same elevation and the same directional coordinate along the beam can be linked together as a pipe support vector group based on a beam vector, and the loadings of these pipe supports become the beam loadings.
FIG. 3. A STRUCTURAL FRAME CREATED FROM A DXF FILE WITH BEAM NUMBERS
FIG. 4. STRUCTURAL GRID AND BEAM NUMBER GENERATOR
The structural analysis program has the Excel format for inputting point loading data, and the location of point loadings along a beam which are determined by ratios of the support distances divided by the full span length of a beam. The Pipe Loadings Transfer Program has the ability to sort the maximum loading for pipe support loadings under different design and operating conditions from the stress output files, and to store the loading data in according to the structural loading input format. As a result, the piping support loadings from stress analysis output files can be precisely transferred to a structural program by using the copy and paste method as shown in Fig. 5.
FIG. 5. PIPE SUPPORT V-STOP LOADINGS TRANSFERRED TO A STRUCTURAL FRAME
The Pipe Loadings Transfer Program is the most efficient method to transfer the pipe support loadings from stress analysis results to a structural analysis program. Only a few of simple copy and paste steps can transfer hundreds or thousands of pipe support loadings to a structural program. The time required to input pipe support loadings to a structural program will be drastically reduced.
The file data transfer method eliminates tedious manual work to streamline the design data flow in order to save engineering time and reduce errors during the data transfer process. This will improve scheduling on a plant design and reduce the engineering cost.
A series of projects have employed the file data transfer method and proved that this method is reliable and applies the most advance technology in a plant design. The advantages of using a file data transfer method are simple, fast, and accurate.