SolidWorks' software automates tube, pipe, cable design

Concord, MA—To reduce design time and errors, SolidWorks Corp. unveiled Sept. 15 its Routing software, which gives users its tube, pipe and cable route design capabilities in one tool.


Concord, MA— To reduce design time and errors, SolidWorks Corp. unveiled Sept. 15 its Routing software, which gives users its tube, pipe and cable route design capabilities in one tool. Engineers previously had to use multiple applications for designing these different types of routes. Routing is an add-on application that is integrated with SolidWorks’ recently announced SolidWorks 2004 software.

Routing targets machine and equipment designers, who were traditionally forced to choose between barely functional tools and expensive, highly specialized applications that didn't meet all their needs. Engineers often had to purchase additional software just to complete product designs with a variety of tubes, pipes and cable routes.

Routing eliminates much of the manual work that other routing software requires. For instance, it allows engineers to develop various route types in 3D designs. These types include pneumatic, hydraulic, piping, and cable routes for power and control functions, which can all be designed without leaving the SolidWorks design application. The company says Routing’s integrated approach ensures design and bill of materials (BOM) accuracy, and helps engineers complete designs quickly to speed products to market.

For example, design speed is especially crucial for Applied Engineering Services Inc., which designs and tests high-performance rocket engine test facilities for the military at Edwards Air Force Base in California. Designer Wes Mosier and his colleagues use SolidWorks Routing to design the test stands for engines as small as a coffee can or as large as a compact car.

'Meeting customer deadlines is imperative, so we're constantly looking for ways to save time,' says Mosier. 'For the first time, we've got one application to design all of the tubes and pipes carrying fuel, engine coolant, and other vital fluids, as well as the electrical conduits for the mechanisms we use to test these engines. Routing increases our productivity because we can design all routes at once, rather than piecemeal. That helps us meet strict Department of Defense schedules.'

Streamlining design, manufacturing
Routing also allows engineers to automate many of the tasks that formerly required manual keystrokes. With just a few mouse clicks, engineers can add junctions and assemblies; update parts lists; and create files that accelerate manufacturing. Some of Routing’s other key features include:

  • Intelligent connection points and fittings, which allows users to quickly develop a route, then drag and drop various tube, pipe, or cabling connectors and fittings into product designs. The software then dynamically sizes the route to match the size of the fitting or connector added to the design. The software also has the intelligence to automatically help engineers place the correct fitting in a tube or pipe route.

  • Intelligent route development, which enables quick route generation; adds items, such as junctions, assemblies and fittings, anywhere along the route; and then breaks the route into multiple segments. For example, engineers can drag and drop an assembly, and the software automatically configures the connections to the specified route.

  • Automatic bill of materials (BOM) updating, which automatically updates the BOM for a product design when an engineer inserts a component, such as a pipe tee or a ball valve into a route or modifies the route length. This eliminates the need to manually catalog all of the assembly's feature specifications n the product design's parts list.

  • Fittings library, which lets users easily drag fittings from a customizable library and drop them onto a tube, pipe or cable route, where the software automatically adjusts them to the route’s exact specifications. This self-configuring library of standard and custom fittings helps engineers eliminate time previously spent hunting in libraries for the right part.

  • Bend table creation, which accelerates product manufacturing by creating a table of tube or pipe bend data specifications, and then uses Routing to direct a computer numerical control (CNC) bending machine to manufacture the tube accurately.

Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Jim Montague, news editor

No comments
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
The System Integrator Giants program lists the top 100 system integrators among companies listed in CFE Media's Global System Integrator Database.
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
This eGuide illustrates solutions, applications and benefits of machine vision systems.
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
Additive manufacturing benefits; HMI and sensor tips; System integrator advice; Innovations from the industry
Robotic safety, collaboration, standards; DCS migration tips; IT/OT convergence; 2017 Control Engineering Salary and Career Survey
Integrated mobility; Artificial intelligence; Predictive motion control; Sensors and control system inputs; Asset Management; Cybersecurity
Featured articles highlight technologies that enable the Industrial Internet of Things, IIoT-related products and strategies to get data more easily to the user.
This article collection contains several articles on how automation and controls are helping human-machine interface (HMI) hardware and software advance.
This digital report will explore several aspects of how IIoT will transform manufacturing in the coming years.

Find and connect with the most suitable service provider for your unique application. Start searching the Global System Integrator Database Now!

Infrastructure for natural gas expansion; Artificial lift methods; Disruptive technology and fugitive gas emissions
Mobility as the means to offshore innovation; Preventing another Deepwater Horizon; ROVs as subsea robots; SCADA and the radio spectrum
Future of oil and gas projects; Reservoir models; The importance of SCADA to oil and gas
Automation Engineer; Wood Group
System Integrator; Cross Integrated Systems Group
Jose S. Vasquez, Jr.
Fire & Life Safety Engineer; Technip USA Inc.
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me