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The Benefits of Fluid Flow Software Part 2: Communication And Access

In the previous chapter of this series, we talked about the benefits of fluid flow software for visualizations and calculations and how integrating calculations and schematics into one program can save you time and money. In this chapter, we talk about the advantages fluid flow software has in terms of:

Here’s how fluid flow software like PIPE-FLO a Revalize brand performs compared to just spreadsheets or CAD alone:

Engineering Data Tables

With spreadsheets, most of the pipeline input data used in spreadsheet analysis comes from pipe, fluid, and valve tables found in engineering handbooks. These design values often need confirma-tion in engineering handbooks and manually entered into the spreadsheet. Project managers must repeat this process for each pipeline. Not only is this tedious — it’s also prone to error.

PIPE-FLO uses built-in engineering data tables and automatically looks up the necessary pipe, fluid, and valve data used by the program. There is no limit to the number of tables it supports. The platform also contains an extensive library of critically reviewed fluid property data. PIPE-FLO ships with over 550 process chemicals and industrial fluids in its library, and has one of the most advanced fluid flow calculation modules on the market.

Pump and Valve Selection and Evaluation

One of PIPE-FLO’s greatest advantages is its ability to select and evaluate a pump in the piping system. The software automates sizing calculations and determines the pump’s Total Dynamic Head and Net Positive Suction Head needed for pump selection. Using manufacturer-supplied Electronic Pump Catalogs, PIPE-FLO selects the pumps meeting the system needs. Users can then place the selected pump into the piping system model and calculate the operation of the system based on the pump’s specific operating curves.
Spreadsheet programs do not have the ability to select pumps and control valves because of the large volume of manufacturer data that must be entered to make the necessary equipment selection. However, PIPE-FLO has the capability to add control valves to the system. When control is inserted into the system, the program calculates the valve’s inlet and differential pressures, along with the flow rate through the control. The program then selects and evaluates control valves from manufacturers’ catalogs.

Pipe Specifications

Most piping systems are designed using client-generated pipe specifications. This capability is difficult to incorporate into a spreadsheet.

PIPE-FLO uses pipe specifications in its workflow, providing project management with the ability to control the choices available to a user. For example, a pipe specification sets the pipe material and schedule, valve and fitting tables, pipeline sizing rules, and design limits.

To size a pipeline using PIPE-FLO, choose a pipe specification, then enter the designed flow rate. The pipe specification fixes the pipe material and schedule, and the program selects the best available pipe diameter using the sizing rules found in the pipe specification.

Communication From the Boardroom to the Plant Floor

A consistent challenge in fluid handling equipment manufacturing is effectively communicating how a piping system will perform to clients and stakeholders. Spreadsheets are a tool for presenting raw data or single pipeline calculations, but it’s difficult to understand and communicate a problem just through numbers alone.

Using PIPE-FLO, you can quickly and easily share your system operations in a detailed report. The program provides flow sheet views of each system, showing the interaction of pipelines, pumps, components, and controls. In addition, PIPE-FLO has an innovative simulation tool for system network calculations, as well as a platform to troubleshoot issues.

Program Testing and Error Checking

When a spreadsheet is developed internally, you must consider the cost of verifying and validating the calculated results. This can be a long and tedious operation, depending on the spreadsheet design. Further, whenever a change is made to the spreadsheet, you have to repeat the whole process again.

PIPE-FLO has gone through an extensive set of automated test scripts in our verification and validation process. The scripts test and exercise every feature of the program, and compare the results against hand calculations. Any discrepancies that occur are resolved before PIPE-FLO’s release.

Fluid flow software is a relatively new solution in the marketplace — and not all platforms are the same. PIPE-FLO is the engineering standard for modeling and simulation calculations to manage your entire fluid system lifecycle. From design to digital twin simulations, our software is proven to save time and money. Schedule a demo to learn more.

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