P&ID drawings are one of the most valuable components of any plant design. In addition to outlining the general design of the plant to be built, it becomes a legacy document for the plants’ operations and changes or upgrades have to be modified according to it.
PROCAD’s first product was the AutoFLOW Piping and Instrumentation Diagram software. It was developed to fill a void in the market for a reasonably priced and easy-to-use plugin to AutoCAD. The AutoFLOW P&ID software had a limited release in 1991 and was used by a handful of companies in Calgary’s robust Oil & Gas industry. When word got out on how easy and beneficial this software was, it quickly became the most widely used software for drawing Piping & Instrumentation Diagrams (P&ID or PID) and Process Flow Diagrams (PFD).
The AutoFLOW software provided customers with a great tool to improve productivity and to help transition engineering firms to CAD from the drafting table. At that time, P&IDs were drawn on a long roll of mylar paper that sometimes reached 20 feet in length. The roll drawings needed special tables with spools on both ends so designers would go through the different frames of the P&ID – a real cumbersome method to draw and to refer to – even for that time.
Within a couple of years after its release, PROCAD upgraded the software to be pipe spec driven and with that came its full integration with the rest of the Piping Suite products: The AutoORTHO and AutoISO. To this day, the AutoFLOW continues to serve many customers who enjoy its ease of use, intelligence and productive features. Hundreds of thousands of P&ID and PFD drawings have been created using this software to date.