Why is Aveva PDMS better than Intergraph PDS?

What is PDMS?

PDMS or Plant Design Management System is a highly popular Engineering Design software developed by AVEVA. It’s easy customizable user-friendly feature and multi-user supports in the multi-discipline environment make it the number 1 choice for many renowned engineering, design and construction projects in the onshore and offshore industry. PDMS possesses separate modules for piping, equipment, structure, ducting and cable trays. The software can be easily customized based on client specifications and catalogs and has a fully colored 3D environment.

What is PDS?

PDS or Plant Design Systems is an intelligent computer-based plant design engineering software package developed by Intergraph (Currently Hexagon). Starting from the year 1980, PDS is believed to be one of the pioneers of the 3D design industry. PDS can be used for projects ranging from small scale revamp jobs to multibillion-dollar onshore and offshore platforms, refineries, chemical, and petrochemical plants.

PDMS vs PDS; Differences

From the above paragraphs, it is clear that both PDMS and PDS can be used for the design of any project. But most of the time designers ask, Which one is better between PDS and PDMS? According to user experience and technical flexible functionality, PDMS is far better than PDS. The following table will list down major differences between them.

Typical 3D Graphic Model
Typical 3D Graphic Model
Sr. NoParameterPDMSPDS
1Modelling & Design EnvironmentWorking in shared or wire-line 3D environment. Higher level of visualization at desktop for all engineering disciplines. Fully multidisciplinary 3D model.Predominantly wire-line in day to day work. PDS can design in full-color shade but it is a static image. Image rotation or or zooming is not possible. In PDS, HVAC, Raceway, etc. have separate applications.
2Access ControlAccess control on specific disciplines or objects are easier.Access control is much difficult.
3Data HandlingNo limit on job size. Software runs smoothly with high speed.PDS forces the designer to split big projects. Dependency of admin works is more with more complexity.
4Database ArchitecturePDMS database is open and easily accessible using the toolkits provided. The user simply navigates around a hierarchical project structure of the invisible PDMS database. The major advantage of multi- disciplinary database of PDMS is that the interference checking between those disciplines will not have errors due to stepped data release.PDS holds information in model files. The graphical information is stored in .dgn files. Associated with this are the .drv files with some attribute data and is the link from the graphical files to the oracle database. Standard SQL links to Oracle are used to write and read information from the database. On multi-disciplined smaller projects, the user can not swap between different disciplines in the same reference file as the application ware (GUI) is different between different disciplines. Only option for the user is to come out and re-enter the system which wastes time.
5Attribute DataIn PDMS the attribute data is stored in the same database as the graphical information and is protected from the user by the applications.The oracle database is linked with the element via hidden stored user data. Items can be given same name. Therefore there is no integrity of data. The .drv file which is an ASCII file can be edited in a standard editor outside of the system.
6Revision ManagementAccording to project procedures, PDMS is fully customizable to ensure available data is always fully controlled. Features like Change history, revision status, change highlighting on deliverables, rollback of database to any previous version, etc. are strong points of PDMSPDS does not provide such features
7Creating projects from previous old projectsUser-friendly for extracting and re-using data from old projects.Need PDS experts to extract and re-use old project data.
8Mass Manipulation of ItemEasyVery Difficult
9Administration EffortLess. PDMS allows work breakdown of projects for modification. PDMS has internal data access control as well as external.High. PDS does not have such work breakdown features. There is no internal data management in PDS. Access permission to files is done at an operating system level.
102-D IntegrationAutoCADMicro-station
11Global Work CapabilityWork and data can be easily shared globally across multiple locationsLimited
12Compatibility with Latest Microsoft TechnologyCompatibleNot-Compatible
13Automatic Drawing ExtractionCan be configuredNot Possible
14Creation of user defined commandPossibleNot-Possible
15Project Resource (No of Licence and Man hour )Cost20 to 40% less as compared to PDSmore
16On line Clash CheckingPossibleNo Online clash detection facility
17Exact 3D Clash LocationProvide. PDMS maintains a spatial volume map of the design while users are working. All disciplines are available for checking at any time and automatic sketches of a clash can be output. PDMS can also recognize the difference between ‘touches’ and normal clashes.Does not provide.
PDS is not based on solid geometry. It defines envelope files and is a batch only function because the clash check program draws circles around the clashes and must, therefore, open the Micro-station drawing (model file) with write access.
Also, PDS cannot have negative volumes which results in many ghost clashes.
18Insulation modelingpossibleNo insulation specification with the thickness table available. Provided only as a reference to pipe.
19Modification of jobEasy. PDMS is very flexible and allows to drag and modify piping sections. Some useful options for positioning piping items to ‘Top Of Steel’ or ‘Bottom Of Pipe’ are available in PDMS.Difficult. In PDS you can not declare a clearance from another item when positioning a component other than snaping on the graphic representation of an element.
20On line data consistency checkingComplete consistency check with report is possibleNot possible
21Export to Design Review ToolsSuperiorInferrior
22File SizeDatabase size is less than PDS. Database by PDMS are up to 70% smaller than the PDS database for the same projectSize is more as for each item information is stored individually.
23Bill of Material (BOM)As more complete model of the parts, BOM extracted is more accurateLess Accurate
24Corruption ProblemPDMS being a single integrated database, there is no link to corruption problemsMany PDS customers regularly experience database linkage corruption because of its standard multi write relational Oracle database. Once information is written, it is impossible to undo or quit out of the work session.
25Productivitymoreless
Difference Between PDMS and PDS

Few more useful resources for you..

PDMS Video Tutorial/Lessons for BeginnersOpens in a new tab.
Piping Design Basics- Isometric DrawingsOpens in a new tab.
Tutorial on Pipe Modeling using AVEVA E3D softwareOpens in a new tab.
How to import an AVEVA E3D or PDMS model into START-PROF Piping Stress Analysis SoftwareOpens in a new tab.
Video: AVEVA PDMS and Piping Stress Analysis Software PASS/START-PROF Two-way Integration

About the Author: Part of the article is authored by Mr. Amir Razmi, an International, a dynamic and multi-functional chemical engineer with more than 14 years’ experience in engineering and EPC of oil and energy projects from pre-contract activities to execution, and closeout. 

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Anup Kumar Dey

I am a Mechanical Engineer turned into a Piping Engineer. Currently, I work in a reputed MNC as a Senior Piping Stress Engineer. I am very much passionate about blogging and always tried to do unique things. This website is my first venture into the world of blogging with the aim of connecting with other piping engineers around the world.

5 thoughts on “Why is Aveva PDMS better than Intergraph PDS?

  1. thanks for very informative article , i m wondering how is job market demand for each software especially in USA market. PDMS might be more expensive software so small companies desire to use PDS. what is your opinion?

  2. Is this a time warp back to the year 2000? Pdms has been replaced by e3d sand pds replaced by s3d back in the mid 2000s. There’s still a lot of legacy projects using them but for modern design the later packages are far superior.

  3. Both PDS and PDMS are antiquated.

    Personally a believer in Plant 3D for the following reasons:
    – Very flexible
    – Can be cloud based
    – Integrated P&ID’s making consistancy checks with P&ID as leading
    – Easy to configure reporting
    – Integration with Inventor / other 3D softwares
    – takes an afternnon to create a pipe spec (PDMS / PDS up to 2 weeks)
    – multiple users working at the same time with an automatic updated

    Admittedly it was too graphic back in the early years, but has only got better and in my view surpasses PDMS and PDS. A complete software package.

    Costs also only a fraction of the price of PDMS / PDS, where you pay a small fortune for each module per license.

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