The piping engineering would not have been developed so much in absence of piping software packages. Today, almost all the piping design activities are performed using various piping software packages. This software package not only helps in proper visualization but also helps in clash checking, accurate analysis, and production of piping isometric and other drawings in a shorter period of time. In recent times, the piping design and analysis is so much dependent on various piping design and stress analysis software packages that one can not just think of doing manual engineering. The engineering time and cost have both have reduced to a great extent because of this piping software. Using these advanced piping software packages, piping designers and engineers create complex plants complying with the governing codes and standards in very little time. For designing and analyzing piping and pipeline systems from Oil and Gas, Power, Chemical, Refinery, Petrochemical, Pharmaceutical, and Process industries, various piping software packages have proven themselves over the years and now stand strong in the industry. In this article, I will provide a list of top pipe stress analysis software packages that are highly popular and used widely in industries.
Best Piping Stress Analysis Software List
Piping stress analysis is a major part of piping engineering. This is considered the most critical job in piping design activity. To ensure that the pipe routing by piping designers will work without failure for its design life, all critical lines are analyzed using various piping stress analysis software. Such piping stress analysis software is designed to determine stress, load, and displacement values which are then compared with governing codes and standards to check compliance. Various static and dynamic modules of these stress analysis software packages confirm the structural and operational integrity of the piping and pipeline system. The most widely used piping stress analysis software packages are:
- CAESAR II
Piping Stress Analysis Software- CAESAR II
The most popular piping stress analysis software package in the piping industry is CAESAR II by Hexagon. Developed in the mid-1980s, the CAESAR II by COADE as piping stress analysis software completely revolutionized the world of piping stress analysis. The manual, time taking, error-prone, tough stress analysis endeavors by piping engineers got converted into a fast, easy, accurate process which in turn saved a lot of time and money for organizations. Now the latest versions of the CAESAR II software have the capabilities of analyzing complex systems in a very short time span. The software has inbuilt databases from various international codes, standards, and different manufacturers to help the user in all respect of pipe stress analysis. It has compatibility with various piping design and process design software which saves time in modeling and analysis. Its color-coded 3-D model and output results easily help the piping stress engineers understand the area of concern in the piping system. CAESAR II as piping stress analysis software has both static and dynamic analysis capabilities. This software is able to handle both aboveground and underground piping stress analysis with various international codes altogether. The major benefits of CAESAR II software are
- Easy and Quick modeling.
- 3-D Graphics to understand the concern areas.
- Recommended and User-defined static load case editor to simulate analyze any type of process condition.
- Interfacing with various 3rd party piping, process, and FEA software.
Most of the big organizations use CAESAR II as their preferred pipe stress analysis software. In each year, the developers of the CAESAR II update the software and release new versions to meet the latest code requirements.
However, It has a few drawbacks as well.
- The main drawback is the CAESAR II software is very costly as compared with other piping stress analysis software available in the market.
- The plastic pipe stress analysis (HDPE, PE, etc) module is not added yet.
Pipe Stress Analysis Software- AutoPIPE
AutoPIPE is the pipe stress analysis software from Bentley Systems, USA. Their cost-effective solution for piping stress analysis for process, power, and nuclear units is efficient and popular. Possessing, both static and dynamic analysis capabilities the software is fast and provides results meeting the code requirements. The AutoPIPE software has more popularity in the USA and Canada. It is believed that the dynamic capabilities of AutoPIPE are better as compared to CAESAR II. Also, the analysis of plastic piping systems like HDPE, PE, etc. is possible using AutoPIPE. This software is cheaper as compared to CAESAR II software. Click here to know more details about AutoPIPE vs CAESAR II
If you are a beginner and your organization uses the AutoPipe Stress analysis program then the following online course will surely clear your basics of Pipe Stress Analysis using Bentley AutoPIPE:
Start-Prof as Piping Stress Analysis Software
Introduced in the year 1965, PASS/START-PROF is the oldest pipe stress analysis software. Possessing both static and dynamic capabilities, this piping and pipeline stress analysis software has a highly efficient solver including a user-friendly 3D graphical view. Developed by industry experts from Russia, START-PROF has all the capabilities where CAESAR II lags. Also, the software costs less than half the cost of CAESAR II software. It has an inbuilt feature to use the ASME B31J SIF calculation module. Similar to CAESAR II, it is not required to run a separate module for B31J. Earlier the software was used only in Russia but in recent times, the use of START-PROF as an efficient pipe stress analysis software is growing worldwide at a faster pace. It can import files from various 3rd party software like CADWorx, SmartPlant 3D, Autodesk REVIT, Bentley Autopipe, AVEVA PDMS, AVEVA E3D, HEXAGON CAESAR II, OpenPlant, Auto plant, Smart 3D, etc.
The best part of START-PROF software is that the developers update the software to incorporate all major changes in new codes on a regular basis (Faster than CAESAR II developers)
With much of the positives, the START-PROF software has already been successfully used in the UK, Mexico, Brazil, China, Australia, Egypt, Turkey, Singapore, Thailand, Japan, Italy, Czech, Latvia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Germany, Finland, South Korea, USA, India, South Africa, Pakistan, Mongolia, France, Indonesia, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Russia. The software has included all the major codes and standards in its database and is highly capable for stress analysis of Above-ground Piping, Buried Pipelines, Vacuum Piping, PUR Insulation Stress Check, Cryogenic Low-Temperature Piping, Jacketed Piping, High-Pressure Piping, Plastic Piping, High-Temperature Piping with Creep and Stress Relaxation Effects, FRP, GRP Piping, and Nonferrous Material Piping. Click here to know the comparison between CAESAR II and Start-Prof Software.
Piping Stress Analysis Software: ROHR2
ROHR2 as pipe stress analysis software is widely used in Europe. Developed by SIGMA Ingenieurgesellschaft mbH Germany, ROHR2 can efficiently perform static and dynamic analysis of complex piping systems and associated steel structures. For more than the last 40 years, the ROHR2 pipe stress analysis software is serving various clients in Europe. It covers the majority of the international and European codes for Piping and pipeline stress analysis line ASME Codes, EN codes, CODETI, STOOMWEZEN, FDBR, KRV, ISO, DIN, etc. It provides various nozzle analysis modules like API 610 / API 617 / API 661 / DIN ISO 9905 / NEMA SM23 / Nozzle Spec / EN ISO 5199 / DIN EN ISO 10437 / DIN EN ISO 10440 / DIN EN ISO 13709, etc. It is believed that the dynamic capabilities of ROHR2 software are better than CAESAR II.
Pipe Stress Analysis Software: CAEPIPE
CAEPIPE is the pipe stress analysis software program by SST Systems Inc, USA. Mostly used in the USA and Europe, this software has the capability to perform linear and non-linear, static and dynamic piping stress calculations with unmatched speed. This is one of the cost-effective and productive pipe stress analysis software solutions with the best in class capabilities. The CAEPIPE software package is already successfully used in various industries like Power, Nuclear, Refinery, Fertilizer, Sugar, Aircraft, Defense, Water, Ship Building, Chemical, Oil & Gas, Paper, Building Services, and Petrochemical industries.
Other Pipe Stress Analysis Software Packages
The above 5 are the most widely used and popular pipe stress analysis software. There are some other piping stress analysis software packages in the market which are used by a small number of piping engineers. Those software packages are:
- Triflex Pipe Stress Analysis Software by PipingSolutions Inc
- PEPS by DST Engineering
- WinPIPE by WinPIPE, LLC
- Pipepak by ALGOR Inc.
- CloudCalc PipeStress
Selecting the Piping Stress Analysis Software
The selection of a piping stress analysis software package will depend on various factors like
Client Requirement: This is the main criteria for the selection of a specific pipe stress analysis software. As the clients are the drivers of the EPC projects in the piping design consultancies. So, whatever software the client suggests is agreed upon by the design consultancies. To date the software, CAESAR II has wide popularity. It roughly controls more than 70% of the piping stress analysis market share worldwide. The majority of the clients prefer the piping stress analysis solution using Caesar II. This is the reason that even though START-PROF, AutoPIPE, CAEPIPE, and ROHR2 have wide capabilities as compared to CAESAR II, design consultancies are forced to choose Caesar II for their software.
Cost: Economy is the second important criterion for the selection of software packages. Among the above-mentioned top five pipe stress analysis software, Caesar II is the costliest software. All other software packages cost less than half of the Caesar II software. This is the reason that the use of other Pipe stress analysis software packages, specifically START-PROF and AutoPIPE is growing significantly in recent times. Also, the developers of those software packages have successfully proved the acceptability of the output results with comparison to CAESAR II.
Ease of Learning, Software Support, Training: This is the third criteria for the selection of a piping stress analysis software package. All the top five pipe stress analysis software companies provide very good engineering support and training. However, when it comes to providing local support, CAESAR II wins because there are so many experienced professionals in every organization who develops their juniors for the same software. However, as slowly, other pipe stress analysis software packages are considered in design consultancies, the skills for other software packages are also increasing.
Due to the slowdown in the Oil and Gas Market because of Low Crude Prices and COVID, most of the design organizations are not getting good projects. So, the cost of pipe stress analysis software packages has become significant in those respect. So, it is time to think about reducing the software cost. So, in this respect, a licensing cost that will charge only when the software is used will be very beneficial. Bentley AutoPIPE has a similar concept. They charge for the software only for the days it is used. A similar concept will be highly beneficial.
Also, as all software packages are compatible with one another, organizations can think of purchasing different software packages. For example, if a project requires 3 CAESAR II licenses. They can easily buy one CAESAR II, one START-PROF, and one AutoPIPE license which will save the high cost of 3 CAESAR II licenses. Piping engineers will learn all three software packages and model and analyze the systems in respective software packages. Now if the client wants reports in Caesar II format, all files can easily be opened in the CAESAR II software, and the final run can be made in CAESAR II along with report preparation. However, this is my personal thought. Don’t know if there will some major difficulty. Kindly provide your views on this in the comments section.
I had set up a poll request in Linkedin users about which pipe stress analysis software they use. 1076 users have voted and the result is 81% uses CAESAR II, 13% uses AutoPIPE, 3% uses START-PROF, and 3% uses ROHR2. However, as the maximum of the voters is from India the result is not accurate as I know in India maximum pipe stress engineers use CAESAR II.