A Short briefing on “Types of Piping Drawings”

The main purpose of a piping drawing is to communicate fabrication and construction requirements clearly. For designing process or power piping, mostly five types of piping drawings are developed. These drawings are developed from the schematics, basic design basis, and specifications for process piping. In this article, we will explore the piping drawing basics for Engineering companies.

These various types of piping drawings in engineering organizations are:

Piping Plan Drawings/General Arrangement Drawings (GAD)

The piping plan or general arrangement drawings (Fig. 1) show all major equipment, it’s north/south and east/west orientation, and all piping leading to and from equipment are developed by piping designers. All Main piping items (valves, fittings, etc), instrumentation, access ladders, and platforms are shown.

piping drawings

The GA usually shows a plan (top) view with elevations (side) and sectional drawings with piping dimensions and details including line numbers, size, specification, the direction of flow, etc. to help the piping designers to extract all necessary information for isometric or fabrication drawing preparation.

General arrangement drawings are produced for specific mechanical equipment as well which presents major dimensions in two-dimensional views. All nozzles, supporting details, etc. are indicated.

Piping GA drawing
Fig. 1: Sample Piping GA Drawing

Process Flow Diagrams (PFD)

A PFD (Fig. 2) is an un-scaled drawing or schematic which describes the process of transferring fluid inside the piping. It will:

  • state the fluid material that is conveyed by the piping.
  • specify the rates of flow.
  • list the equipment required for the plant
  • provideS basic line list parameters like pressure or temperature.

The pipe sizes, type of valves, etc. are not determined yet. The data from PFD are then transferred to P&ID or PEFS.

Process Flow Diagram
Fig. 2: Sample PFD

Piping & Instrumentation Diagram (P&ID)

Also known as Process Engineering Flow Scheme or PEFS. The P&ID (Fig. 3) is similar to PFD but more detailed. It is a single line schematic drawing that includes all equipment, instruments and controls, major valves and line sizes with pipe specifications. It is the first important document that controls the activity of all other related engineering groups. P&ID s serves as a master document and It contains all the data necessary for various other design groups to proceed to the next steps of design and produce their deliverables. Click here to learn the major differences between PFD and P&ID.

Fig. 3: Sample P&ID

Plot Plan Layout

A plot plan (Fig. 4) or site plan is produced by the piping designer which shows schematic of the whole site with boundaries, roads, buildings, plant areas, equipment layouts, utility runs, and other constructions of the existing project, etc. at a properly defined scale. So it gives an overview of the entire plant. This allows the piping engineer to arrange equipment to optimize the design to reduce cost.

Plot Plan
Fig. 4: Sample Plot Plan

Piping Isometric Drawing

Piping Isometric drawings (Fig. 5) represent the pipe routing with proper dimensions including all piping items and equipment. They are not to the scale, single line diagram with symbols for pipe components, weld points, and supports. Isometric drawings are used:

  • By fabricator to fabricate the line.
  • By piping material group for purchasing materials
  • By the Construction team to erect the piping items in the site following proper routing.

All the above drawings are very important project documents and must be prepared with utmost thought and care to reduce the amount of rework at a later stage. Click here to learn more details about Piping Isometric Drawings.

Piping Isometric Drawing
Fig. 5: Sample isometric drawings

About the author: Maximum part of this article is prepared by Technical piping team. Their original work is embedded here in the video format for your reference.

Video: Types of drawings used in Piping by technical piping
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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.

2 thoughts on “A Short briefing on “Types of Piping Drawings”

  1. I am basically mechanical engr and I worked many years in MEP field. Now I would like to learn piping isometric spools from the GA Piping Plans. I need to start from where? How to fix project north in a open site etc.

  2. I like the information on here. It very informative and detailed. I’m studying CAD, and currently doing a class in process piping. However, I am still indecisive about what area in design to specialize, in terms of design. But truthfully, your blog is informative, and thanks.

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