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Autodesk’s plant design products hit suite spot

AUTODESK has released Autodesk Plant Design Suite 2011, a new software suite for plant designers who need plant design and whole-project review capabili ties in a single integrated package. Autodesk Plant Design Suite combines AutoCAD 2011, AutoCAD P&ID 2011, AutoCAD Plant 3D 2011 and Autodesk Navisworks 2011 software to provide a plant design solution.

Autodesk believes 3D modelling is at a tipping point in the Australian plant market. For smaller plants and retrofits, users tended to stick with 2D or just AutoCAD since 3D was expensive and it was difficult to find trained designers. “Now, with buildings and manufacturing object being designed in 3D, people are realising that 3D is the way to go,” explains Mark Strassman, vice president, Plant Solutions for Autodesk. Strassman, who was in Australia recently. He sees a plenty of renovation and retrofit work coming up — to meet new emission control regulations, raise plant safety, increase output or boost efficiency.

“These were typically done in 2D; now users want to create them in 3D. They see the benefits,” notes Strassman. “Renovation and retrofits is 80 per cent of the projects and that’s where we’re focused right now. People aren’t building as many huge new plants as before.”

The other 3D driver is the user. Over 90 per cent of plant designers view 3D skills essential to their career, especially since it is getting increasingly accessible. A recent survey done by a US research agency showed that plant designers typi cally took around 200 working days to get proficient in the high-end products. For AutoCAD based products, profi ciency took 100 to 120 days. “With the new Autodesk Plant Design Suite 2011, our goal is to have proficiency in less than a week — we’re looking for an order of magnitude step change,” says Strassman. “If you know AutoCAD, you can pick it up and use it the same day.”

“Bringing Autodesk’s AutoCAD-based plant design tools together with Autodesk Navisworks in a single package just makes sense for the industry. AutoCAD, AutoCAD P&ID, AutoCAD Plant 3D, and Autodesk Navisworks are all proven products that deliver tremendous power to the plant designer without the over head and complexity of many competing products. Providing this suite now makes purchasing, licensing, installation, and maintenance easier than ever for our customers,” explains Strassman. “With attractive pricing and built-in utilities to migrate legacy specs and catalogues, we have made it easier for users of other AutoCAD-based plant packages to make the switch to Autodesk.”

The components of Autodesk Plant Design Suite share common data struc tures and file formats to provide for smoother user experience and data exchange. “We’ve brought modern 3D design to mainstream plant design,” Strassman told PACE. “Not just on large esoteric plants but for everyday projects.”

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