5 Critical Pressure Vessel Design Software Benefits!

With over 30 years of experience supporting over 1000 customers, we have gained an intimate understanding of 5 critical Pressure Vessel Design Software Benefits. This report will allow you to gain knowledge of how the right software will support and streamline cost effective Pressure Vessel design to ASME Section VIII code while supporting integration with software that provides Welding Procedure Management and Welder Certification tracking to ASME Section IX plus AWS D1.1.


Our intent is not to embarrass or ostracize anyone with this post, but offer some lessons learned to our colleagues in the industry that might save others the consequence of the first hand experience with the five topics that we describe below. It is however positioned to compare the cost-benefit of a homegrown macro versus a commercial off the shelf supported application such as DesignCalcs.

Pressure Vessel Design Software Benefits

#1 Cost Saving

Your designer/engineer created some macro’s and custom forms that served its purpose in 2016, but now it's 2018, and a few things might have happened; i) Code updates and/or ii) New design requirement. In either case your designer/engineer is researching, programming and testing rather than designing to meet the client’s needs which is what you get paid to do!

When you consider that the annual subscription of DesignCalcs, a fully supported, maintained for Code updates and tested with proven calcs used by 1000’s of users, might equate to the cost of 1 week of Designer time. Are you really saving time and costs with a homegrown tool? 

#2 Staff Change

The designer/engineer that created your macro retires or leaves the business. Does the replacement have the skills to decipher the code in the homegrown macro? How long will it take to justify calculations during the next Inspection? Can the replacement even understand the basis of the algebra buried in these macros?

Much the same as item 1 in our list, with the added concern that the departing resource effectively compounds the consequences, leaving the replacement spending so much time on overhead activity rather than revenue-generating design time!


#3 External Opinion

You don't want a designer deciding to make an exception on a minimum wall thickness beyond generally accepted standards in an attempt to hit a client budget level and win the deal. Access to an external resource for a 2nd opinion helps to ensure that decisions are consistent with industry best practices and compliant with Inspection programs implemented to protect the integrity of the code. 

By investing a commercially supported software application, the engineer will have the added benefit of an external resource to consult if they have a problematic calculation. This, protects the businesses from a conflict of interests associated with attempting to squeeze safety factors to reduce material cost. Plus, the added security of knowing that the calculations are kept current by an external entity, with proven testing to guarantee you the service of qualified co-calculations.

#4 Time Saving

Designers can be forced to make choices that are not explicitly stated in a single code. In other situations designers must use sections of code, and must fully understand the implications to make correct decisions of safe vessel wall thickness. Not just for pressure, internal or external, but also to satisfy the load for that vessel or the component attached to the vessel.

The time consumed researching across multiple code books is onerous, as is trying to modify homegrown macros designed to work with a single code. With over 1000 companies using the CEI solutions, you can trust that these are field proven and applying generally accepted best practices.

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CEI’s continued investment in staying current by attending code meetings, and maintaining awareness of the intent behind the code, not just the letter of the code are important factors as to why users select DesignCalcs from CEI. 

The following video provides background information on recent code changes and how those changes may impact your project.

#5 Authorized Inspector Familiarity

Inspectors are typically more comfortable with market-proven commercially supported software when compared to homegrown spreadsheet macros. Even if you've been using that calculation for five or ten years, the AI doesn't know for certain that the spreadsheet macro didn't change.

So, the perceived cost saving of not using commercials of software may result in extra costs or delays associated with the Inspection process.

Maybe you’ve spotted something in our list of pressure vessel design software benefits that resonates with you. Maybe you have a view on a topic that we’ve failed to mention. Our list is not exhaustive so feel free to comment below at the foot of the post to join the conversation with your peers.

If you’d like to put DesignCalcs through its paces, simply hit the following button to download the software and activate a trial license… 

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You can, of course, call us or contact us through the website, where we’d welcome the opportunity to answer any questions you may have on this post.

Written by Mike Harnett

Mike graduated with honors from William Jewell College. After working in the technology field for Sprint, TechSystems, and H&R Block, joining CEI in 2002. With extensive experience leading agile software projects that meet the complex demands of the Construction and Telecom industries.

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