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What to Look for in Pressure Vessel Design & Fabrication Software

Investing in a software solution for your pressure vessel design and fabrication process isn’t a light task, and you’re likely doing your due diligence as you decide which program is right for your current and future projects. Like most business decisions, one important variable is cost. This isn’t merely determined by how much is spent on your new software. Rather, the value is determined by the ROI it provides your business. When you look at budgeting the cost of pressure vessel design, welding document management, and fabrication software, you need to consider a variety of variables to determine which solution is best for you.

 

Variables to Consider When Selecting the Ideal Pressure Vessel Design & Fabrication Software 

 

Variable 1: Time

As you set the budget for your PV design software purchase, you need to ask some simple questions: How much time will I save by using this software? For example, does the solution you’re looking for automate time-consuming tasks that you would normally do manually? If your software is able to provide you access to "on-hand" material inventories, design templates, code guidance, and easy-to-read design calculation reports, then that's less time budgeted for engineers to figure that out themselves. As such, the capabilities of your pressure vessel design, welding document management, and fabrication software have a direct impact on your labor and material costs.


Granted, this will vary from project-to-project. A pressure vessel design that goes through several redesigns,  retrofits, or change orders could take your engineers days to adjust and once in the fabrication process, have disastrous results for your welder costs, which a competent software can accomplish in mere minutes. Or, what about when codes and material standards change with a new code year? If your software has the capability to adjust prior designs quickly to current codes, your engineers and designers won't have to start from scratch for each new vessel that is an off-the-shelf design or is similar to previous builds. The same applies when your vessel geometry and pressure or loadings change. What can take your team a long time to adjust, a competent pressure vessel design software can do in little-to-no time at all!

 

Variable 2: Errors

We’ve all heard the phrase, “To err is human.” More than that, errors can be costly! It’s no secret that the pressure vessel industry is heavily regulated and that the slightest of errors can generate the most costly of remedies. The ideal pressure vessel design, welding document, and fabrication software can eliminate errors, such as preventing welders from using incorrect materials or designing a vessel outside of code parameters.

Another error to be cautious of actually comes from your software. If the various programs you’re using aren’t in harmony with one another, you can have competing authorities within your data. What happens when you run across data with conflicting accounts? Which one do you trust? If your pressure vessel design and welding procedure software are integrated with your fabrication or ERP software, errors like this can be eliminated and you’ll experience a single source of truth within the flow of your operations. This means whoever’s eyes are on the data, they’re looking at the most current version and your process isn’t fragmented.

 

Variable 3: Applicability

It’s likely you’re not using an integrated software to manage everything in your business. In fact, you’re probably using one piece of software for design, another for welding procedure documentation, another for HR, another for project management, another for accounting purposes, etc... So, how your design and welding software integrates and how it can apply to other areas of your business can affect just how many other programs you need. As you look for new design, welding, and fabrication software, you may find that you can consolidate programs and eliminate expenses elsewhere.

The most expensive part of any business is usually labor, so how you manage your welders can have a huge effect on profitability. Effectively tracking and scheduling welder activity, then, is a huge factor in how much money you’re spending on labor costs. When you use a design, welding, and fabrication software to help track and schedule tasks,  you eliminate wasted labor hours. Additionally, training, recertification, and downtime can have huge implications on labor costs. Once again, if your software is able to help you manage this, the cost savings can be exponential.

 

Eliminate Wasted Time and Errors and Consolidate Software with CEI Solutions

If you’ve done your due-diligence, it’s likely you have already factored in at least some of these variables into your vessel design, welding document, and fabrication software solution. As you consider how you’ll allocate your budget, you’ll want to keep CEI’s software solutions on your radar. Our solutions are designed to help you maximize labor cost savings, while reducing timely processes and errors when it comes to managing your vessel design and welding projects. To discover how CEI’s software solutions can impact your budget, try experimenting with our ROI calculator.

 

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Written by CEI

Explore the 2020 edition covering pressure vessel and heat exchanger design guidelines and resources.

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