CMPIC

CMPIC (Configuration Managed Project Integrated Cabling) cable management software for controlling the design, routing and installation of all types of cabling. The software can be used in single or multiple project environments and includes optional Configuration Management capabilities. Building on our experience of customers’ requirements since our first installation in 1996, CMPIC offers a depth and breadth of functionality which is unrivalled for shipbuilding, power, offshore and other large engineering construction projects.

Ian Darbyshire and Ian Barnes, Directors of Cloudis, present why they believe CMPIC offers unrivalled functionality for companies looking to improve the way that they route, manage and install cables on large projects:

Key Features

  • Available on a variety of platforms, and deployable via web browser
  • Multi-build capability allows for drastic reduction in design costs for subsequent builds
  • Grouping of cables due for installation by Work Package allows for improved project planning and implementation
  • Database can be used as an integral part of through life support for the plant or ship
  • Flexibility in offering both partial & full cable scheduling, routing, terminating & installation facilities
  • AutoCAD® interface
  • Generic API and .XML interface provides facility for interaction with your preferred CAD package
  • Full auditing of the cable lifecycle, allowing tracking of all activity, including routing/terminating
  • Substantial reduction in material costs by using drumming to optimise the use of cable
  • Feedback from the installed data provides management control
  • User-defined libraries of materials & cables reduce data entry and duplication
  • Facilities for import of library and cable-specific data in CSV format
  • Menus can be tailored to suit specific roles/permissions/users
  • One single, simple front end access provides easy use and minimises training
  • Automatic calculation of % fill and weight on each path on the nodal network
  • Reports can be generated quickly and easily in specified formats, including .CSV and .PDF
  • Online monitoring of each cable’s routing and termination status is available
  • Automatic production of pull sheets and termination charts for installation purposes

A set of user-definable libraries record standard materials, cable make-ups, & segregation classes, providing the foundation to accomplish consistent and accurate cable design.

CMPIC is a single software product for cable management which can be used by any company involved in large scale cabling projects. CMPIC is currently licensed separately for the Design & Production modules, however the Production module cannot be used in isolation. Although all options are available to all users, these can be activated or de-activated as required. In this way, CMPIC can be configured more closely to a particular customer’s requirements.

AUTOCAD INTERFACE TO CMPIC

The interface between AutoCAD and CMPIC provides for the following:

  • Export of AutoCAD objects (trays, space allocations, devices etc.) to CMPIC from the model.
  • Synchronisation between the model and the CMPIC database to ensures consistency for routing purposes. This synchronisation is normally driven from the model.
  • The CMPIC macros identify 3D polylines, blocks or other objects in AutoCAD which represent the cableways and uses these to create the cableway network in CMPIC.
    • Using polylines and blocks in the early stages of a project to create a skeleton network helps size containment and penetrations.
  • Automatic re-route of any cables which have not been approved, but whose routes are affected by modification of the cableways.
  • Automatic cable routing from within AutoCAD or in CMPIC. Comprehensive rules and rule-sets can be applied.
  • Manual cable routing from within AutoCAD with CMPIC checking for viable potential routes based on rules and parameters set.
  • Interrogation of cableways in the AutoCAD model to show a list of cables running at a given point.
  • Viewing of cable routes in the AutoCAD model.
  • Representation of the statuses of cables running in each part of the cableways. E.g. blue=cable routed, red=cable route approved etc.
  • Location, using coordinates, of best drop off points on the cableways for cables going to each device.
  • Generation of AutoCAD single line cableway drawings using data from the CMPIC database.

Some of these options will be more applicable in one industry rather than another; in the sections on CMPIC in Shipbuilding and CMPIC in Plant Design we have highlighted some of these functions and the particular relevance they might have for these two industries.

CMPIC in Shipbuilding

Included in CMPIC’s standard functionality there are a number of facilities which are available to all users but will be of particular interest to shipbuilders.

CONFIGURATION MANAGEMENT

A major challenge in cabling design is how to manage the variations in cabling from one design to another within the same ‘class’ of vessels. The approach taken to handling this problem in CMPIC is through Configuration Management (CM).

CM allows you to manage both the vast majority of cables which are common to all vessels within a class, as well as those which are vessel or vessels specific. These variations are all managed within the same CMPIC database – there is no duplication of data and therefore no need to maintain consistency between per-vessel databases.

The software achieves this by enabling the user to ‘apply’ any cable or associated data to one or any number of vessels in the class. Using CM, the number of vessels in the class is defined up front (although this can be increased if further orders are placed) and from then on the applicability of all cables & associated data are managed by CMPIC.

Using configuration rules CMPIC of course checks for consistency and logic ensuring that users cannot enter erroneous or inconsistent data. As an example you would not be able to create a cable for a vessel where some data on which the cable was dependent was not applicable to that vessel.

Items which are configured in CMPIC include cables, nodes, nodal network segments, systems etc.

SEGREGATION MANAGEMENT

Clearly, where space is at a premium and segregation rules are stringent, the management of segregations is paramount. CMPIC can be configured to allow either single or multiple segregations on the same part of the nodal network. Where multiple segregations are allowed, CMPIC offers segregation spacing to be invoked which is then taken into account in the % fill calculation for the nodal network. These segregation spacing rules can be configured by the user to meet customer specific or regulatory requirements.

CMPIC can also cater for the use of Mu-Metal and conduit to separate segregations and takes account of this in its % fill calculations.

PRODUCTION FEATURES

Four features within the production functionality of CMPIC which are of particular interest to shipbuilders are:

  • The setting of ‘tape marks’ on cables to help identify the correct point to which a cable should be pulled. The tape mark can be set from either end of the cable.
  • The recording of locations of partially pulled cable coils so that they can easily be found for continued installation when required.
  • The re-drumming of cables from large supplier drums onto smaller drums. These may hold several cables and can then be more easily carried on board.
  • Learning from experience & carrying this forward to subsequent vessels in a class, e.g. where cable cut lengths are recorded against cables; this data can be used to avoid cable wastage on future vessel in the class.

PRODUCTION MULTI-SITE SUPPORT

Where cable installation is carried out on more than one site or using subcontractors, CMPIC can be used to co-ordinate the activity on these sites. Access to information within CMPIC, which might be sensitive, can be protected.

THROUGH LIFE SUPPORT OF CABLING

If CMPIC has been used to manage the design and installation of cabling on a project then the database which has been created can be used as an important part of a through life support system for the plant or ship. For example, you would be able to interrogate the database to find out which cables were installed between two given points or devices. You could also see which cables run through a room which has been damaged by fire and which systems are affected as a result. There is tremendous potential for exploiting the CMPIC database for through life support and maintenance purposes.

CMPIC in Plant Design

Included in CMPIC’s standard functionality there are a number of facilities which are available to all users but will be of particular interest to companies involved in plant design.

CONDUIT MANAGEMENT

In CMPIC you can schedule conduits to contain a cable or cables:

  • For their entire length
  • For part of their length
  • Where they are on cable trays
  • Where they are off cable trays
  • To enclose cables from where they leave the trays to the from and to devices

Once scheduled, a cable or cables are linked to the conduits. A cable which requires conduit which has not yet been allocated, will not be able to be approved until this requirement has been met.

Conduits can contain a single or multiple cables and % volume fill of each conduit is maintained by CMPIC. Listed alongside each of the cables available for linking to a conduit is the % fill which would result if this cable were added to the conduit.

MULTI-LEVEL TRAYS OR LADDER RACKS

CMPIC caters for the creation of multiple levels of tray to accommodate the various cable segregations used. These levels do not need to be individually modelled in CAD but can be created in CMPIC based on attributes held in the model or passed to CMPIC. Connectivity between levels where required can be created in CMPIC itself.

SUPPORT FOR CABLE CARRIERS

In a large plant design there may be requirements for routing cables through trays, trenches, ducts, underground duct banks, watertight or gas tight penetrations, conduits, pull boxes etc. CMPIC caters for all these requirements.

CREATION OF RACEWAYS

Where there may be many types of nodal network segment through which cables are routed, e.g. tray to duct to conduit, these segments can be grouped together to form a raceway. Raceways can then be printed on reports where required.

CMPIC Technical Requirements (Software Dependencies)

InstallationDependencies
ServerOracle database 10g or 11g (Oracle XE applicable for test/trial systems)
Windows (2000, XP, Vista, 7, 2003, 2008) or Linux/UNIX (any variant supported by Oracle)
ClientClient/Server Deployment: Oracle Forms & Reports 6i on Windows (2000, XP, Vista, 7, 2003, 2008) or Sun Solaris
Web Deployment: JRE 6 with Oracle Application Server 10g R2 middle tier

CMPIC Technical Requirements (Hardware Dependencies)

InstallationDependencies
ServerAny platform supported by Oracle database, with approximately 1Gb RAM per 20 users
ClientFor Windows minimum 256Mb RAM