Creating Parts

 atarget.gif (1372 bytes) This task explains how to create parts for the Plant Layout Product.

1. Create the geometry for the part.

Use the Version 5 Part Design product to create the geometry. See the Version 5 Part Design User's Guide for instructions about how to use this product.

  • If you want to be able to place the part parametrically, go on to Step 2.
  • For fixed-sized parts, save the part as a CATPart document and skip to Step 5.
  • If you want to use the same set of geometry for different sizes of the same type of part, go on to Step 2.
2. Define parameters for the geometry.
ainfo.gif (980 bytes)

When you define parameters, you must adhere to the following naming conventions to ensure that the part can be sized correctly when it is placed. The values for these reserved parameters are derived from the run on which the part is placed.
  • CATRouOutsideDiameter -- outside diameter of the part if it is placed on a cylindrical run
  • CATRouOutsideHeight -- overall height of the part if it is placed on a rectangular run
  • CATRouOutsideWidth -- overall width of the part if it is placed on a rectangular run
  • CATRouFaceToFaceLength -- overall length of a stretchable part such as pipe or duct
  • CATRouAngle -- turn or branch angle of parts such as an elbow or tee
  • CATRouTurnRadius -- bend radius of a part such as an elbow or horizontal turn

You may also add two other reserved parameters to your part as User attributes.

  • CATRouPartNumber -- a string parameter. This parameter will contain the part's part number.
  • CATRouSize -- a string parameter. This parameter will contain a character string representing the nominal size of the part. It can be used instead of CATRouOutsideDiameter/Height/Width.

All of these parameters do not need to exist on every part. Define only those parameters that apply to the part you are creating. For example, to create a straight cylindrical part, you would define only the CATRouOutsideDiameter and CATRouFaceToFaceLength parameters. Optionally you can define CATRouSize instead ofCATRouOutsideDiameter.

In addition to the reserved parameters, you may define other parameters on the part. These parameters must also be included in the design table if these parameters have different values for different sizes when the part is placed..

3. Save the part as a CATPart document.
4. Create the design tables.

See the Version 5 Infrastructure User's Guide for detailed instructions on how to create a design table and associate it to a part for which you must use external table files.

Excel files are easy to edit, but using tab-delimited text files instead of Excel files makes parts placement more efficient. You can build and edit your tables in Excel, then convert the file to a tab-delimited text file, and attach the text file to your part document.

ainfo.gif (980 bytes) Design tables are used to manage the allowable combinations of values for the parameters of a part.  You must create tables with the following reserved names in order for them to be recognized by the Systems Routing product. (Except external files - see below.)
  • CATRouFixedSize

This table must contain those reserved run parameters described after Step 2 which you want as fixed size parameters. Your table may contain one or more rows of values - each row generally represents a specific fixed size part.  The first row contains the parameter names. They may be reserved parameters or other parameters. Those that are reserved run parameters are used as a key to select the appropriate row in the table. When the part is placed, the values for these parameters are derived from the run. If an exact matching of values on the run and values in the table is not found then the row with the closest match is used.

This table must also contain parameters not associated with the run, if any, that are needed to complete the geometry definition. Generally, you may wish to include in your table CATRouPartNumber as the first parameter, CATRouSize as the second, then the other reserved run parameters, then the other part parameters.

  • CATRouParametricSize

This table is used to define parameters that can be dynamically defined by the run. All parameters in this table must be defined on the run. When a part is placed, the values for these parameters are retrieved from the run and used to size the geometry.

If you use external files they can have any name. But when you create the design table in the part document it must have one of the reserved names.

5. Define connector data on the part by following the steps below.
ainfo.gif (980 bytes) Connector data is used to properly position, align, and orient parts when they are placed on a run. In addition, it is used to properly position, align, and orient a run that is started from a part. 
  1. Start a new CATProduct document.
  2. Right-click the Product in the specification tree and select Existing Component.

The Insert an Existing Component dialog box is displayed.

  1. Find and select the CATPart document you saved.
  2. Select the part in the specifications tree.
  3. Add a connector using the Build Connector command.
  1. Save the CATPart document.

All About Connector Data

There are three types of connector data: Face data, Alignment data and Orientation data.

Face data is generally defined using a face of the part, such as the circular face at the end of a pipe. Alignment data is generally defined using a line, such as a no-shown line along the centerline of a pipe. The actual connection point location is the intersection between the face plane and the alignment line. They do not have to actually intersect: the system will find the intersection location between the infinite line and the infinite plane. The face does not have to be the actual diameter face or width-height face. Orientation data is generally defined using the xy plane, or another plane or face in the part, to define an "up" direction.

Face Connector Data. To define the directional planar location for each connection face of the part. If the part is stretchable, two connection face definitions will be used to define the extremity locations of the part. For routing from the part, a connection face (along with the corresponding intersecting alignment line) will be used to define the start point of the run.

You should select one of the faces in the part to define a face connection. Select a face that faces outward from the part, in the direction of routing or other attached parts. You must define a face for each connection end of your part.

The pre-defined names for face connector data include the following. The names are defined by the connector function. Use the connector function to delete a connector.

CATRouFace: for the first or only connection face of a part.

CATRouFace1 (same as CATRouFace): for the first connection face of a part.

CATRouFace2: for the second connection face of a part.

CATRouFace3: for the third connection face of a part.

CATRouFace4, 5, 6, etc.



CATRouHole2, 3, 4, etc.

Hole connections are a unique type of face connection. Whereas a pipe or tube may stretch to a face connection, a pipe or tube may pass through a hole connection. This is useful for placing such parts as tubing clamps along a run without cutting a tube.

Alignment Connector Data. To define the alignment at each of the face connections of this part. For placement of an attached part or routing from the end of a part, this data will define the alignment.

You will generally select a line for the alignment connector data, which may likely be no-shown. But you may also select a cylinder, and its implied centerline will become your alignment data.

Each part connection face does not necessarily need its own alignment line. A pipe and a valve might have one alignment definition, but an elbow would need two alignment definitions. A tee needs two alignment definitions, but could have three. A cross with four connection ends needs at least three alignment definitions. When the number of alignment definitions is less than the number of connection ends, it must be only one less, and alignment1 corresponds with face1 and face2, and alignment2 corresponds with face3.

The pre-defined names for alignment include the following:

CATRouAlignment: for the first or only alignment line of a part.

CATRouAlignment1 (same as CATRouAlignment): for the first alignment line.

CATRouAlignment2: for the second alignment line of a part.

CATRouAlignment3, 4, etc.

Other pre-defined names for alignment include the following:

CATRouTop: for top-center

CATRouCenter: for center (same as CATRouAlignment) (center is default alignment)

CATRouBottom: for bottom-center

CATRouLeft: for left-center

CATRouRight: for right-center





including 1, 2, 3, 4, etc

Orientation Connector Data. To define the orientation/clocking of a part when placed on a run. Many parts direction, such as horizontal trays and power & free conveyors, require a well-defined "up". Round ducts and pipes do not require a well-defined "up" direction, they can rotate. Rectangular ducts do not have a strict "up" direction, but do have four usual orientations corresponding to each of the four sides. Tubing elbows can flip upside down in order to swap end1 and end2, since they often have different end styles.

Generally, parts are built in such a way that the Z direction is up. If this is the case, then generally the XY plane can be used to define the orientation. The orientation plane and the face plane should not be parallel. For a particular connection end, you should not define an alignment going up in the Z direction and an orientation plane pointing up in the Z direction.

Rarely will an "Orientation2" be needed. Some tubing clamps use an orientation2 because they have one alignment along the tube alignment and another alignment going up through the bolt hole (for stacking). Tray vertical elbows and vertical tees also need an orientation2.

The pre-defined names for orientation include the following:

CATRouUpOnly: the part has a well-defined "up" direction. (Tray)

CATRouUpOnly1: same as CATRouUpOnly

CATRouUpOnly2,  3,  etc.

CATRouCircular: the part has no strict "up" direction. (Pipe)

CATRouCircular1: same as CATRouCircular

CATRouCircular2,  3, etc.

CATRouRectangular:  the part has four orientations that can be "up". (Rect duct)

CATRouRectangular1:  same as CATRouRectangular

CATRouRectangular2,  3,  etc.

CATRouOrientation:  same as CATRouUpOnly (up-only is default orientation)

CATRouOrientation1:  same as CATRouUpOnly1

CATRouOrientation2,  3,  etc:  same as CATRouUpOnly2,  3,  etc.

 Sample Publication Management combinations for connector data:

A pipe or piping valve: CATRouFace1




A piping cap: CATRouFace



A rectangular duct elbow: CATRouFace1





An OPF conveyor track: CATRouFace1




A tray horizontal tee: CATRouFace1 OR CATRouFace1

CATRouFace2 CATRouBottom1

CATRouBottom1 CATRouFace2

CATRouFace3 CATRouBottom2

CATRouBottom2 CATRouFace3

CATRouOrientation CATRouBottom3


A round duct cross: CATRouFace1 OR CATRouFace1

CATRouFace2 CATRouAlignment1

CATRouAlignment1 CATRouFace2

CATRouFace3 CATRouAlignment2

CATRouAlignment2 CATRouFace3

CATRouFace4 CATRouAlignment3

CATRouAlignment3 CATRouFace4

CATRouCircular CATRouAlignment4


A tubing clamp: CATRouHole1 OR CATRouHole1

CATRouHole2 CATRouAlignment1

CATRouAlignment1 CATRouOrientation1

CATRouOrientation1 CATRouHole2

CATRouFace3 CATRouAlignment2

CATRouAlignment2 CATRouOrientation2

CATRouOrientation2 CATRouFace3

CATRouFace4 CATRouAlignment3

CATRouAlignment3 CATRouOrientation3

CATRouOrientation3 CATRouFace4