Target PDMS and Source Smart 3D model

Plant Model Migration to PDMS

Data Migration and Transformation


This TecSurge Service delivers AVEVA PDMS/E3D plant models by migrating source data from other plant modelling systems such as Intergraph PDS, Smart 3D, CADWorx, Autodesk Plant3D and Bentley OpenPlant.

TecSurge uses a combination of state-of-the-art proprietary automation, specialised expertise, and a well-organised, scalable technical team to set industry benchmarks for quality and schedule, while remaining highly cost competitive with alternatives.

Our service provides comprehensive coverage of all aspects and disciplines of the plant design application, including specifications and catalogues, multi-discipline models and orthographic and isometric drawings.


  • Proprietary automation technology produces reliable and predictable results
  • This is an area of core competency for TecSurge and usually we cannot be beaten on price, quality and speed of delivery.


The primary deliverable from this service is a complete PDMS project including reports generated from PDMS and source systems.

In addition to the model and its derived outputs, deliverables such as quality and project management reports are prepared and provided to the client as part of the service.

Due to the complexity and high level of detail involved, the target level of fidelity of the migrated model is subject to many factors which are be determined based on discussion with the client. Typically, a trade-off is made between time/cost and fidelity, however the scenario driving the migration requirement is possibly the most crucial factor.

For some scenarios, the source model has been developed to only a preliminary stage (e.g. basic engineering), and will be substantially reworked in PDMS after migration. In such a case, a minimal amount of manual tidy-up may be justified, and certain elements may not even exist in the source model (e.g. pipe supports or drawings).

Specification Migration

In other scenarios, the source model represents an as-built status, complete with all physical elements and deliverables such as drawings, and must be migrated to a target model with as close to full fidelity as is technically possible.

Work Process

Specifications and catalogues

Piping specifications are converted following the process described in the Piping Specification Conversion service, while those for other disciplines follow a very similar but usually simpler conversion and checking process.

Specification and catalogue conversion is typically scheduled such that data is made available progressively, according to its relative priority with respect to the model migration component.


In parallel with the specification and catalogue conversion, the source model is processed into a neutral form used as the input to the migration automation software. The specifics of this processing vary depending upon the source system; TecSurge proprietary automation is applied to the source models.

When specification and catalogue data is released for use and the source model has been processed, the model migration process commences according to the project schedule. Typically, equipment and structural migration can be completed earlier, with piping dominating the overall migration effort due to its complexity and linkages to the other disciplines.

Within each discipline, a series of phases of activities are performed:

  1. Automation is applied to migrate the source data to the target (this automation may in itself involve several steps, such as firstly migrating graphical elements, and then separately migrating additional attribute and property data)
  2. Manual retouching is performed to improve the fidelity of the migrated model (for example, the source system may not contain structural member connection relationship information, so this must be applied to the target manually)
  3. Automated comparison and quality checking is utilised to review and correct any mismatches


Once model migration has been completed, drawing generation for piping isometrics and drawing migration for orthographics can begin, if required by the client.

The piping isometric option file is typically configured to match the format and presentation of the source environment as closely as possible, and then isometrics generated in bulk and spot-checked against the source drawings to monitor quality. Depending upon client requirements, various additional elements of data may be incorporated into the model to support isometric drawing fidelity, including:

  • Explicit drawing sheet split points
  • Revision and title block information
  • Process and line condition data
  • Custom SKEY Symbol creation

Orthographic drawings sheets, representation rules are configured to match the drawing types from the source system, and then drawing volumes and drawing details automatically migrated using TecSurge’s proprietary automation tools.

Once the automated component of the drawing migration is completed, manual retouching is performed. Checking is performed by manual comparison of the resulting drawings against the originals.

Technical Scope

  • Specification and catalogue migration
    • Piping
    • Nozzle
    • Piping Specialty and Instrument
    • Structural
    • Electrical
    • Supports
  • Physical model migration
    • Equipment
    • Piping (including pipe supports)
    • Structural and civil
    • Electrical (including equipment and cable trays)
    • Instrumentation (including in-line and offline)
    • Access, maintenance and other envelopes
  • Drawing migration
    • Piping isometric regeneration
    • Orthographic volumes migration and generation
  • Manual retouching
    • Application of client modelling standards and procedures
    • Adjustments to label and dimension positions
    • Additional annotation and dimensioning where required
  • Quality assurance
    • Automated comparison of source and target
    • Manual review and checking of deliverables
    • DB check

Quality Assurance

Due to the necessity to use manual retouching within some parts of the model migration process, and to address fundamental differences between the source and target systems, TecSurge has developed a suite of quality assurance tools to ensure a high-quality result. These tools perform a variety of comparisons between the source and target systems, verifying elements such as:

  • Component end locations and coordinates
  • Property data
  • Isometric bill of materials

Our quality tools allow designers to quickly identify potential migration errors, and zoom into affected elements to make any necessary adjustments. In some cases, well-known migration errors can be automatically corrected by specialised tool functions.

Getting Started

To make a full and accurate estimate of the effort, TecSurge relies upon information provided in three different forms:

  • Consultative discussion, regarding overall fidelity and scope requirements
  • Detailed quantitative and scoping factors, captured in a questionnaire
  • Access to the source specifications, model and drawing data

The following high-level questions have a significant impact on the time and cost of the migration project:

  1. Is specification and catalogue conversion required?

    Why: specification and catalogue migration can be a significant effort, and can impact the critical path of the project.

  2. Should manual retouching be performed by TecSurge?

    Why: manual retouching of the migrated module is a manual effort, and therefore has a considerable impact on the number of resources and therefore cost.

  3. Are orthographic drawings to be included in the migration?

    Why: orthographic or arrangement drawings often require significant manual retouching to match the originals, and this impacts the number of resources required.

  4. Are there specific schedule constraints (e.g. hard delivery deadline)?

    Why: aggressive schedules can be met by TecSurge, however they may require additional resources and increase cost.

If this service describes your situation, and you’re able to provide the engineering inputs and answers to the questions listed here, contact us today for a quotation on Plant Model Migration to PDMS.

TecSurge Service Plant Model Migration to PDMS