Changes to Spec-Driven Piping in Creo 4

Spec-Driven Piping in Creo Parametric allows users to model piping installations at a much faster and more accurate rate than using the conventional Piping module (for further details, see our earlier blog post Why Spec-Driven Piping?). PTC introduced two changes in Creo Parametric 4.0 that make Spec-Driven Piping easier to implement and maintain compared to prior Creo versions: the Piping Validation Tool and the consolidation of the Master Catalog.

Piping Validation Tool

In Creo 4.0 and versions beyond, within the Piping tab under the Setup menu is a “Check Piping Database” option. This will scan the configuration settings which point to the locations of the Master Catalog files, e.g. “piping_mcat_dir”, and run an analysis on the content of those files. From there, it will display a report to the user informing them if there any Errors or Warnings in the Master Catalog (see example below). This is immensely helpful by pinpointing errors and potential problems with the Master Catalog to avoid a needle-in-a-haystack scenario.

Example of the Spec-Driven Piping Validation Tool in Creo

Master Catalog Consolidation

The Master Catalog text files usually number in the dozens to hundreds depending on the complexity of the Library. For versions of Creo prior to 4.0, these are required to be PTC-specific PTD text files, which use tab-separated values. If your company is planning to migrate to Creo Parametric 4.0 or any higher version, the Master Catalog file formats have changed; from the legacy tab-delimited PTD files to more universal comma-separated CSV files. The below picture shows an comparison of a Creo 3.0 (left) vs. Creo 4.0 (right) PTC example Master Catalog.

Master Catalog Comparison between Creo 3 and Creo 4

As you can see, not only have the PTD files become CSV files, but many files and folders have been phased out or combined:

  • The “boltnut” folder has been phased out
  • The “pipeod”, and “pipethk” folders have been combined into the single “pipe” folder
  • The “piping_manufacture_dir.ptd”, “piping_material.ptd”, and piping_units_system_dic_file.ptd” files have been phased out

Boltnut Changes

The relevant information contained within the files of the phased out “boltnut” folder have been combined into the “piping_bolt_nut_select” file. The below picture shows that other than formatting, the only difference between the PTD (left) and the CSV (right) is the last column, which changes from “MCAT_FILE” to “BULK_ITEM_NAME”.

piping_bolt_nut_select .PTD vs. .CSV comparison

Pipe Changes

All of the main remaining Master Catalog changes involve pipes; the separate information contained in the two pipe folders and three piping files is now contained in each file within the now stand-alone “pipe” folder. Below is a picture that shows where the unique information contained into those five separate locations are now stored in a single “pipe” CSV file.

Pipe .CSV Migration Example

RsysConfig Can Help!

So what does this all mean? Any Spec-Driven Master Catalog data you have for prior Creo versions will need to be changed to the new CSV formats for Creo 4.0 and beyond. Your organization will have to manually go through and edit every Master Catalog file, which would generally be a very time-consuming task. 

Luckily, CadActive has developed RsysConfig, which uses the power of automation to upload your Creo 2.0 or 3.0 Spec-Driven data into our user-friendly web interface. From there, RsysConfig enables instant conversion and download of ready-to-use CSV files for Creo 4.0 and beyond; thus saving your company considerable time and error risk from manual entry.

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