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Hesterberg PDMS Plugin


Installation and User Manual

August 10, 2012

Author: Peter Frentrup

Ingenieurbüro Werk GmbH
Hauptstraße 85
D - 16348 Wandlitz Ortsteil Schönwalde
Ingenieurbüro Werk GmbH has a policy of continuing product development: therefore,
the information contained in this document may be subject to change without notice.
Ingenieurbüro Werk GmbH makes no warranty of any kind with regard to this doc-
ument, including but not limited to, the implied warranties of merchantability and
fitness for a particular purpose.
While every effort has been made to verify the accuracy of this document, Inge-
nieurbüro Werk GmbH shall not be liable for errors contained herein or direct, in-
direct, special, incidental or consequential damages in connection with the furnishing,
performance or use of this material.

1. Preface 2

2. Installation 2
2.1. Scope of delivery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
2.2. Database installation steps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
2.3. Plugin installation steps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

3. Configuration 4
3.1. Additional environment variables . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
3.2. The hb.ini file . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

4. Application 5
4.1. HEF Import Form . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
4.2. PROPS Export Form . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
4.3. Hanger Builder Form . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
4.4. Hanger Modifier Form . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
4.5. Parts List Generator Form . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
4.6. Settings Dialog . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

A. Appendix 16
A.1. Application codes in PDMS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
A.2. Required User Defined Attributes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
2 Installation

1. Preface
This document describes the Hesterberg PDMS Plugin verion 1.2.0 for hanger build-
ing. It is bound to the Hesterberg pipe support catalog database.

2. Installation
The plugin requires PDMS 11.6 or newer. The plugin is compatible with PDMS 12.0
SP5. Please note, that it is necessary to reembed the provided databases
with every upgrade.

2.1. Scope of delivery

Among this documentation, the plugin contains files which manage the integration
with PDMS, such as forms, functions and objects. Moreover, the plugin includes the
databases which provide the particular Hesterberg-catalog components.

2.2. Database installation steps

In order to allow you to use Hesterberg-catalog components in your projects, a
PDMS project named HES is provided.1 Its databases have to be embedded as foreign
databases in the appropriate MDBs of yout PDMS project. Table 1 lists the included

Table 1: Databases in project HES

Database name Type # File name Access

CATA/HESTERBERG-CATA CATA 4610 %HES000%/hes4610 0001 Multiwrite
CATA/HESTERBERG-DICT DICT 4612 %HES000%/hes4612 0001 Update
CATA/HESTERBERG-DESI DESI 4613 %HES000%/hes4613 0001 Update

The DESI database contains a test environment for the PDMS Design module. So it
is entirely optional.

2.3. Plugin installation steps

To use the PDMS plugin, the environment variables PMLLIB and PDMSUI must be
expanded. This normally happens in evars.bat. Example: The plugin files are in
D:\HESTERBERG with the following general structure:
The databases’ current content is listed in CSV files in the directory PDMS-Inhalt, November 9,

2.3 Plugin installation steps

Listing 1: Plugin structure

p l u g i n _ b a s e _ d i r e c t o r y ( here D :\ Hesterberg \)
pdmsui \
pmllib \
hb . ini
hbcache . ini
pml . index
Then evars.bat must be modified as follows:

Listing 2: Changes in evars.bat

if not "% pmllib %"=="" goto pmlok
set pmllib = D :\ HESTERBERG \ pmllib %1\ pmllib
echo PMLLIB set to % PMLLIB %
: pmlok

if not "% pdmsui %"=="" goto uiok

set pdmsui = D :\ HESTERBERG \ pdmsui %1\ pdmsui
echo PDMSUI set to % PDMSUI %
: uiok
Note that %1 expands to the PDMS installation directory.

3 Configuration

3. Configuration
3.1. Additional environment variables
To simplify using the plugin, some environment variables should be set.
For a sample project ABC in the directory E:\pdms\abc the following could be used:
Listing 3: Optional environment variables
set HBELSETOPDMS = E :\ pdms \ abc \ ElseToPdms
set HBPDMSTOELSE = E :\ pdms \ abc \ PdmsToElse

3.2. The hb.ini file

In addition to the environment variables, there exists also a configuration file hb.ini
in the pmllib folder of the plugin directory. The values defined in this file can also be
adjusted with the Settings dialog. In that case, they are immediately visible without
the need to restart PDMS. See 4.6. The options are:
• use default filebrowser decides whether to use the PDMS internal file browser
(value TRUE). Alternatively, this can specify one of the values PDMS, PLUGIN
or SYSTEM, where the latter two represend the plugin-specific browser and the
standard Windows browser, respectively. SYSTEM is used by default. If it
should load too slow, we recomend PLUGIN.
• xml character encoding sets the character encoding which is used for plugin
generated XML files such as Microsoft Excel tables. For German text, this
should be ISO-8859-1 which is also the default value. For English text, almost
any character encoding can be used.
• design menus visible apps determines in which applications of the Design
module the HESTERBERG menu will appear. The value is a comma separated
list of application codes. With the standard value ALL the menu is visible in all
applications. Appendix A.1 lists possible application codes.
• design hanger builder descriptions specifies the language to use for element
descriptions in the Hanger Builder form. Possible values are EN for English or
DE for German. By default, it is English. Unlike the other options, this is not
changeable through the settings dialog, but via the View menu in the Hanger
Builder form (see 4.3).
• design hanger builder color defines the color with which the current element
should be marked while the Hanger Builder form is open. It can be either color
names such as RED, GREEN or ROYALBLUE, or color codes as numbers be-
tween 1 and 255. The default value is PLUM.
• design hanger modifier color gives the color with which the current element
and its leave side rod should be marked while the Hanger Modifier form is open.
Again, this can be a color name or color code. the default value is FOREST-

4 Application

4. Application
The plugin provides an additional menu in the Design module:

Eight items are available:

• Import HEF Files...

Opens a form for reading *.hef files which were previously generated by Else
(the hanger layout design tool).

• Export Props Files...

Provides a form for generating *.props files, which can then be read by Else to
construct a hanger chain.

• Hanger Builder...
This opens a form for building new pipe support hangers. Beginning with a given
attachment, the user can select appropriate catalog components from a list and
insert them. More in chapter 4.3.

• Hanger Modifier...
This opens a form for quickly modifying the dimensions of existing hangers or
restraint. I.e. rotating elements and stretching rods. More in chapter 4.4.

• Parts List Generator...

For creation of parts lists as Microsoft Excel files. More in chapter 4.5.

• Settings...
Here you can change settings such as color and directories for the current PDMS
session. More in chapter 4.6.

• Help (English)
This item opens the English user manual for the plugin, that is this document.

• Help (German)
Opens the German user manual for the plugin.

4 Application

4.1. HEF Import Form

Importing hanger constructions from the Else layout tool.

With this form one can select *.hef files and import them to PDMS. These are text
files that are generated by Else (hef = Hesterberg Export File), one file for each at-

The main part of this form is a table that lists all selected files along with their at-
tachment. It can be soreted by any column – ascending or descending – with the menu
item Sort by. More files are added by clicking the button or the menu item Add (by
default using the HbElseToPdms directory) and can be removed with or Remove.
clears the whole list. When double-clicking a line in the table, the appropriate
attachment is selected and centered in the 3D view.

As soon as all files are selected, you can start the import procedure by clicking the
button Import. For every attachment, a new restraint with the same name plus suffix
/RE is created. This restraint resides in a zone whose name consists of the attachment’s
zone name with the additional suffix -R&S. Example: For an attachment /MYATTA inside
a zone /MYZONE, the associated restraint lies in the zone /MYZONE-R&S and is named

An information window is shown during the import procedure. This window presents
the current file’s name along with a progress bar and a Cancel button for aborting
the rest of the import procedure (Because the abort-status is checked only after fully
loading a file, clicking this button may lead to some delay until the progress is realy

4.1 HEF Import Form

If some restraint already exists at import time, it will be marked red and centered in
the 3D view. You are then asked if it should be overwritten or not (cf. next image).

All imported restraints are temporarily coloured green until the whole import proce-
dure finishs. Additionally, if the option Center current attachment during import is
checked, the attachment that belongs to the current file will be centered in the 3D

4 Application

4.2. PROPS Export Form

Exporting of attachment properties for use by Else.

You can specify attachments to be exported as *.props files with this form. The gen-
erated files will go to the HbPdmsToElse directory and can be read from there into the
hanger layout design tool, which then creates an appropriate hanger chain.

The hanger chain’s desired height for the selected attachment can be set directly at
Height 1 or with the button : When it is pushed, aid lines will be added to the 3D
model and one can select a steel element to set the height. The value at Height 2 is
used only for hangers with traverses.

Whith a double click to a line in the list or by clicking , the according attachment
can be quickly selected and centered. A list of all needed UDAs is in appendix A.2.

4.3 Hanger Builder Form

4.3. Hanger Builder Form

Creation of new hangers and restraints.

This window is divided into four parts:

1 Below the menu bar stands the name of the element where hanger building goes
on (CE). You can also turn off automatic tracking of the CE here.
It is lilac-colored as long as this window is open. The image above shows a
selected pipe clamp in the background.

2 Thereunder is an overview of the next to-be-built element with name, catalog

chapter and icon (in the image above: the lug LA20-M16 from chapter P). The
user can choose whether the new element should be created in a new hanger and
if it will be positioned at P3 instead of PLEAVE. Moreover one can set a rotation
angle and distance for elements with rods.
Inside the 3D view, an arrow shows the connection point with possible rotation
By clicking the button Build the new element will be created and selected as new
CE. If this element is the first after the attachment (i.e. a pipe clamp), a new
restraint will be created. It has the attachment’s name plus the suffix /RE and
will reside in a zone which is named after the attachment’s zone plus the suffix
-R&S, by default.
Example: One wants to create a new pipe clamp at an attachment /ATTA1 which
is inside the zone /ZONE1. Therefor, a new zone /ZONE1-R&S will be created (if
it does not already exist) and therein a restraint /ATTA/RE is built. Inside that
restraint, a hanger with the pipe clamp will be constructed.

4 Application

3 The main part of the window contains a table with name and description of
those Hesterberg-catalog components, which would fit to the current element
according to their Connection Type and Bore width. Via the menu item View
it is possible to query English or German descriptions.

4 At the lower bound of the window is an input mask for restricting the list to only
a few elements.
– The text box Search is for specifying a part of the name or description
which should appear in every line shown in the table. E.g. with “lug”,
only lugs would be listed if the description is set to English. Note that this
choice filter is retained after building the new element. So it has to be reset
– Rod Diameter is for limiting the search to elements for a specific rod diam-
eter (e.g. only M12).
– The Chapter option is for limiting the search to a specific chapter of the
Hesterberg catalog.

With the menu item Edit, one can add

nuts to the whole hanger or remove them.
Material and surface codes for single el-
ements or the whole hanger or restraint
can also be set via Edit

All changes made via this form can also be

undone with the PDMS Undo button.

4.4 Hanger Modifier Form

4.4. Hanger Modifier Form

Simple adjustment of hangers and hanger elements.

As long as this window is open, the selected element (CE) and its leave side rod (if
existent) are colored green and an aid line shows the rotation axis (always PARRIVE).
The windows consists of two tabs. Alignment contains:

• The text field Rod length lets you set the desired rod length directly. Changes
are applied with hEnteri.
There is a slider below the text box for fast adjustments. Using this, the effect
of changes to the rod length are immediately visible in the 3D view.
You can select two element positions with the button . This will adjust the
rod length so that the first element (i.e. the PLEAVE of an SCLA element) is
shifted to the second (i.e. a PLINE of a SCTN element).

• The field Angle is for rotations about PARRIVE. A relative angle can be specified
here. The rotation is done after hitting hEnteri. Below this text box is another
slider, which is adjustable in 5◦ steps from −180◦ to +180◦ . Rotations are done
at once when using the slider.

• Sometimes rotating produces rounding errors in the submillimeter range. This

can be fixed with the menu item Edit → Fix distance rounding.
If something goes totally wrong otherwise, all elements beginning with the CE
can be reconnected by Edit → Reconnect rest of hanger.

4 Application

The second tab Properties

lists all variable measures of
the selected element. Each
can be cahnged with its cor-
responding text filed or the
In the picture on the left
those measures are F und TT
of constant support K01.11.C-
You must take care on your
own that only meaningfull
values are set here.

Note that all following elements in the same hanger and any connected hanger will be
moved or rotated with the current element.

4.5 Parts List Generator Form

4.5. Parts List Generator Form

Creationg of parts lists.

• Restraints
This contains a list of all restraints which should be included in the parts list.
Additional restraints can be added with and removed with . is for
clearing the list. Alternatively, the list can be changed with the menu items Add
and Remove.

• Options
The parts list can be written in English oder German. This is configurable with
the Language drop down list.
If Open Excel after saving is activated, the table will be opened directly after

When all settings are done, the parts list can be created by clicking the button Save....
You will by asked for the file name and location. The created Microsoft Excel file
contains two worksheets: The first one lists all parts of all restraints together in one
list along with the total rod lengths. In the second worksheet every those items are
listed separately for each restraint.
The columns Material and Surface in the created tables are filled with certain User
Defined Attributes. See appendix A.2. Those attributes can also be set for single

4 Application

elements, whole hangers or restraints in the Hanger Builder Form (4.3) using the Edit
menu item.

4.6 Settings Dialog

4.6. Settings Dialog

Settings during a PDMS session.

• General
Here you can modify general settings: Which file browser should be used and
values for the environment variables HbElseToPdms and HbPdmsToElse.

• Editing hangers
In this area, you can change the colors which are used to mark the CE when the
Hanger Builder Form (4.3) and the Hanger Modifier Form (4.4), respectively, is

All modifications in this form are valid only during the current PDMS session. To keep
them permanently, edit the file hb.ini.

A Appendix

A. Appendix
A.1. Application codes in PDMS
The design module application codes listed here are those that are included in the
standard installation of PDMS.

Table 2: PDMS application codes in the Design module

Code Application
GEN General
EQUI Equipment
PIPE Pipework
CABL Cable Trays
STLWRK Beams & Columns
PANEL Panels & Plates
CIVIL Walls & Floors
ACCESS2 ASL Modeller
SUPP3 Hanger & Supports
DTMP Design Templates

The Access, Stairs & Ladders application has the code ASL in PDMS 12.0.
Only available until PDMS 11.6 SP4.
Only available since PDMS 12.0.

A.2 Required User Defined Attributes

A.2. Required User Defined Attributes

The following UDA’s are needed by the plugin.

Table 3: UDA’s for parts list generation

Name Usage
:HESMAT The material group of the specific element (W1 - W9)
:HESSURF The surface coating group of the element (OZN or O0 - O23)
:HESRODMAT The material group of the rod at PLEAVE.
:HESRODSURF The surface coating group of the rod at PLEAVE.

Table 4: UDA’s for export

Name Type Description

:USTDTEMP Zahl design temperature
:USTDYNLOADS Array dynamic loads Lasten at support point in x-,
y- and z-direction
:USTFORCES Array static loads at support point in x-, y- and
:USTMOVEMENT Array movements in x-, y- and z-direction, positive
and negative dynamic movements at support
:USTSRATE Array spring rate
:USTSTATLOAD Zahl maximum static load in z-direction
:USTTESTLOAD Zahl hydro test load
:USTSCHTYP Zeichenkette calculated hanger type