How to Increase Productivity by Linking P&ID to a Location in the Facility

Piping and Instrumentation Diagrams (P&ID) show the relationships of process equipment and the instrumentation used to control the process.  The P&ID usually contain information on process piping, sizes and identification, mechanical equipment, process control instrumentation, interfaces for class changes, computer control systems, and identification of components and subsystems delivered by others.  

A Piping and Instrumentation diagram is originally drawn out during the design stage of new construction, but it plays an important role during the lifetime of a facility. The P&ID supports maintenance, modification of a process, control and shutdown schemes, safety and regulatory requirements, start-up sequences, and operational understanding to minimize the knowledge gap inherent in most facilities.  The International Society of Automation has great resources on developing and reading a P&ID, while this article focuses on using it in production and maintenance.

The Shortcoming of P&ID Today

P&IDs provide immense value to a facility and its maintenance team, but there are inherent challenges in efficiently using the P&ID.  


The P&ID does not require scaling, and they are often designed for ease of interpretation.  Without scale (including the physical placement and location) it’s easy for an engineer to design new equipment according to a P&ID, but find out that it does not fit in the designed location.  That means it’s important for an engineer to find the location and look at the physical space they’re designing to ensure a proper fit.

Revised P&ID

Another challenge for engineers to use the P&ID is that they are constantly being changed – redlined, revised, added to – and it’s common for them to design to an old P&ID.  The risk is obvious – they might design for the wrong process, equipment, location, etc. Facility managers have to make it easy for engineers to access the latest P&ID.

The Business Problem – Higher Costs

Lack of scale and location and revised P&IDs mean one big problem for the business – higher costs.  Let’s consider an example in a facility in which maintenance needs to solve a problem using the P&ID.  The first step is locating the most up to date P&ID – that may take a few minutes, or more depending on how you deliver.  Providing it through a computer allows everyone to have access to the latest P&ID without extensive searching.

Next, maintenance has to find the problem and check the physical location.  Unfortunately, the P&ID does not include the location on the drawing so locating it might take a few minutes, or a few hours.  Without identifying the location from the P&ID time on tools might 30 minutes, while locating the problem could be hours.

By linking the location to the latest P&ID you can save 25% on every work order, and complete 30% more work orders.

Link to a Location

For these reasons (Maintenance, safety, shutdown schemes, etc.), maintenance refers to the P&ID weekly, if not daily.  By simply linking to a location the time and cost saving accumulates quickly – average wrench time (Time on Tools) is 37% while providing the right information at the right time increases wrench time by 25%.  Here’s a similar scenario – maintenance needs to solve a problem using the P&ID. The first step is accessing the information through a tool like Fasttac which takes less than a minute. They review the P&ID as usual and then use Fasttac to identify the location of the system to be checked.  Location time went from possibly hours to seconds, and the only non-value added time in this work order is walking from the computer to the exact location.

Linking the P&ID to a location will allow your maintenance workers and engineers to complete work orders more quickly, and complete more work orders every day by moving that path to information from the twisted reality, to the goal of a straight line.  

Value of the Straight Line

Providing a straight line path to the information required by maintenance workers and facility management allows your human resources to access required information instantly, make real-time decisions, and maximize efficiency in a facility.  Learn how to calculate how much work your facility actually completed.

Instant Information

Empower engineers and maintenance workers in a facility to instantly find up-to-date information, view documents, and work from any location.  

Real-Time Decisions

Facility managers can Improve communication and make real-time decisions by providing the data needed to make those decisions at the right time.  An example is if a maintenance technician receives a notice that a pipe is leaking, but they aren’t sure where the shut off valve is located. Typically, they’d check the P&ID, or run around to find the nearest known shut off valve or the main shut off valve.  With a tool like Fasttac, users can look at their facility plan, find the exact location of the shut-off valve, and proceed to shut it off. This may include additional information like manuals to shut off, videos, or warranty information.

Maximum Efficiency

The facility management team can increase the speed, accuracy, and quality of their work by accessing the information necessary to do their job.  In the previous example, the maintenance technician increases speed by finding the information faster and reduce the walking time to the problem.  They improve accuracy by identifying the exact location of the shut-off valve to solve the immediate problem. Finally, they improve quality by stopping the leak faster and preventing other issues.

When Connecting the P&ID to a Location Makes Sense

The obvious, low-hanging-fruit-answer is new construction. New construction is a great place to start, but in reality, most facilities aren’t new construction.  So for the facility managers and CFOs trying to improve efficiency and reduce cost in their existing facility, there’s really never a bad time to start working with a tool like Fasttac.  You’ll reduce wrench time immediately, and see the cost and efficiency improvements over time.

Starting Small

It’s easy to start small with a single room and grow with time.  Start by uploading you facility drawings.  Fasttac organizes 2D drawings in a 3D grid, meaning they are organized by floor and trade.  Users can quickly navigate between floors and trades, and access any documentation needed in the facility from P&ID to manuals, videos, notes, warranties, and more.  

About Us

Fasttac provides cutting-edge software solutions for facility management to digitally control, distribute, and update all of the information needed to maintain a facility including blueprints, manuals, P&ID, videos, notes, warranties, and more.