What is a P&ID? (Piping and Instrumentation Drawing)

19 Jul

P&ID is a very common term used in the world of process industries. Working as a Process Engineer in a manufacturing plant I could not avoid myself from creating new and/or modifying the already existing P&ID to the as-is plant modifications. All the Chemical Engineering and related Engineering students have also learned about it or at least heard. As we all (most of us) know P&ID is Piping and Instrumentation Drawing.

A P&ID is a detailed graphical representation of a process including the hardware and software (e.g., piping, equipment, instrumentation) necessary to design, construct and operate the facility. As defined in the PIC001: Piping and Instrumentation Diagram Documentation Criteria by Process Industry Practice (PIP) – a consortium of process industry owners and engineering construction contractors who serve the industry.

Like most of the industries in USA; the process plant that I earlier worked for also used the PIP’s criteria for P&ID. The document created by them is very precise and hence very helpful for new guys in the industry. PIP also provides a detail list of all the standard set of symbols and instruments that should be used.

P&ID diagram has to show the interconnection of all the process equipments and the instruments used. It is critical to show the actual sequence of equipment and other assets of the process, as well as how they are connect. During the design stage, the diagram also provides the basis for the development of process. P&IDs play a very significant role in the maintenance and modification of the process.

P&ID is a graphical (symbolic) representation of the process which demonstrates all the piping with flow direction and instruments details with their controls. The equipments also show all the operational information at the top or bottom of the sheet hence avoids cluttering. All the equipments and instruments including pipelines and values are tagged uniquely.

There are various software programs available today to create these P&ID fast and intelligent. I have been fortunate enough to be working on creating the AutoCAD P&ID package, which is very easy to use, save a lot of time in drawing and editing, creates it’s own database and save all the properties for the assets. More information could be found at

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Posted by on July 19, 2008 in Engineering, Technology


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8 responses to “What is a P&ID? (Piping and Instrumentation Drawing)

  1. Anto

    January 10, 2009 at 11:34 am

    P&ID is the Bible for Piping Designers and Instrument designers

    For Piping Jobs visit:
    Very useful piece of info

    For Piping Jobs visit: Piping Jobs

  2. fatih

    February 11, 2010 at 4:39 am

    thank u so much, your article and PIP’s document are very helpful for new guys like me.

  3. Mangesh Kalbhor

    March 16, 2010 at 6:32 pm

    Feel free to go though the blogs to get more information in Plant design.

  4. Mangesh Kalbhor

    March 16, 2010 at 6:41 pm

    You are right Anto. P&ID is the Bible for Piping Designers and Instrument designers. It’s also heart of the Plant. All the process plants need to keep the P&IDs updated at any given time.

  5. peter

    July 18, 2010 at 11:49 pm

    I think this will help me and the country in terms of skills.

  6. denizen

    March 22, 2011 at 5:30 am

    p&id is a very important diagram for process chemical and instrumentation engineers.the article is very informative.
    Standard p&id symbols you can find below


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