Software for creation of pipe classes and mechanical calculation of piping components. Read more ...


Software for the design and mechanical calculation of pressure vessels and heat exchangers. Read More ...


The presentation shows the calculation of a standard piping flange in the VES application. Read more ...

1 Introduction

1.1 About this reference

This is a quick reference on how to install and use the VES Project management system (VPMS). With this reference guide you will learn how to open, create and maintain project data for static equipment. You will also learn how to create a new pressure vessel and how to customise this vessel by adding one or more pressure parts to the vessel. We will also explain how to switch between the available pressure codes like ASME, Stoomwezen and AD Merkblätter.

1.2 Hardware requirements

To install the software you will need an IBM or compatible personal computer with Windows 95/NT or 2000 installed. The following table shows the minimum computer requirements needed to install and run the VES software.

Hardware requirements to install and run VES
Requirements Processor Memory Monitor
Minimum Pentium II 133 MHz 16 Mb 15" 800 x 600
Recommended Pentium II 450 MHz 64 Mb 17" 1024 x 768

We strongly recommend the use of a 17" inch monitor with a 1024 X 768 or higher resolution.

1.3 Software installation

Installation from CD-ROM or 3.5" disk

  1. Insert the installation disk into the appropriate disk station.
  2. Use the Start button and select the menu entry Run to open the Run dialog.
  3. Enter A:\setup (3.5" diskettes) or D:\VES99A\setup (CD-ROM) and press ENTER. The set up software will start checking your computer configuration. If required your Windows system files will be updated and Windows will restart itself. If this happens you have to start the installation procedure again at point 1
  4. Follow the instruction on the screen. The Setup will ask you where to install the software. We recommend you use the default location suggested by the Setup.
  5. If the software is installed successfully you can put the hard lock in the parallel printer port at the back of your computer. For window NT or computers connected to a network printer the hard lock drivers must be installed. You can find these drivers on a diskette or directory called Hard lock drivers. Run the Setup.exe for the drives and follow the instructions on screen (you will need administrator rights). After the drivers are installed you must restart windows.
  6. After the software is installed you can use the Start button to open the menu entry called Program. Here you will find a menu entry you can use to start the software.

1.4 Network installation

The software uses several databases for which all users needs READ/WRITE access rights. They also need rights to create/read and write the database locking files. The installation will install the following databases:


On start up the software will create the following database locking files:


Project file: VODB.MDB
The VODB database contains all project related data. All users working on the same project must have READ/WRITE access rights for this database file. To create a new project file use the Job menu entry called Settings:

  1. Change the directory called Project database directory to a new network location
  2. Click the Update button to create a new empty project file called VODB.MDB.
  3. Close the settings windows
  4. Each user working on the project has to change his Project database directory setting to the new location of VODB.MDB.

You can create one or more project files on the same network. Each project file must be in a different location (directory). To switch between project files you have to change the Project database directory setting of VES99A.

Project template file: VODB.ORG
It is not possible to relocate the VODB.ORG file. The software always expects the VODB.ORG file to be in the same directory as the application VES99A. If you want to create a new project file you need the following rights:

  1. read/write for VODB.ORG
  2. create/read/write for VODB.LDB.

Standard database: VMDB.MDB
This database contains all standard materials, pipe schedules, rated flanges etc. All project files contain references to standards from the VMDB database. The best location for this database is on a network location where all users can access the file with READ/WRITE rights. It is possible to relocate VMDB.MDB. Use the Windows Explorer to copy the file to a new location. Then use the settings windows to change the Standard & Material database directory to the new location of VMDB.MDB. All users have to changes the Standard Material & database directory setting to the new location of VMDB.MDB.

1.5 Support

All customers with a licence and a maintenance contract can get support on the software.

Red-Bag Tel: +31(0)15 268 2504
Rotterdamseweg 183c Fax: +31(0)15 268 2530
2629 HD Delft E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Netherlands

2 Getting started

2.1 Ves Project Management System

In this chapter we will introduce you to the basics of the VES Project Management System (VPMS) It will explain job management, pressure vessels and pressure parts. At the end of this chapter you will have the basic skills needed to check and design pressure vessels with the VES software.

2.1.1 Introduction VPMS

The VES Project Management System is the central application used to manage all job related mechanical design data. The Stoomwezen, ASME and AD Merkblätter modules are incorporated dynamically by selecting one of the pressure code options available on screen. This chapter explains how to use the build in menus to add new jobs, open an existing job or how to remove a job from VPMS. We will create new pressure vessels like heat exchangers, horizontal vessels and vertical columns. We will use VPMS to explore the pressure vessels and activate Stoomwezen, ASME or AD Merkblätter calculations.

2.1.2 Using menus in Windows

In figure 2-1 you find an example of the Job menu. You can open the menu by moving the mouse cursor over the menu text 'Job' and clicking the left mouse button. If you prefer to use the keyboard to activate a menu you can use a <Alt>+key combination. Because in figure 2-1 the capital J of the menu text Job is underlined you can use the <Alt><J> key combination to open the menu. The same works for the Item menu, <Alt><I>, and the Part menu, <Alt><P> or any other menu in a windows application. To select one of the sub menu entries of an open menu like in figure 2-1 you can use the mouse or one of the underlined characters from the sub menus. For example:to close a job you press <Alt><J> to activate the menu and then <C> to actually close the job.

2.1.3 Starting & Quitting applications in Windows

To start VPMS use the Start button from the windows task bar. Open the menu entry Programs and select the sub menu entry call VESxxx (xxx is a revision number). This will start the VPMS application. The software will first check for a licence in one of the installed hard locks. This hard lock has to be installed in the parallel printer port at the back of your computer. If you want to extend your licence with a new code module you can buy this code module from Vessel Engineering Software. We will send you a new hard lock with the requested licence options. To quit the VPMS application open the job menu and select the sub menu entry called Exit (see figure 2-1). All data is already saved and the application will shut down without any further notice.

2.2 Jobs

Any new project will start by creating a new job entry in VPMS. This job entry will be used to collect all mechanical design data for the pressure vessels of the project. This way each user working on the project can easily find all job related pressure vessels by opening the appropriate job entry. In this paragraph you will learn how to create job entries, open, close and delete jobs. The paragraph called Items will learn you how to add pressure vessels to your new job entries.

2.2.1 Starting VPMS for the first time

If you start VPMS for the first time you will see the Job Selection Window from figure 2-2. The first time only job number VALIDATION-99A is available. VES has already created this job and filled it with several pressure vessels used to test the software. The VES Quality & Validation report contains all printed output of these tests. With the help of the pressure vessels in job VALIDATION-99A and the VES Validation & Quality report you can check the correctness of the software updates you received from VES. This is useful for ISO certification because with the tested and checked calculations in the report you can prove the correctness of the software.

To continue learning how to manage jobs click the Cancel button and read the next paragraphs. If you want to explore job number VALITATION-99A use the Open button.

2.2.2 How to create a new job

Job menu: New
There are two ways to open the window used to create a new job entry:

  1. 1. Use the button called new from the Job Selection Windows
  2. 2. Make sure the Job Selection Window from figure is closed (use the Cancel button).

Then use the menu entry called New from the Job menu In the New Job window you must enter a unique job number, description, client name and plant location. Check the input and use the Ok button. VPMS will create and open the new job entry. You can see which job is open by looking at the left top of the main window. There you will find the job number of the currently open job in VPMS. There can only be one job open at a time.

2.2.3 How to open a job

Job menu: Open
You can open a job number by using Job Selection window. Use the Job menu Open entry to activate this window.

Use the mouse or arrow keys to select one of the job numbers. If you click the Open button or press the ENTER key VPMS will open the selected job number. VPMS will only allow you to work on the pressure vessels belonging to the currently open job number. In the example window you can see three newly created jobs entries. The description fields indicate that the jobs are for demonstration purposes.

2.2.4 How to change the job summary

Job menu: Summary
If you want to change the job description, client name or the location of a job you can use the Job menu entry Summary. This will activate the Job Edit window which is similar to New Job window. Use this window to change the job descriptions and click the OK button. Use the Cancel button or ESC key to discard the changes and close the window.

2.2.5 How to delete a job

Job menu: Delete
If you use this option VPMS will delete the currently open job entry and all related items (pressure vessels). To delete a job number you first have to open it with the Job Selection window. VPMS will ask you to confirm the deletion by selecting a Yes or No button. With the No button VPMS will abort deletion and nothing will be removed from the system.

If you select Yes VPMS checks if there are still job related items in the system. If VPMS finds one or more items it will warn you that there are still job related items. Again selecting No will abort job deletion. Selecting Yes will remove all job related items from VPMS and finally delete the job entry Warning: there is no way to recover deleted job entries. VES advises you create regular backups of the data section on your computer.

2.3 Items

In this paragraph you will learn how to create, open, delete and copy equipment or items using the Item menu. Make sure that you have created or opened a job entry as described in the previous paragraph called Jobs.

In VPMS an item can be any type of pressure vessel. We will create horizontal vessels, heat exchangers and generic vessels. A generic vessel is an item with an arbitrary number of pressure parts. You can use this type of vessel to design one or more custom made pressure parts or to experiment with alternative design data or conditions.

2.3.1 How to create a new item

Item menu: New
To create a new item use the Item menu entry New and select one if the sub entries. You can choose one of the following pressure vessels types:

A) General vessel
B) Horizontal vessel on two saddles
C) Shell and tube heat exchanger
D) Vertical column on a skirt.

For each new item you must enter a unique item number. This number must be unique within the job you are working on.

A) General vessel

Item menu: New - General vessel
This will open the New general vessel dialog. Enter a unique item number and click the OK button. VMPS will create a new item of type General Vessel. You can use this type of vessel to make separate calculations for pressure parts like cylinders, heads, flanges etc. You can read about adding and deleting parts in chapter 3 Parts.

B) Horizontal vessel

Item menu: New - Horizontal vessel
This will open the new horizontal vessel dialog. You must enter a unique item number (Vessel number/tag) and you can choose the type of head from a drop down list. Click the Ok button to create the vessel. VPMS will create a new horizontal vessel and add the 4 default pressure parts (1 cylinder, 2 heads and saddles). Optionally you can change the default numbers for the pressure parts. For example you can change the default pressure part number CYLINDER into SHELL BARREL.

C) Heat exchanger

Item menu: New - Heat Exchanger
The fist dialog you see is the heat exchanger type dialog. With this dialog you can choose the TEMA type for the heat exchanger you want to create.

  1. Use the mouse to click on one of the Front end channel pictures. In the centre of the window you will find a character indicating the TEMA type for the selected front end channel The lower part of the window will show an enlarged copy of the small picture you selected.
  2. Click on one the small Shell pictures you find in the top middle of the screen. Again the dialog will show you the TEMA type character and an enlarged copy of the selected Shell section.
  3. Click on one of the Rear end Channel pictures.
  4. Check the heat exchanger configuration (removable bundle and tube sheet type) and click the Create button. This will open the New Heat Exchanger dialog.
  5. Enter a unique item number and selected the type of head. Optional you can change the pressure part numbers and descriptions. Click the Ok button to create the heat exchanger.

In the chapter Heat Exchanger Design you can read about how to start the mechanical design of the newly created heat exchanger.

While selecting the TEMA type of heat exchanger you want to create you have to look carefully at the number of flanges around the tube sheet. If you create a AEU type of heat exchanger there are two possible configurations.

One with a removable bundle and another with a none removable bundle. The first configuration will have flanges on both sides of the tube sheet. The second one with the none removable bundle will have only one flange connected to tube side of the tube sheet.

2.3.2 How to open an item

Item menu: Open
This menu entry will open the Item Open window. Use the mouse or arrow key to select an item and click the Open button or press the ENTER key. VPMS will load the selected item data and all the pressure part connected to the item. At to top of the screen you can change the item data like the revision number and item description.

Click the save button the save the changes. The bottom half of the screen will show a list of the item related design documents and pressure parts. In the chapter Heat exchanger design you can read how to start the mechanical design of the selected heat exchanger.

2.3.3 How to delete an item

Item menu: Delete
You can only delete the currently open item. To delete an item open it and select the Item menu entry Delete. VPMS will open a Yes/No dialog. Select Yes to delete the item or No to cancel the deletion.

2.3.4 How to copy an item

Item menu: Copy
With this menu entry you can create a copy of the currently open item. You can copy an item from one job number to another or create copies of an item within the same job number. This way you can create multiple copy of an item with different revision number. You could also create copies to design the item for changed conditions or alternative materials.

The Item copy window has two sections. The upper section called Source job & item is for selecting the source to copy from. In lower section called Destination job & item you can select the job number to copy to and enter a new item number. This item number must be unique within the destination job number you selected. To start the copy function click the Copy button. VMPS will copy all item data and related pressure parts to the new item number.

2.4 Parts

In this paragraph you can read about creating, deleting and calculating pressure parts using the Part menu. Before you can create or calculate a pressure part you have to create or open a job and item as described in the previous paragraphs called Jobs and Items.

2.4.1 How to create a part

Part menu: New
The part menu New has several sub entries for creating different kind of pressure parts.

The pressure parts you create will be added to the currently open item. Each pressure part must have a unique number within the item it belongs to. Enter a new part number and use the type drop down list to select the type of part to create. After clicking the Ok button VPMS will add the part to the pressure part list of the item.

In above figure you see an example item of type GENERAL VESSEL with item number GV-1000. The pressure part SHELL BARREL is added to the item. The part is of the category Shell and type Cylinder. You can add shells, heads, flanges, flat covers, dished heads, tube sheets and bellows. To add nozzles you must open the nozzle list document. This document is the second entry in the pressure part list, just below the material list entry. To open the nozzle list double click on the document or mover the selection bar (blue bar) over the document and press the ENTER key.

2.4.2 How to delete a part

Part menu: Delete
Use this menu entry to delete the selected part from an item. VPMS will ask for conformation by opening an Yes/No dialog. Selecting No will abort the deletion.

2.4.3 How to switch between ASME, Stoomwezen and AD Merkblätter

In the middle of the screen you will find the pressure code options. Only the options present in your licence agreement will enabled. Use the mouse to activate the required pressure code option.

You can contact VES to extend your software with new pressure code modules. VES will send you a new hard lock with the requested options. VES is also developing new modules like for the PED.

2.4.4 How to open a pressure part calculation document

Make sure you have opened a job and an item. Then select the required pressure code option: ASME, Stoomwezen or AD Merkblätter. In the lower part of the window you will see the pressure part list connected to the currently open item below figures.

Pressure part list with (RToD) Stoomwezen documents

Pressure part list with AD Merkblätter documents

Pressure part list with ASME documents

Use the mouse or arrow keys to select the pressure part for which you want to open a calculation document. Click on the plus sign at the left of the selected part (or pressure the ENTER key). This will open the document list containing all applicable documents for the pressure part category and type. To open a pressure code document like Stoomwezen D0201 select the document with the mouse or arrow keys. Double click or press the ENTER key to open the document, see below figure.

Pressure code document Stoomwezen D0201

3 Introduction Heat Exchanger Design

This chapter will introduce you into the heat exchanger design module. First open a job and create a new heat exchanger as described in chapter 2. In below figure the open job number is V-1234-99 and the selected item is heat exchanger number E-1003 of TEMA type AEM.

The next paragraphs will tell you how to start entering the data for the heat exchanger design. It will start by editing the Nozzle list document. Then opening the document called Mechanical vessel design. In this document you can enter the mechanical design data and the materials for the heat exchanger. The mechanical design document contains a custom made material list especially designed for heat exchangers.

3.1 Edit the nozzle list

Select and open the nozzle list document from figure 3-1. The default number of nozzles for a heat exchanger is 4. For each nozzle you must enter the following data:

  • Nozzle mark
  • Service description
  • Flange rating " Flange type
  • Flange facing type
  • Nominal nozzle neck outside diameter
  • Nozzle neck wall thickness
  • Nozzle neck wall tolerance

Don't enter the reinforcement pad dimensions and the standout. The heat exchanger design module will calculate these values for you. You can use the option menus to select pipe schedules, rating and flange types.

3.2 Edit the mechanical datasheet

Select and open the document called Mechanical vessel design (figure 3-1). This will open the mechanical datasheet (figure 3-4). The MDS is divided into four section:

  • Design data: pressures, temperatures, join efficiency, number of passes etc.
  • Design data cylinders : diameters, optional thickness and optional reinforcement pad dimensions.
  • Design data girth flanges: type of flange and gasket properties.
  • Design data tube sheet and bundle: tube properties, tube pitch layout, baffle cuts and spacing, optional tube sheet thickness.

Fill in the mechanical datasheet completely and use the File menu entry Save to secure the data. It is good practice to save the mechanical datasheet every time you made some important changes to the data.

3.2.1 Optional data entries

Some of the data entries are marked as optional (figure 3-4). A value of zero indicates the design module must calculate an optimised value for this entry. You can force the heat exchanger design to use a specific user defined value by entering a none zero value for the optional data entry. Example: you want use a 13 mm thick plate for the channel. In the section called Design data cylinders enter the value 13 in the entry called Wall thickness (this entry is marked as optional). The design module will design the channels using a 13 mm wall thickness. If the 13 mm plate is not enough for the design pressure you will get a warning indicating there is not enough wall thickness to satisfy the pressure code regulations. There are optional data entries for the cylinder wall thickness, reinforcement pads, tube sheet thickness and flat cover thickness (if applicable).

3.2.2 Reinforcement pads

You can force the design module to design the heat exchanger with integral nozzle reinforcement. If you fill the data entry called Allow reinforcement pads with No the design module will calculate the cylinder wall thickness to be sufficient for internal pressure and nozzle reinforcement. There will be no reinforcement pads required because of the oversized wall thickness of the cylinders. In case of large reinforcement pads you could try this option to reduce the length of the channels.

3.2.3 Gasket parameters

Use the Edit menu entry called Gasket to select one of the standard ASME gaskets. VES has added some new gaskets to the end of the list (Camprofiles). If you want to use none standard gaskets you must enter the gasket parameters like the compression factor and the seating pressure yourself. You can get these parameters from your gasket supplier.

3.3 Edit the material list

Use the Edit menu entry Material list to open the material list (figure 3-4). This is a custom made material list especially for the heat exchanger design module. In this list you can find the allowable stress values and the specific gravity for each material.

You can select materials from the material database supplied by VES. Or you can enter materials not available in the material database.

To enter a material from the material database:

  1. Move the cursor onto the cell of the material you want to edit.
  2. Use the Material button to open a selection window containing the database materials.
  3. Select on of the materials and click the Ok button.
  4. The material and allowable stress values will appear in selected cell of the material list.

To enter a custom material not available from the material database:

  1. Move the cursor onto the cell of the material you want to edit.
  2. Enter the custom material description.
  3. Enter the allowable stress values and the specific gravity (Kg per cubic decimeter).

For each design cycle the design module will check if the design temperature has changed. For the materials selected from the VES material database it will adjust the allowable stress values for the new design temperature.

If you have entered materials not available from the VES material database you have to check the allowable stress values for these materials yourself. If you are ready entering materials click the Close button and use the Save menu to secure the data changes.

3.4 Starting a heat exchanger design cycle

Design & View
If you have filled the nozzle list, mechanical data sheet and the material list you are ready to start a design cycle. To start a design cycle use the View menu entry Design & View… from the mechanical data sheet. To design the heat exchanger you have two options:

  1. Design & View the heat exchanger dimensions. This option will design the heat exchanger and show you a workbook filled with the mechanical datasheet, all pressure part dimensions, nozzle list and the material list. You can use the Export to Excel button to create a MS Excel work of this output. This is useful if you want to E-mail the heat exchanger design over the Internet.
  2. Design & View the ASME calculations. This option will design the heat exchanger and show you a workbook filled with all applicable ASME calculations. This workbook can also be exported to a MS Excel formatted file.

Each time you run a design cycle all dimensions will recalculated. You have to run at least one design cycle to get a complete heat exchanger design. After running a design cycle you can use the View menu to get a weight table or to view the setting plan drawings.

Check & View (customised heat exchangers)
After running at least one design cycle you can use the Stoomwezen, ASME or AD Merblätter modules to customise one of the pressure parts. Now you can only use one of the Check & View … menu entries. Using one of these entries will not change the heat exchanger design and only report if there are inconsistencies in the heat exchanger design. If you want to discard the customised pressure parts you can rerun a Design & View … cycle. This will restore the default pressure part dimensions. After a Design & View .. cycle all customised data will be lost (you could use the Item menu entry Copy to secure your customised heat exchanger design).

3.5 Design options

The Edit menu entry Options will open the option window. This window is filled with design parameters you can use the control the heat exchanger design. There are options for:

  • Flange design
  • Minimum bolt sizes
  • Tube sheet design
  • Nozzle position and orientations
  • Saddle positions
  • Dished covers design
  • Flat cover design
  • Floating tube sheet design

You can get technical help for all options by clicking the Help button at the bottom of the options window. In the help file you will find picture and text explaining the use of all options. Some options will change the heat exchanger design details. Therefore it is useful to print the option worksheet if you have finalised your heat exchanger design. Use the print button to get a printable design parameter worksheet.

End of quick reference.


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