This update does not effect material, gasket, or other files that are typically customized by RCS users. Nonetheless, it is always a good idea to make a complete backup of your RCS install by creating a copy of the entire RCSWin folder and all files in it. This ensures you will be able to resort back to the previous version should any problems with the install arise.
Note: To get a printout of all instructions, program and file updates, enhancements, and corrections from within RCS, go to Tools -> Administrative and double click on Edit / Print updates. Note that this displays the last couple of updates in sequence.
(1) General Updates: (a) An ongoing process is to clarify and improve input field wording as well as the associated "general" help and "context sensitive" help. While the list is far too long to delineate, you will find the help system to be greatly improved and comprehensive, and work is continuing. Numerous screens have improved help, but specific areas of interest are the data input screens, the RCS configuration screens (RCS Setup Program), and all screens related to UHX. (b) Previously RCS has used F8 for general help and F9 for context sensitive help. While these function keys still work, we have also added the Windows standard convention of F1 for context sensitive help and F2 for general help. (c) The 2013 version of the ANSI B16.5 Pressure-Temperature nozzle flange ratings was added in it's entirety to the program as an option. This table has been set as the default, as it is mandatory with the 2015 ASME Section VIII Div.1 Code. You can switch to previous versions of these tables by selecting "Tools" "Tables" and "B16.5 PTR" should you desire to in order to duplicate an old job. The older tables are also available through the nozzle reinforcement menus. (d) API-660 ninth edition is now available and mandatory for use with the 2015 Edition of the Code. The primary additions to RCS are default nozzle loadings [see (2) below], and use of bolt tensioning devices [see (3) below] (e) Changes were made to Part UHX of the Code. See (4) below. (f) All tables in the Code, such as Heat Treat Tables, Radiograph Tables, External Pressure Charts and the like were updated. Some new materials with their associated properties were added in the 2015 Edition. (g) All of the materials' allowable stresses, yield stresses and physical properties in Section II of the ASME Code are available in this version. Instructions on how to update your current materials database to the current values are given below in (5). (h) Some users were encountering printing problems with some of the sketches, when using Windows 7 and higher operating systems. This was corrected.
(2) API 660 Ninth Edition Mandatory Nozzle Loads: (a) This new edition of API-660 requires analysis of nozzle loadings for most nozzles, with exceptions stated in API-660 paragraph 7.6.9. The applicable nozzle loads and moments are defined in API 660 Table 2 based on nominal flange diameter and flange rating. These values are included now in RCS. (b) When running the WRC-107 nozzle loading program, there are fields provided to enter the nominal flange diameter and rating, as well as a new "button" to press to look up, populate the screen and calculate with these loads.
(3) API-660 Bolt Tensioning Requirements (for External Girth Joints only): (a) Also in the new API-660 are guidelines specifying when bolt tensioners are mandatory. These guidelines are specified in API-660 paragraph 7.7.6. The standard bolting tables do not allow sufficient clearance for use of bolt tensioners. New bolting tables have been added. (b) The bolting tables are all located in the \RCSWIN\DEF folder. They are simple text files and may be edited with any text editor, such as Notepad. Just be certain to maintain the "structure" of the file. The included bolting tables are: (1) bolts.rcs: This is the bolting table the program uses by default and the one you are used to using. (2) bolts.blt: This is nearly an exact duplicate of the standard table, but may be modified to add additional bolt sizes, alternate clearances or anything else you wish to customize. (3) boltsst.blt: This is a new bolting table that is provided for use when you are utilizing bolt tensioners. The table has larger values for bolt spacing and clearance with the cylinder, in order to allow for the tensioning device. Obviously there are multiple brands of stud tensioners, which may well require slightly different clearances from the ones provided. Care should be exercised to ensure yourself that the tensioners you intend to utilize are properly represented in this table. Otherwise, edit and save the table as described in (3)(b) above. (4) boltsstbso.blt: This table is also for use when utilizing bolt tensioning devices, but only has larger spacing between the bolts and not the larger spacing between the bolting and the cylinder. An example of when this table is appropriate is for use in designing a channel cover flange that bolts to a flat channel cover. In this case, the tensioning device could be used from the channel cover side of the joint and it would not be necessary to provide the extra clearance with the channel itself. (c) The desired table to utilize is selected by selecting Change Code 111. This may be done on a flange by flange basis, or at the beginning of the input of a new job, by selecting Change Code 111 and selecting a table to be used for all flange designs. (d) API-660 section 7.7 applies ONLY to external flanges. The program will not apply the extra clearances to floating heads.
(4) Modifications required by changes in Part UHX: (a) There are now eight pressures that potentially are required by UHX: (1) Psd,max - This is the normal shell side design pressure. (2) Ptd,max - This is the normal tube side design pressure. (3) Psd,min - This is the minimum shell side design pressure. It is the variable where you normally specify full or partial vacuum design. UHX defines it as "negative if vacuum is specified, otherwise zero". (4) Ptd,min - This is the minimum tube side design pressure. It is the variable where you normally specify full or partial vacuum design. UHX defines it as "negative if vacuum is specified, otherwise zero". (5) Psox,max - This is the maximum operating pressure for the shell side. See (9) below. (6) Ptox,max - This is the maximum operating pressure for the tube side. See (9) below. (7) Psox,min - This is the minimum shell side operating pressure. UHX defines it as being "negative if vacuum is specified, otherwise zero". (8) Ptox,min - This is the minimum tube side operating pressure. UHX defines it as being "negative if vacuum is specified, otherwise zero". (9) Paragraph UHX-10(f) (last sentence) states: "If the operating pressure is not available, the design pressure shall be used for all loading cases." Thus it is acceptable to use the full design pressure in lieu of the maximum operating pressure for situations where the operating pressure is not known. (10) CAUTION: It may seem "conservative" to utilize the full design pressure for both the maximum design AND maximum operating pressures all the time, since the design pressure is higher. However, this is not always the case. A common example would be a high pressure channel with tubes that were expanding more than the shell. The differential expansion of the tubes is trying to bow the tubesheet "into" the channel. The channel pressure, however, is trying to bow the tubesheet "into" the shell. These two effects, when considered simultaneously, tend to offset each other and may result in a relatively thin tubesheet. If a lower pressure were in play inside the channel (such as the operating pressure) it would not necessarily offset the differential expansion stresses quite as much and thus result in a thicker tubesheet. This is only one scenario of many that could be conceived in the design. The addition of these variables seems to be ASME's way of addressing this potential. (11) Recognizing that the possibility exists that you may actually have an operating pressure of zero (however unlikely) the program will allow you to enter a value of zero. As a precaution the program pops up a warning message to alert you to the fact that you have input an operating pressure of zero and asks if that is truly your intent. (b) Calculation Procedure for Effect of Radial Differential Expansion Adjacent to the Tubesheet: (1) This procedure analyzes the effect of radial differential thermal expansion between the tubesheet and integral shell or channel. This procedure is ONLY required when: (a) Cyclic or dynamic reactions due to pressure or thermal variations are specified by the user or his designated agent. (b) Specifically requested by the user or his designated agent. (c) The designer deems it necessary. (c) You may notice that fewer "cases" than before are being set up by the "Auto Set Cases" button, depending on how you were using RCS previously. Some combinations of pressures were still being set up that are no longer required. A summary of the required cases for various TEMA types is: (1) U-Tube Exchangers. Only the four design loading cases are required. When Psd,min and Ptd,min are both zero, then case 4 is not required. Calculations only need to be performed in the corroded condition. (2) Floating Head Exchangers. Only the four design loading cases are required normally. When Psd,min and Ptd,min are both zero, then case 4 is not required. These calculations only need to be performed in the corroded condition. However, if the Effect of Radial Expansion, described in "b" above is requested, then the program unprotects the extra reauired input fields and also runs the four "operating" cases. UHX does not specify, but it seems likely that the effect of radial thermal expansion could be different for the corroded and uncorroded conditions. Therefore, to be conservative, RCS sets up all eight cases in both the corroded and uncorroded condition. Thus, normally you will see 3 or 4 cases, but in the event that you request the additional method, you could see up to sixteen cases. (3) Fixed Tubesheet Exchangers. All four design cases are required and all four operating cases are always required. These must be done in the corroded and uncorroded condition per UHX-13.4(c). (4) When differential pressure design is specified, it reduces the required number of cases for each TEMA type. RCS will set this up for you appropriately. (d) An enhanced summary printout is now included as part of the UHX calculation printout. This summary appears at the end of the UHX printout. Previously, there was a short summary, simply stating if each case was acceptable or not. This is still included. Now the program provides a summary of just the calculated stresses, along with their respective allowable stresses and a percentage that each is of the allowable, for each case. This summary allows you to quickly determine which case (or cases) failed, and / or which case controlled the actual final tubesheet thickness. This is particularly useful if you have a tubesheet that welds to one or both of the channel or shell. If the channel or shell stress was actually the controlling value, then it is easy to spot and you may want to consider thickening up that cylinder in order to thin down the tubesheet.
(5) Updating your materials database to the 2015 values: (a) Before reading the entire material update explanation, it is worth noting that the RCS material update program is sent out with the most likely defaults already selected. If you are unsure what the best course of action is, after reading the information below, your best bet is most likely to just use the defaults that are already selected in the program and run through the steps to update your database described below without worrying about making changes to the options and settings. (b) If you are unsure what material database you are currently using, the answer is located in the bottom right hand corner of the main RCS window. 11a indicates the 2011 addenda, 13 indicates the 2013 edition (which was the most recent one available prior to this update), and 15 indicates the latest edition (2015). While older versions than these are available within RCS, it is unlikely that anyone is still using these older versions on a regular basis. (c) Click "Tools"->"Setup"->"Material Update" from the main RCS screen. This opens the RCS material update program. The first field is the "source" material file, and this should be set to your current material database (13 for most people). The second field is the "destination" material database, and should always be set to 15, since the goal is to create a version of your material database that uses values out of the 2015 ASME Section II Part D tables. (d) Search Settings: In almost all scenarios, you want to leave the first option set to "Yes", and all others set to "No". This will search based on a unique material ID, which is the safest way to locate each material from one version of ASME to the next. (e) Save Settings: The default is to clear out any data that is not found in the destination material files. What this means is that if you have added any materials to your material database that RCS can not successfully locate in the 2015 edition of the tables, RCS will remove this material entirely from the new version of your database. This is the absolute safest way to ensure that all material data you use will be from the latest edition of ASME, but it is also the way that is most likely to result in lost materials. However, after testing on the standard RCS material database, we can confirm that ALL materials are successfully brought over to the 2015 tables, so hopefully other people will see similar results with their unique material databases. (f) When you are satisfied with the settings, click the "OK/Build" button. This will pop up a window that is a summary of all materails in your database, and you can even edit on a material by material basis, any of the settings that were shown on the previous screen in this text file and save the changes. Most users will just glance through this file without changing anything. Close the file, and RCS will then begin the process of updating each material in the database sequentially. This process can take a few minutes to complete. (g) When the process is complete, a final summary of the results will be displayed. The summary shows a listing of all materials from the previous database, and a warning will appear next to any material that was not brought over. Note that several materials may have a note that reads "No yield in source". ASME has a number of materials that do not have values in their yield stress table. However, almost all of these materials are bolting, and yield values are not required for bolting calculations anyway. This note would only be a cause for concern if the material in question needed yield stress values for ASME calculations. (h) The final (and most important) step is to actually change to using this material database! Running the update creates the 2015 material database, but it does not automatically switch you to immediately start using it. Click "Tools"->"Setup"->"Materials" from the main RCS menu to run the material editor. This utility lets the user add new materials, or switch between the different material databases. The top line reads "Current RCS Material File", and you will need to select the 15 option, which was not in the list until after the above steps were executed. After doing this, you will be using the 2015 ASME material properties for all jobs so long as you do not ever change back to a different database from this same screen. (i) Lastly, if anyone has questions or problems with their material update, feel free to contact RCS via phone or email using the contact info shown at the top of this help summary.
(6) Nozzle wall and reinforcement calculations: (a) Previously RCS picked schedule X-HVY for the minimum nozzle wall thickness. This is not always necessary. The program has been modified to comply with UG-45 minimum nozzle wall thickness requirements. (b) An option has been added, at the request of several users, to the various "logic" sequences that RCS follows in determining the necessary amount of reinforcement. Previously, all methods except LWN's or Forged Nozzle Necks, would first try thickening the nozzle pipe wall itself as a means to provide the necessary reinforcement. If the heaviest wall pipe available was not sufficient, then the program went back to X-HVY and tried additional weld, followed by a reinforcement pad, LWN, etc.. There is a new "logic" option in this release, that simply determines the minimum wall pipe per UG-45 and sticks with it. Other methods are pursued as mentioned above, while maintaining the minimum nozzle wall thickness, until a solution is found. (c) The new "logic" variable described in 6(b) above may be selected for an individual nozzle, for each nozzle, or even set in your default file as your "standard" methodology, so you don't have to change it over and over.
(7) Appendix 1-5 & 1-8 Cone Reinforcement Requirements: NOTE: These changes were made and included in the 04.15.15 update, but are repeated here in case you are updating from a previous version. (a) In the 2013 Code, modifications were made to the methods for calculating required and available reinforcement for eccentric and concentric cones due to internal and external pressure. If the cone is attached to a cylinder at the large and/or small ends, then the cylinder now must be a minimum length to be considered available for reinforcement. (b) In addition, you may no longer consider hubs on a flange welded to the cone, hub on a tubesheet, straight flange on a head or any other component, towards this length. (c) The program will calculate and display the minimum cylinder length as soon as you enter the radius and thickness of the cylinder at the appropriate location. You will be warned if your cylinder is too short to consider (or you do not have one), and allowed the opportunity to change that. (d) Calculations are then performed in accordance with one of two procedures as dictated by Appendix 1-5 and 1-8. (e) The program has been modified such that if you are designing a kettle reboiler and select the option for "Cone With Stub" the program will default the stub cylinder length at the small end to the greater of 6" or the length required to meet the minimum length requirement of App. 1-5 & 1-8. (f) While making changes to the cone programs to accomodate the App. 1-5 & 1-8 changes, a number of other improvements were made as well. Cone calculations can now all be printed or viewed in English or Metric format, where they only worked in English before. This includes standard cone thickness calcs and cone reinforcing ring calcs for both internal and external pressure. In addition, units have been added to the cone screen and printouts. The standard toggle between English and Metric units on the data input screens now works properly for all cone screens.
( 8) Estimating module additions: (a) There has been an increasing interest in utilizing the Estimating module. This portion of the program is, without a doubt, the most thorough estimating program out there. The down side of that is, that it may seem a bit "daunting" at first to get the various settings adjusted right for your shop or shops, or for a "typical" shop if you are not a fabricator. (b) The Estimating Program uses two main files. They are "Stesta" and "Stedata". These are the two default files. You may also have multiple copies of each, perhaps to reflect labor procedures at different plants, etc.. Both are simple text files that may be edited directly from the Estimating screen. Both contain a great deal of useful information within them to help you edit them. (c) The first of these files, Stesta, contains over 2500 potential "operations". These operations fall in three categories ... Price, Weight and Manhours. Without going into too much detail, just know that each of these operations can be turned "on" or "off" if you feel it is no longer pertinent. They can each have a maximum value, a minimum value and a multiplier. There is a bit more, but we'll save it for those really interested. (d) The second file is the Stedata file. This file contains a number of "SUBS" which define primarily costs and labor hour rates. Each SUB is related to a specific area, such as drilling rates, weld deposition rates, pricing for plate, pipe forgings, nozzles ... basically any information needed to complete an estimate. It should be pointed out that the labor rate SUBS are fairly "typical" as it is easier to predict and does not change as rapidly with time. The pricing SUBS are less current. These can be difficult to keep up to date. Many users make use of the "interactive" mode, where the program will hesitate at each pricing operation, show the dollar value pulled from the SUBS and then allow the user to override it. Obviously there are varying schools of thought as to which is best. (e) In recognition of the fact that these files may be overwhelming, we have introduced two new files to facilitate the process. In general terms they are the "Labor Categories" file and the "Sift" file. There are buttons on the Estimating form to allow you to edit these two files. (f) The "Labor Categories" file is a greatly reduced subset of the labor operations contained in the Stesta file. The default provided is simply an example. You can break you labor hours into as few or as many categories as you want. When you edit this file, be certain to maintain the "structure" of the file. You may add or delete as many categories as you like. (g) The "Sift" file is a bit more tedious. The number of lines in this file should not be altered. We have already gone to the trouble of pulling every operation out of the STESTA file, which relates to calculating labor hours, and placed them in this file. The RCS operation number, as well as a description of what that operation is, are in the third and fourth columns. The first and second columns are for your use. There are two separate columns, simply because RCS uses the same operation numbers for a rear channel, for a fixed tubesheet exchanger, as it does for a shell cover, for a floating head exchanger ... knowing that you would never have both. This is explained in the notes in the "Sift" file. (h) The tedious part comes in assigning YOUR labor category numbers to the appropriate RCS operation numbers. This may take a bit of effort, but once done, then you are good to go. A good example, to explain this, is to look at "category" 160, which is simply the drilling of the #19 tubesheet. The RCS operations file has this broken down into operations32-45 (14 separate steps, each of which can be adjusted). So, while you could find the appropriate SUB in the Stedata file to "tweak" each of these 14 steps, you likely would choose, instead, to pick out the more significant steps and adjust just those through the SUBS. These would be things like drilling feed rates and travel time between holes. (i) To see the result of your changes in the SUBS, then you can click on the "Categorize Hours" button and it will give you a breakdown of hours according to the categories that you have chosen. You can watch and adjust based on these end results, until you are satisfied with the estimate. (j) There is actually much more to the Estimating program, but this should give you a "feel" for it's potential and as to whether or not your company might want to tap it. We are always available for assistance.