Reading P&ID Symbols and Abbreviations for the Pharmaceutical industry: A Step-by-Step Guide 

By: Donagh Fitzgerald B.Prod Eng and Gerry Creaner B.Chem Eng. Last Updated: February 2023

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What are P&IDs?

Piping and Instrumentation Diagrams (P&IDs) use a standardized set of symbols, notation and abbreviations to represent the various components of a process. These symbols are designed to be easily recognizable and convey important information about the component they represent. In this guide, we will walk through the basics of P&ID symbols, notation and abbreviation and how to read them.

Important

P&IDs are living documents, and it is important to keep them updated as the process changes over time. Practice is key to understanding P&ID symbols, notation and abbreviation, and interpreting them correctly.

BTW, if you need to learn how to read P&IDs and qualify equipment systems within a pharmaceutical manufacturing plant, check out our Equipment Validation Training Course.

Table of Contents

P&ID symbols can be broadly classified into 7 categories:

Piping Symbols

Examples include pipes, tubes, ducts, multi-line, separators, connectors, end caps, flanges, reducers, and coupling.

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Pipe

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Jacketed pipe

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Thermally insulated pipe

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Cooled or heated pipe

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Covered gas vent

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Curved gas vent

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Flange

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Butt weld

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Reducer

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Flexible hose

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Steam trap

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Viewing glass

Pump Symbols

Pumps are an essential part of the majority of industrial plants that need pumps. These pumps can be used for suction, compression, moving fluid, and also for pressure control. There are many p and id symbols for pumps.

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Pump

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Vacuum pump or compressor

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Centrifugal pump

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Centrifugal pump

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Centrifugal pump

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Gear pump

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Screw pump

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Screw pump

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Vacuum pump

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Fan

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Axial Fan

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Radial Fan

Valve and Control Symbols

Represented by various shapes to indicate the type and function of the control device. Examples include valves, actuators, and controllers.

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Pressure reducing valve

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Valve

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Control valve

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Manual valve

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Needle valve

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Butterfly valve

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Ball valve

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Globe valve

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Diaphragm valve

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Pressure regulating valve (PRV)

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Pressure safety valve (PSV)

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Temperature control valve (TCV)

Vessel Symbols

A vessel is used to store fluids or also be used to alter the characteristics of the fluid during storage. This includes tanks, cylinders, columns, bags.

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Vessel

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Pressurized horizontal vessel

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Pressurized vertical vessel

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Reaction vessel

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Column

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Packing column

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Tray column

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Tank

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Open tank

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Open top tank

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Closed tank

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Bin

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Bag

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Gas bottle

Instrument Symbols

Pumps are an essential part of the majority of industrial plants that need pumps. These pumps can be used for suction, compression, moving fluid, and also for pressure control. There are many p and id symbols for pumps.

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Temperature Transmitter

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Temperature Indicator

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Temperature Controller

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Conductivity Transmitter