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.

Reading P&ID Symbols: A Step-by-Step Guide - GetReskilled

Pipe

Reading P&ID Symbols: A Step-by-Step Guide - GetReskilled

Jacketed pipe

Reading P&ID Symbols: A Step-by-Step Guide - GetReskilled

Thermally insulated pipe

Reading P&ID Symbols: A Step-by-Step Guide - GetReskilled

Cooled or heated pipe

Reading P&ID Symbols: A Step-by-Step Guide - GetReskilled

Covered gas vent

Reading P&ID Symbols: A Step-by-Step Guide - GetReskilled

Curved gas vent

Reading P&ID Symbols: A Step-by-Step Guide - GetReskilled

Flange

Reading P&ID Symbols: A Step-by-Step Guide - GetReskilled

Butt weld

Reading P&ID Symbols: A Step-by-Step Guide - GetReskilled

Reducer

Reading P&ID Symbols: A Step-by-Step Guide - GetReskilled

Flexible hose

Reading P&ID Symbols: A Step-by-Step Guide - GetReskilled

Steam trap

Reading P&ID Symbols: A Step-by-Step Guide - GetReskilled

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.

Reading P&ID Symbols: A Step-by-Step Guide - GetReskilled

Pump

Reading P&ID Symbols: A Step-by-Step Guide - GetReskilled

Vacuum pump or compressor

Reading P&ID Symbols: A Step-by-Step Guide - GetReskilled

Centrifugal pump