02. PCF Translator Freezes / Not Responding / disappears from screen; now what should I do in AutoPI

Applies To
Environment: N/A
Area: Import
Original Author:Bentley Technical Support Group


AutoPIPE has the ability to import  a PCF file generated by another application. Sometimes when importing these files the PCF translator appears to Freeze or displays "(Not Responding) " in the application bar. 

The following are individual known issues that have occurred and their solutions. Sometimes more than known issue needs to be resolved before the program successfully generates an NTL file


Confirm original model does not have any branch connections that cannot be imported. These components can be model in AutoPIPE after the file has been imported.  

Example: branch lines connected to piping components like Bends, Reducers, Flanges)


Item #1:

Q. Program does not import a PCF file and hangs with no error message and / or disappears:


a. Reset PCF translator profile settings using procedure here

b. Review the original model for a closed loop. AutoPIPE does not support a closed loop (segment connected back to itself) and if detected will hang with no error message.

c. Review the original model in the original application and check to see if there are branch connections on elbows. At this time, AutoPIPE does not support importing a model that has branch connections on elbows There is a specific modeling approach in AutoPIPE help for these cases. If there are branch connections on elbows in the original application, suggest the following: 1. remove branch piping and component creating PCF file or 2. do not export branch piping to PCF file. 

d. Confirm PCF COMPONENT-ATTRIBUTE information contains the correct data based on PCF translator Help> contents> search for "COMPONENT-ATTRIBUTE", select "Attribute" from listed topics. If not update attribute information in original program that crated the PCF file with the corrected data in the correct format. Or just delete all COMPONENT-ATTRIBUTE lines from the PCF file, save the new file, and use PCF translator to import into AutoPIPE. 

e. Another common  problem is that the "Description" is too long. Should only be max 60 characters



SUPPORT: Rigid Rod with Double Bolt Clamp, Top Type: WELDED BEAM ATTACH, Rod: Cont. Thread, 3/8 *PART:Anvil FIG295 1 1/2 in Double Bolt Pipe Clamp, Finish: Black   *PART:Anvil FIG290 3/8 in Weldless Eye Nut, Finish: Black $  *PART:Anvil FIG146 3/8 in Continuous Threaded Rod, Length: 77.75 in, Finish: Black   *PART:Anvil 3/8 in Standard Hex Nut   *PART:Anvil FIG66 3/8 in Welded Beam Attachment (Connect to Bolt), Finish: Black   *PART:Anvil FIG290 3/8 in Weldless Eye Nut, Finish: Black 

Avoidance: reduce description to smaller size, i.e.:

Suggested DESCRIPTION   

SUPPORT: Rigid Rod with Double Bolt Clamp

Item #2:

Q. When running the PCF translator the following occurs:

Bentley PCF Translator (Not Responding)

What should I do?


When using the PCF translator, select the file to be converted, make additional changes to all the other settings as needed and press the Convert button.

After pressing the Convert Button, suggest that you remove your hands from the keyboard and mouse. The translator is using a significant amount of system resources to convert the file. Some files that are converted have over 100,000 lines in one file. By pressing a button on the keyboard or mousing over something system resources are taken away from translator. Sometimes when this happens the application will show the Not Responding message and become grayed out, as seen above.  However the software is still trying to recover and complete the conversion process. Again, do not touch anything. Most of the time the application will complete the conversion, the PCF  translator will no longer show the Not Responding message and you will be able to open the newly converted file in AutoPIPE.

No mater the size of the model, be patient and let the application complete the conversion before moving onto another task. Again, this application is sensitive to system resource allocation. Regardless, if the model is converted and can be opened by AutoPIPE, everything should be ok, continue working on your analysis in AutoPIPE.

If this issue occurs a lot, you may consider adding more Ram or a better CPU. Also, if after an extreme amount of time, the Not responding message is still visible, close the application, file a service request, and send Bentley the PCF file you are having troubles with for review.

Item #3:

Q. When trying to convert a file from PCF to NTL, the converter freezes, aborts, or displayed the following messages:

 it never creates the NTL file, why?


Issue #1:

After reviewing the file, noticed that there are overlapping components which also freezes the PCF translator. The CAE development team will add some programming logic in the next PCF translator build to display a warning message. PCF translator v.

Issue #2:

Review the PCF file, duplicates of certain components on the same coordinates will cause the connecting logic in translator to hang.  Open the original model to review for duplicate components before exporting a new PCF file to be converted with the AutoPIPE translator.

Issue #3: 

After reviewing this model in detail, noticed that the PCF file contains an ELBOW and OLET. OLET center point is overlapping bend center point by 2 inches as highlighted below.

On Settings dialog when Remove overlapping part of Component checkbox is checked then program connect the OLET center point to ELBOW center point which causes the hang issue.

When Remove overlapping part of Component is unchecked and Ignore Overlapping Components is checked as shown below, then the OLET will be ignored during PCF import and program will not hang.


Note: More details about the overlapping and exactly where in the model they are occurring can be reviewed by opening the XXX.log3 file. This file is created in the same folder as the PCF file being converted after the abort message is displayed in the translator. Open this file in any text editor (i.e. Ultra Edit, NotePad++, Ms Word, etc.). Review the messages and component location, unit measurement is at the top of the file.

Item #4:

Q. When trying to convert a file from PCF to AutoPIPE, the PCF translator aborts



In this case, open the NTL file and delete all lines that start with "UUID"

Steps to repeat:

a. Open PCF file in AutoPIPE

b. Program aborts and application disappears from the screen.

c. Open respective ntl file created during the import

d. Search for all rows that start with "UUID" and delete the row (132 occurrences)

e. Save file and then open NTL file in AutoPIPE

f. File opens without issue. 

See Also

Issues with Importing *.NTL file

PCF Translator FAQ & troubleshooting

Bentley AutoPIPE