The Missing Link in Project Management

July 9th, 2015

Last week CLA flew back to Singapore to co-host a Free Technology Sharing Seminar together with TDS Engr Solutions Pte Ltd, who is CLA’s dealer in Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, Brunei, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, East Timor. The seminar was named “The Missing Link in Project Management” and it focused on filling the gap between simple Excel reports and document control software used to monitor a project progress, which is troublesome and inefficient sometimes.

The solution is easy: TMS – Technical Monitoring System. During the seminar some of the key features, such as weighting structures and multiple user defined hierarchy were introduced. Various proven methods to view and automate the generation of meaningful project information in a variety of graphs and reports were demonstrated.


The meeting ended with a Q&A session where Engineering Managers, Planners, Project Engineers and Document Controllers shared practical engineering experience with all participants.

New release for Puma5 (2.8)

July 6th, 2015

This 2.8 release of Puma5 is so packed with new features and improvements that we have created a slide presentation to show you in detail all the work that has been done. The slide presentation file can be viewed (and downloaded) at this link ( ) but here we sum up the main points.

Project selection form – redesigned; it is filtered, so you now see only those projects you have been assigned (if the role management is ON) and it is easier to search & edit.

Multiple client codes against unique code – it is now possible to save multiple client codes against the same unique code (Mark); an unlimited number of series can be saved, too. Client codes can be copied or swapped between the custom code columns.

Material Take-Off enhancements - multiple versions of the same isometric can now be saved and a status field can be set to any value for each revision; at the first edit, the default status for the project is used and the revision is set to zero, then you can start editing, save your isometric when you think it is ok and create a new revision: you can now proceed with more editing but the previous revision is safely saved. Previous versions of an isometric can be deleted or restored.

There is also a new interface for managing revisions:

Material Take-Off Sub-project enhancementsTake-Off subproject (at component level) and Sketch subproject (at isometric level) are the new subproject attributes that have been added to divide the material among subprojects (if any) when going to the material requisition and they can be used to assign Purchase locations.

Trace the Marks in the component catalog – enabled by a flag in the project setup form, this function tracks new Marks (MNW), marks that have become old (MBO) and marks that were old but have become valid again (MBV), with new reports to be generated.

Unique MR number and auto-number – Material requisitions have now a unique numbering which can be activated by ticking its checkbox in the project setup form. When the flag is on, also the auto-numbering feature can be enabled. Now you can easily see in which MR and how many items have been already requisitioned.

Run ELENA directly from Puma – this new setting has been added to allow running ELENA directly from the dimensional catalog module of Puma:

And the following operations are now automated:

  • upload files into Elena “input” section
  • run Elena build operation
  • make Elena save the output into Puma default folder.

Do you want to know more? Log into our support portal ( ) and download the new documentation or view the complete presentation ( ).

New release for ELENA Server and ELENA Web Client

July 2nd, 2015

ELENA has reached the release No. 01.400.00.00, bringing you something new both for the Server and the Web Client module.

For ELENA server, we would like to focus on the new Formula Interpreter, an implementation that is available for all the plugins. The Formula Interpreter gives you the possibility of executing formulas on the input files and on the files generated in output. It is an expression interpreter that can be configured and used whenever mathematical calculations need to be done, values need to be added or modified in columns of the input and output files and operations need to be carried out on strings. To use the Interpreter, a new configuration file must be set,  rule_formulas.xml, which is valid for all plugins.

Formulas applied on input files can add new columns to input records at runtime; while formulas applied on output files cannot add new columns but only set or modify values in columns which have already been defined in the cata_headers.xml and spec_headers.xml configuration files.

It is available for download from our support portal a detailed document with examples, operators, functions and constants list that can be used for the MATH instruction.

In ELENA Web Client a new panel has been added to the Builder page; here the following information can be read:

  • user that has executed the Builder
  • processing time
  • result of the processing
  • comments entered by the user relating to the execution
  • configuration sets
  • input files
  • execution mode of the Builder

The implementation of this new function implied some modifications: the new “Output” tab has been added in the Builder page. Here a table shows the history of Builder launches with relevant information. A text box has been created to allow User to insert comments relating to the elaboration launch. Due to this, the creation logic of the history packets (zip files) of the configurations and the inputs has been varied: now the content of the history packet refers to the latest files loaded.

This new function can be enabled only on new projects by setting a parameter as described in the “Modifications to the configuration files” paragraph of the document available on our support portal.

New release of TMS

May 19th, 2015

TMS, Technical Monitoring System, has reached the release No. Many processes have been optimized: for example, deleting a TMS project and a subproject, removing the items from the “C3 Item Quantites” form, the “Project Workclass Structure” and “Project Workclass Progress” can be now executed faster.

A new command, “Main Project Settings“, has been added in the main TMS form to configure parameters for the current project.

Upon the creation of a new TMS project a folder with the same name of the project itself is created in the main folder together with its subfolders (Import specs, IO, Reports, Templates). When a TMS project is loaded after a Restore or Copy command, the files related to that project are automatically copied in these subfolders.

Batch Reports” is also a new command that has been added in this release to access the form displaying all batch reports regarding the current TMS project. Here, a batch report can be inserted, removed or modified.

The “Run batch” command runs the report batch showing the operations that are being performed in background; the process can be interrupted at any time by pressing the “Abort” button.

Another important implementation that we like to share is the possibility to zip automatically the reports of each batch (created in Excel and/or in PDF format) and save them in a user defined folder.
PDF’s are created automatically via Excel or with PDF Factory Virtual Printer.

For detailed information, please log into our support portal and read the latest What’s New document. A slide presentation is available as well.

Database Manager improvement for the #Plant suite

May 15th, 2015

The administration console of the #Plant suite, Database Manager, has been improved: the visualization and search of Entry Points is now more organic and intuitive. The Entry Point list is presented grouped by roles, contexts (General, project or Utility) and position within the product menu.

The new features of this form include “Excel like” filters, multiple sorts and groupings.

For more details, see the Database Manager manual for the version of the application, available for download by logging into our support portal.

Publisher, a new function for Spider

May 12th, 2015

A new function, Spider Publisher, has been implemented to create reports autonomously by extracting data that are common to all Spider projects, belonging to revisions of the datasheet. These data are extracted from a pre-defined database and they are set inside the Spider Configurator. Database tables, corresponding to the sheets that are to be exported, are created with a structure having a row for each item and a column for each item property (and some fixed columns for the project name and ID, document, revision, etc.).

Data are published within Spider section dedicated to datasheet revisions. After the publication, data can be examined inside the database.

By executing the ‘Publish to database’ command a table is created inside the destination schema and data of the current revision are published. If the table is already existing – therefore from the second publication onwards – datasheet data relating to the current revision are appended to data already existing in the table. In case of configuration modifications (adding, renaming or deleting fields), the existing table gets updated and the new requested data are appended; old data are never deleted.

Spider Publisher is part of the release No. of Spider and of the release No. of Spider Configurator. These releases include some bug fixing and other implementations, whose full list can be found in the latest What’s New, available for download by logging into our support portal.

New release available for Welding Book

May 8th, 2015

Welding Book has reached the release number, bringing you some brand new features. Let’s see in detail…

When a project has subcontractors, Welding Book now separates the activities regarding the different subcontractors associating them with the jobs they are assigned (that is, giving them their “work package“). For this reason, a registry has been added for each subcontractor to be filled in with all relevant information, together with the work package. A separate file can be exported for each subcontractor.

By accessing the ‘Project Setup’/'Options’ form of the single project a new field, “real sheet“, can be enabled. When active, the real sheet field indicates the precise position of the spool within the pages generated by the CAD modeler (for example, page 2), and not referring to the one-page document generated by the material management system.

Another important implementation is represented by the new import method. Welding Book used to import data from a single file, but user can now import data from different dictionaries (Material types, Joint types, Diameters, etc.) belonging to Access or Excel files.

As usual, bug fixing and minor implementations are part of this release. To find out more, log into our support portal and download the latest What’s new document.

Meet us at OSEA 2014

December 3rd, 2014

Are you in Singapore right now or will you be there in the next few days?

If your answer is “yes”, then come and visit CLA at OSEA2014!
You will have the chance to chat with us and with our dealer for the South Asian market and get an update about the latest versions of our software.
Come and say hello!

New releases of Spider and SpiderConfigurator

November 26th, 2014


Brand new releases of Spider ( and of SpiderConfigurator ( are now available for download from our support portal. Log in or register at and get your copy!

Many features have been implemented to make Microsoft Excel users even more comfortable with Spider, by adding Excel-like filters on GRID documents, by hiding or displaying sheet of a Spider document just like Excel does… and this is to name a few.

New tools have been added for Administrators: they can define a structured procedure for issuing a revision of one or more types of datasheet, setting the status (Prepared, Checked, Approved etc.), the sequence and roles of the users who have the right to make the acceptance workflow advance or block the revision itself.



What else? Many many more… for example, Spider document tree now displays full or empty folders depending on documents being in the folder or not.



Text cells can now pick pre-defined values from a “Suggestion list”, which can be later modified manually. On these cells, the tooltip displays the associated list name; by right-clicking and selecting “Suggestion list…” (also by pressing Alt + Arrow down) a selection window is shown, similar to the Global list cells window. A suggestion list for a particular cell can be set in SpiderConfigurator.



Formula results of an Excel sheet can now be saved in the database history and therefore they can also be published in the relevant documents of the data workflow and they will be available for calculation in plugins and report creation.

A format check is performed on dates and numbers: when these data are pasted and Spider cannot recognize the original format, a pop-up asks to insert the date format or the decimal separator in order to read the copy & paste input. This setting is kept for the whole Spider session but it can be modified in the menu command Edit → Number and date format.



Speaking of date format, also SpiderConfigurator has some check performed when converting a text format into date format; slightly different rules apply for Oracle, SqlServer and Postgres (see the full “What’s new” document for more details).

Attribute domains can now be displayed and changed in the “Modify cell” form.



Find out the rest of implementations, new features and bug fixing in the full “What’s new” document, available from our support portal (

Puma5 upgrades to 02.700.00.00

February 12th, 2014

WARNING: this new release upgrades Puma5 from version 2.6.x to 2.7.x; to avoid any problems during the installation, please make sure that you ask for the new database license by opening a ticket on our support portal (

Sections, buttons, functions, warnings… many new features have been added to the latest release of Puma5, following Customers’ requests and our developers’ wish of giving you a more flexible and helpful application.

Let’s see some of them in detail…

Category of goods assignment
The screenshot below refers to the Category of goods assignment form. The red rectangle marks the new columns giving User the chance of adding a thickness range. Data here is optional, but if you’re using it, remember to insert dimensions in millimeters.

Design conditions

Up to now the design conditions were unique for each piping class; now, as you can see in the second screenshot, the design conditions form has been divided into two sections: “default” and “by size”.

Under the “by size” tab, design conditions can be inserted specifically for each diameter range and they will be taken into account before the default section. In fact, the default section will be used only if no data is compiled under the “by size” section.

Object – Constructions

Another screenshot, another implementation.

Have a look at the following image:

Yes, there is a new section in the “objects” form. Thanks to the “Constructions” section User can now insert those construction codes that are compatible with the object. Filling in this list of Object – Construction values will turn to be very useful when using the “Piping class components” form: the “By Obj” button has been added on the side of the “construction”  field; it narrows the list of constructions that can be inserted down to the constructions present in the “Object – Constructions” list.

As usual, there is a lot more to describe, but the full list of new features is available for download from our support portal.