PIAS Manual  2020
Program for the Integral Approach of Shipdesign
Graphical User Interface for Loading

Here appears the Graphical User Interface (GUI), which can be considered as the central command window of Loading, and an example of which is shown in the figure below. This GUI is not strictly indispensable. It is very well possible to navigate through Loading with all functions and menu options. It has been proven to be rather well-arranged and user-friendly though. Because this GUI is similar to the main window of the PIAS-related LOCOPIAS loading software, the corresponding parts of the LOCOPIAS manual have been pasted into the remainder of this Loading GUI section. So it might be possible that an occasional “LOCOPIAS” pops up in the text. But since the function under consideration is identical to that of PIAS that difference in brand name is not relevant. The same argument applies to the loading tools as discussed in Loading tools.

Main window layout

A typical example layout of the main window is shown below, with an explanation of the labeled elements right below that.

Layout of the main window.
1 Menu bar
Basic functionalities are accessible through the menu bar, see Menu bar.
2 Module buttons
These tool bar buttons provide quick access to the main window and available cargo modules to load specific types of cargo.
3 Main window buttons
These buttons allow manipulation of Conditions, Settings, Output, Check and 2D/3D View.
4 Side-view
Shows the actual wind contour, drafts, actual waterline, line of sight and air draft.
5 Cross section
Shows heeling angle and initial stability (G'M).
6 Compliance windows
These windows indicate compliance with the criteria for the current loading condition. Click on a window for detailed information.
7 Overview weight groups
A summary of total weight per weight group.
8 Settings window
Shows current settings. Double-click on a setting to change it, or go to the [Settings] dialog window by clicking the button [Settings].
9 GZ curve
Shows the GZ curve of the specific condition.
10 Drop-down list box
Shows the selected loading condition and you can select another condition.
11 Intact stability diagram
Indicates whether the vessel complies with the intact stability criteria and to what extent. Though the values for the Actual VCG' and allowable VCG' are calculated by LOCOPIAS in a manner which is correct and normally accepted by class societies, these values have not been checked by Lloyds Register and should therefore only be used as guidance!
Depending on your installation, some of these elements may not be available.

Menu bar

The menu bar at the top of the main window (item 1) gives access to the following functions:

[Setup]→[Print Options]→[Choose printer]
Select output device. Besides preview/clipboard, the default system printers are listed and can be selected here.
[Edit]→[Edit Weight Groups]

Weight items can be grouped in so-called weight groups, were a weight group is a category of a particular content, such as ‘diesel oil’ or ‘fresh water’. The weight groups are managed from this location in the program. Editable properties are:

  • The name of the weight group.
  • The hatching type which is used when hatching or filling in the compartments in tank sketch plots.
  • The group color, which is the color representing this weight group, and which is used in plots, and also as background color in text windows if the last column of this weight group is set to ‘yes’.
  • The text color, which, if the last column is set to ‘yes’, specifies the foreground color in textual overview windows of the texts which belong to this weight group.
  • In table, which indicates whether the weight group color should also be used in overview tables of compartments and weight items.

[Edit]→[Edit cross sections tank graphics]

Go to this menu to add or edit cross sections and views of the tanks. These sections and views are automatically added to the output of intact stability calculations.

[Edit]→[Edit cross sections stowage plan]
Go to this menu to add or edit cross sections and views of the stowage plan.
[View]→[3D View]
See 2D/3D View
[View]→[Stowage plan]

The stowage plan can be shown on screen or printed to paper. All cargoes from all available modules are printed.

[Options]→[Select stability criteria]
See Check
[Options]→[Export data via XML]
Exports the current loading condition to an XML file which can be used to exchange data with third party software.
[Options]→[Environmental conditions]
Gives the ability to simulate running aground.
[Help]→[Help reader (F1)]
Opens this help reader.
[Help]→[Manual]→[Ship-specific data and test conditions]
Opens the booklet containing the Ship-specific data and test conditions.
[Help]→[About LOCOPIAS]
Opens a window with relevant data with regard to the LOCOPIAS program as well as the license conditions.
[Help]→[Not purchased]
Shows a preview of modules which have not been purchased.
[Help]→[Enter activation code]
Give an activation code here for modules purchased afterwards. At the moment this is only possible for the tank measurement system module for specific sytems. Please contact SARC for further details.

General approach

In general, you can use the following steps to define a loading condition and perform the required calculations. Please note that this workflow is just one way to get you started, it is not the only possible way to use LOCOPIAS. All actions can be performed in random order and frequency. The functionalities will be elaborated further in the remainder of this chapter. This example starts at the main window.

Select the [Conditions] button and create a new condition. When LOCOPIAS is opened for the first time, the main window shows a preprogrammed example condition. By creating a new condition, you start with a preprogrammed default condition.
Click the [Settings] button and adjust the settings according to your situation. By adjusting the settings to the current situation before loading your cargo, useful feedback can be received during configuration of the loading condition. Settings are applicable for the current loading condition (except output and front page).
Go to the [Tanks] module to modify the contents of consumables e.g. fresh water, fuel oil, lubricating oil.

In the [Weight list], miscellaneous supplies, e.g. crew, provisions and stores can be entered.


Select the appropriate modules for your cargo type and define your cargo.

Open the [Tanks] module again. When all cargo is loaded, the ship's position can be optimized by adding water ballast.
The [Check] button provides a quick check of stability and strength at any moment during this process.

Press [Output] to perform calculations and generate output on screen or on paper.


Press [2D/3D view] to view a three-dimensional representation of your vessel, if available.

Press [Monitoring] to put LOCOPIAS in active monitoring, if available.


By pressing the [Conditions]-button, the loading conditions menu, as shown in the figure below, will appear. In this window the defined loading conditions are displayed and can be managed. You can create a new loading condition and you can delete, rename, copy/paste or export existing conditions. To modify a loading condition, select a condition and click the ‘OK’ button. The main window will now reflect this loading condition.

Select or create a loading condition.
New loading condition
  1. Click [New].
  2. Enter a new (unique) name for your loading condition, click [OK]. The new condition is a preprogrammed default condition.
Delete loading condition
  1. Select a loading condition.
  2. Click [Delete].
Rename loading condition
  1. Click on a loading condition and press the [Rename]-button.
  2. Enter a new (unique) name.
Copy/paste a loading condition
  1. Click on a loading condition, and press the [Copy]-button.
  2. Now select the condition to copy to and click [Paste]. Copy a loading condition and paste it over another loading condition to create a loading condition that has the same properties. If a specific module has been purchased you can choose to paste the complete condition or just the cargo defined with the specific module. The newly pasted condition will appear on the main window, as shown in the figure below.
Choose the properties to paste.
Import/export of selected loading condition
Import/Export allows transport of data from one LOCOPIAS to another for the same vessel and same version.
  1. Press the [Export]-button to write the selected loading condition to file.
  2. Press the [Import]-button to select an exported loading condition to import into the active version of LOCOPIAS.


All settings that apply to the loading condition can be altered in the settings menu. By clicking the [Settings]-button, the following menu, as shown in the figure below, opens. It has several tabs which can be selected. These tabs are explained below.

Settings window.

Select the applicable maximum and minimum drafts. If the option [use alternative maximum draft] is selected, a user-defined draft can be entered. The selected drafts will be displayed in the summary of the loading condition, with the conclusions for the applicable stability criteria.


Different values of maximum allowable bending moments and shear forces can be applicable for a vessel at sea or in a harbour. If these values are available, the appropriate condition can be selected here. The selected condition is also indicated in the output of longitudinal strength conditions.

SW water

The density (specific weight) can be set and will be stored per loading condition. This density is then used for all calculations performed with the loading condition.

Line of sight

Depending on the regulations under which the vessel will sail, the line of sight requirements can be adjusted here.


Select which calculation to perform and send the results to the output of the intact stability calculation.

It is possible to add a front page to your output. You can select the text lines to be printed and enter free text as desired (e.g. a voyage number, port of loading, etc.).


Click the [Check]-button to check that the loading condition complies with the stability and strength requirements. After clicking the [Check]-button, a window opens with several tabs: overview, stability, strength and damage stability, if applicable. Compliance with the requirement is indicated by the color of the bullet (complies = green, does not comply = red). If, for instance, the overview shows a red bullet under intact stability, the corresponding tab provides more information as to the reason for non-compliance. Note that when the vessel operates under more than one classification society, the set of stability criteria applicable to the loading condition can be set via the menu bar item [Options]→[Select stability criteria].

Check window.

When the damage stability is selected, press OK. Now the Check window has generated a new tab called Damage stability. Here you can check whether the damage case complies with the criteria (complies = green, does not comply = red).

Check window damage stability tab.


You can use ‘Output’ to perform full calculations and to make a printout. If the selected printer is ‘preview/clipboard’ the output will appear on screen.

Print options.
Output menu.

The following output options can be available in your version of LOCOPIAS:

Intact stability

Standard format output of intact stability calculations with an overall conclusion for compliance with applicable stability requirements.

Longitudinal strength

Output of longitudinal strength calculations with an overall conclusion for compliance with selected allowable bending moment and shear force requirements.

Torsion moments

Output of torsional moments calculations with an overall conclusion for compliance with defined maximum allowable torsion moments.

Damage stability

Full output of damage stability calculations with an overall conclusion for compliance with applicable stability requirements.

Damage stability summary
Output of damage stability conclusions.
Comprehensive output (Class Report)

Summarized output of all available calculations, with an overall conclusion for compliance with the applicable requirements.

Comprehensive output (Class Report)

Output of the standard format of all available calculations with a common conclusion in accordance with the requirements.

Short output
A summary of the loading condition and a conclusion.

2D/3D View

This button is only available if a 3D model of the vessel is available. It toggles between side view and three dimensional view of the hull and cargo. By choosing the menu [View]→[3D View] it is possible to edit materials, colors, and light effects of the 3D representation. The 3D image can be saved to file or sent to a printer.

Main window with 3D view switched on.


This option is only available when purchased and a connection with a tank gauge system is available. After selecting the icon for [Monitoring] a settings popup-window, as seen below, will appear. Here you can enter the time interval which will be used for reading the tank data, calculating the intact stability, longitudinal strength and damage stability (which is available and selected) and updating all data in the main screen. As long as the monitoring mode is active, it is not possible to edit loading conditions. This mode can be stopped by selecting the icon for monitoring again.

Instellingen voor monitoring.

The specific modules to handle various types of cargo are discussed in detail in Loading tools.