Okay, now that we have your attention read on to find out why.
DESIGN SOFTWARE SELECTION
When choosing the right electrical design software to use for your project the right choice can yield enormous benefits in efficiency, such benefits multiplying the larger the building. Here is an example where the power of automation in design can be leveraged to create significant productivity gains. Time spent is not necessarily directly proportional to the project size. This can be argued with any software application but some will produce far better results than others. Those that offer only enhancements to what amounts to still completely manual design will limit production to human speed and the time for the job, meaning time for a larger job varies basically proportional to the size of the job. On the other hand, software that offers automation can multiply the productivity results many fold and reap huge rewards for the designer and contractors.
AUTOMATION VASTLY MULTIPLIES DESIGN PRODUCTIVITY
As an example we recently tested the capability of our software on a 725,000 sq. ft. plant building. In that job, we placed approximately 7,000 light fixtures including zonal cavity lighting calculations for over 450 rooms and placed receptacles in all rooms. We completely circuited the project, populated 195 electrical panels and created a single line & panel schedules completely automatically with all load calculations done including selection of feeders, selection of protection, calculation of fault levels for each panel, indication of minimum IC handling for all protection, and accommodation throughout for voltage drop. This entire process once the drawings were set up took only hours. Estimating that there were approximately 4000 circuits to connect doing this manually would have taken around 200 hours ( a conservative estimate) just for the circuiting let alone filling in schedules, creating single line diagrams and doing load and fault level calculations. Taking these tasks into account would likely would have doubled that time for the manual circuiting and single line process.
Looking at the project as a whole, thus including device placement, circuiting, and generation of all schedules and floor plans, using normal ACAD tools this would have easily taken over 40 to 50 man weeks. We achieved this result in less than two man weeks including all drawing set up, layouts and calculations & creation of all client deliverables. An astounding accomplishment when one considers what was done in this compressed time frame. The work completed in the aforementioned time included everything already mentioned plus the drawing of multi-circuit home runs and device to device interconnections for branch circuit wiring & creation of a complete bill of materials that included branch circuit wiring, feeders, all devices, and panel+protection summaries with required IC levels noted.
BE A LEADER NOT A FOLLOWER
Seek out and find the right tools for the job, do your research and use your time effectively because your competitors are doing the same thing.
This strategy can get your foot in the door with new clients when they understand what you can do for them, and it will make your life easier with contractors by reducing the number of design errors on your project regardless of size. Automation effectively applied can change your life, release a great deal of repetitive drudgery and at the same time improve quality.
DraftLogic Electrical offers patented automation tools that are not offered anywhere else. Possible productivity gains are astounding and have been proven, time and time again and we have carefully measured and documented the results in a white paper available on our website at www.draftlogic.com.
Check it out and change the way you do things.
Gerry Stebnicki, P. Eng, Bsc. Electrical