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Industry-standard CAD goes electrical

01 January, 2004

Industry-standard CAD goes electrical

Autodesk, the company behind the ubiquitous AutoCad computer-aided design software has, for the first time, produced a dedicated electrical version. It claims that AutoCad Electrical is the only package for designing industrial electrical and control systems that provides full, native compatibility with AutoCad`s DWG file format.

AutoDesk says that the new package, which integrates AutoCad with its recently acquired VIA Wiring Diagram products, will help electrical engineers and designers to create better electrical designs, to cut costs, and to shorten development times. It will also help electrical designers to collaborate more closely with users of other versions of AutoCad.

Tools included in the new package include: automatic wire numbering and component tagging; automatic creation of PLC I/O drawings from spreadsheets; automatic coil and contact cross-referencing; audit reports that check for design errors; smart panel layouts; a toolbar for integrating pneumatic motions; automatic project reporting; and the ability to publish designs on the Web.

Steve Meyer of Aceri UK, one of the UK`s two official resellers of AutoCad Electrical (the other is iaSoft), says that news of the package has created "tremendous interest", and he is having to turn people away from seminars on the software. He expects most sales to be to existing users of AutoCad who are upgrading to the electrical version.

For a single user, the typical UK price for AutoCad Electrical will be around £3,600, compared to around £3,150 for standard AutoCad.

Aceri has helped to adapt the new package for the UK market. This has included providing IEC, BS and DIN symbols, integrating manufacturers` catalogues, and making it easier for UK users to work from the top to the bottom of a design, instead of from right to left as is the practice in the US.

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