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    By Miles Nicholson

    Nearly all-large companies sub contract out aspects of their design process, and to ensure that standardization criteria are met; certain criteria are applied to the sub-contractors such as the necessity for all drawings to be produced in an AutoCAD(DWG) format. This ensures that all works carried out by the various sub-contractors are compatible with one another. However, it does not ensure that your companies working practices are abided by.

    All companies have a way in which drawings are produced, which can affect everything from the way wires and elements are numbered; down to the colour type that is applied to layers. Although this is a perfectly viable option for individual companies, it can cause a number of problems for larger companies whom then co-ordinate the data supplied by different sub-contractors.

    One method of overcoming problems relating to drawing standardization is through the creation of company codes of practice. Although this would appear to be the simplest solution, such documents are time consuming to generate, and have to be kept up to date with company developments. There is also the chance for misinterpretation of even the best-written code, which can only lead increasing the overall costs of the job itself.

    With AutoCAD Electrical you are provided with an easy way to ensure that any companies working for you, use all of your preferred numbering systems, element representations, preferred manufacturers, title template borders, wire types, layer colours, etc. and you do not have to write a lengthy document to achieve it.

    By setting up AutoCAD Electrical once with your companies’ requirements, you can create your own corporate electrical standard for distribution to your sub-contractors thus ensuring that your standards are met. Upon installation, by your sub-contractors, they will have your preferred wire types, automatic numbering systems, library symbols, title border templates, preferred manufacturers catalogues and reports, already set up. This means that sub-contractors can start work immediately upon your project, without having to read, and constantly refer to codes of practice; and can thus increase their production times, and decrease your costs, whilst ensuring that all works carried out are complementary.

    You can also check their drawings for standards compliancy and provide an audit check. Furthermore, quality of documentation is guaranteed irrespective of specific engineer whether internal or external at one of the sub-contractors.

    Typical areas of standardisation should be:

    • Template projects
    • Preferred symbols library e.g. IEC
    • Wire numbering systems
    • Component numbering methodology
    • Cross-reference style and methodology
    • Title border templates and their specific set-up
    • Wire types
    • Reports that you want generated
    • Automatic Report Generation Files (RGF)
    • Preferred manufacturer catalogue information
    • Drawing standards file (DWS) for audit checking
    • Preferred grid, snap etc. settings

    This will allow either your company to compile a specific version of AutoCAD Electrical tailored to your company, which can be supplied to any sub-contractors that undertake work for you enabling your sub-contractors to access your companies’ standards with no room for any ambiguity.