Simplifying Wire Diagrams in Electrical Schematics

One of the more tedious tasks for electrical designers is numbering wires on schematics. If you are using general purpose 2D CAD tools to capture electrical documentation, then you probably know what I am referring to. With those types of tools the effort is manual. You need to check the schematic to ensure standards are maintained and that the information is cross referenced accurately in other documents (e.g.: wire lists and label reports). The more complex the schematic is, the more difficult it is to avoid documentation errors. And those errors have ripple effects. Not just rework by the designer, but inconsistent documentation can cause issues for installers and field service that in turn cause malfunctions, project delays, etc.

SolidWorks Electrical Schematic is E-CAD software that provides the ability to create and update wire numbers automatically based on schemes. You put your standards for calculating the wire number and Voila! : automated numbers across all documentation. This makes life a lot easier for the electrical designer and allows them to focus on value-add design tasks.

SolidWorks Electrical is very flexible in how you number wires on your schematics. You can use equipotential numbering (drawing wires of the same potential share the same value) or the individual wire numbering. You can also choose to display the equipotential marks near the termination points or in the middle of the drawn wire.

2014-09-03 Wire Numbering With SolidWorks Electrical Schematic Image 1

The real power is in the formulas used to define the values. You can include the wire number, page number, row numbers and more to capture specifically what would go into the marking of the wire.

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Formulas can be assigned to specific wire styles, so you can have wire schemes unique to different schematic details (e.g.: low power, high power, and signal wiring). There are multiple way you can get to the formula manager for wires or equipotential. One way is to go to the Project tab of an active project. Then go to Configuration

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Once you have your numbering schemes added to your templates, it is easy to automatically number (or renumber) the wires. There are a set of commands dedicated to this process and their options allow you to control which wires to update (e.g.: whole project, current book, etc.)

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The wire number output can be shown on the schematic and referenced in reports. The image below shows a simple wire numbering scheme using the equipotential values as marks. The individual phase number and equipotential order were used in the formula.

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I have to admit, there is a great feeling of instant gratification when you set up your numbering scheme and test it. You run the Renumber Wires command and you instantly see your new numbering scheme in effect. Knowing that this will be applied across all future projects can be a tremendous relief because it has taken away a very tedious documentation task and yet significantly reduced downstream issues.

General purpose 2D CAD tools fail at this typical electrical design requirement. And in their defense, they were not intended to be electrical design tools for manufacturing businesses. Although general purpose 2D CAD tools may be able to “get the job done”, they lack automated productivity tools mentioned here. In addition, they lack electrical validation tools and the 3D connectivity. All very important features for electrical design for manufacturers. SolidWorks Electrical provides this functionality that allows an electrical designer to focus on design and produce better documentation for personnel downstream in production, installation, and field services. This leads to better communication and less rework and faster development times.

Learn more about creating Wire Diagrams & improve your electrical schematic drawings. 5 minute video:

Prism Engineering, Inc.
Prism Engineering, Inc. is the Mid-Atlantic's most trusted & preferred source for CAD, CAM, and 3D Printing products & services.
Prism Engineering, Inc.