E3 WireWorks has helped a lot of customers achieve desired levels of automation. The Simple out of the Box Functionality lets you get started with automating a big chunk of you design. These first steps have been discussed in the Part I and Part II of this automation series. Let look at how we can further automate the design using some of the other out of box functionality and also some customized solutions.
The Options and Variants are selected by using the Check Boxes (Options) and Radio Buttons (Variants), selecting the appropriate check box or radio button activates the corresponding options. E3.WireWorks lets you export the current selection out to a file in Comma Separated Values (CSV) format. This file can then be imported back to regain the selections you exported. This can really go a long way if you have a finite number of configurations that you choose from all the time then you don’t have to change the selections manually each time you are creating a project. You can simply import the previously saved configuration and E3 WireWorks will automatically load that in making the appropriate changes in the selection and consequentially the schematics.
This has allowed a quite a few E3 WireWorks customers eliminate even the amount of time it takes to make those selections manually getting them 1 step closer to completely automating their design.
The Next step in Automating your design completely is to write a script. E3 WireWorks has a very simple scripting interface which lets you control almost everything that you can do manually via the script. The Scripts are written in VBScript which is a common scripting language.
Using scripts you can choose to change the Options and Variants depending on the project requirements. These requirements can come directly from the customer, may be an ordering form on your website or just internally from you engineering department. Once you have the requirements the script can select /deselect the right options and variants from you default project and save the file with the new project name, produce a Bill of Materials or other reports and also produce intelligent PDF’s.
The method I have used before is to control the options and variants in an Excel sheet and create the project from there. In my case I chose to write a script to read the data from Website/Order form and make the appropriate changes in the excel sheet , which in turn drives E3 WireWorks. This script then produces the new schematic with the updated project number, drawing number, revision number and other data all listed in the excel file. The schematic is saved in the appropriate folder along with Bill of Materials, Connection List, Panel Wiring Report and also the PDF of the schematic.
So to summarize – With Options and Variants you can control parts of your design both Panel and Schematic, load these options from saved configurations eliminating the need to manual selection and if you want go to the next level of producing your schematic and related documentation with the Click of a Button. I cannot see any reason why someone would not want to do this but I am sure there are things that I haven’t taken into account. So if there are any questions or concerns then feel free to ask questions or if you want help with achieving the 1 click schematic then I am sure I can help you there as well. Till next time