Unify Your Electrical and P&ID Schematics with SOLIDWORKS Electrical

Article by Angus Hudson, CSWP created/updated January 21, 2019

Schematic drawings are a universal method for detailing the connections between different components in electrical, hydraulic, and pneumatic designs. However, they are also a great way to communicate details of process flow or piping and instrumentation design. Our blog often touts the benefits of SOLIDWORKS Electrical for schematic design, but despite the deceiving product name, this software has the versatility to handle your mechanical and P&ID schematics as well!

SOLIDWORKS Electrical’s Wire Style Manager ensures that wires are drawn with information about gauge, voltage, and color automatically included. This manager can also contain styles that will include P&ID specific information, such as section or schedule. Pipe labels are then automatically created, based on formulas defined in the style, eliminating this tedious, error-prone task.

The Wiring Style Manager can also store styles for piping, hydraulic, and pneumatic applications. Styles include information about size, and material.

The Wiring Style Manager can also store styles for piping, hydraulic, and pneumatic applications. Styles include information about size, and material.

One of SOLIDWORKS Electrical’s greatest differentiators is the component tree, which pushes intelligent annotations to any referenced symbols. This makes it easier to create schematics, but also accelerates design changes by ensuring that changes are propagated to all drawings that detail the component. When you use SOLIDWORKS Electrical to create a P&ID schematic, symbols are still reference back to the component tree, allowing you to connect your electrical and mechanical schematics together. This ensures that both teams work from the same list of components and guarantees that changes by one team are immediately communicated to the other.

The document and component trees can be organized by book and location for better clarity

The document and component trees can be organized by book and location for better clarity

The benefits of connecting your electrical and mechanical components together are further evident when documenting designs. SOLIDWORKS Electrical uses customizable report templates to automatically generate reports with data extracted from the schematics. The shared list of electrical and mechanical components produces a unified bill of materials, which can then be sorted or filtered by application, based on your needs. Eliminating the manual task of combining or creating BOMs dramatically reduces the opportunities for errors and minimizes the burden of design changes. These benefits translate directly to cost savings and a faster time to market.

Reports can be filtered by component type or book, making it easy to choose which information is included

Reports can be filtered by component type or book, making it easy to choose which information is included

With its unique intelligence and automation, SOLIDWORKS Electrical is a game changing tool for electrical schematic design. However, it is the versatility of the software that gives it the ability to bring all of your schematic designs into one environment. This unification presents significant opportunities to save time, reduce cost, and increase the quality of your completed designs and documentation. Check out our SOLIDWORKS Electrical articles to discover the many advantages of implementing SOLIDWORKS Electrical.

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Angus Hudson, CSWP

Angus is a Certified SOLIDWORKS Professional and Applications Expert, based in our Vancouver, British Columbia office.

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