Electrical Design Automation Using DriveWorks

   By Adam Ferrer on December 5, 2022

If you’re here that’s because you’re taking interest in integrating some design automation between SOLIDWORKS mechanical design and electrical design. As we know there is a demand for efficiency and one of the best ways of achieving this is finding ways to securely reduce time to market. We will take a look at how you can achieve electrical design automation using DriveWorks. 

A way we can improve our time to market is by automating processes in the initial stages. A connection of a few different tools is the secret to achieving this. The goal of this exercise is to use DriveWorks automation of SOLIDWORKS models to generate the electrical schematics automatically.

If you’re not familiar I’ll briefly cover the different tools we will be combining. DriveWorks automation is a design and sales configuration tool we use for automating models and can be leveraged for creating a product configurator for sales teams, distributors, and customers.

excel symbol and 3d drawing

The tool not only generates models, but concurrently generates 2D and 3D drawings, sales quotes, letters and manufacturing data. It also provides an online product configurator so it can be used as a powerful sales tool that can provide fast response to sales inquiry and provide accurate quotes quick.

The second tool we will be using is Microsoft Excel, more specifically using excel automation with macros to generate electrical schematics.

Of course, the last tool we will be using is SOLIDWORKS Electrical Schematics that will be generating these drawings by reading from these details created through DriveWorks and Excel.

Excel Automation

The purpose of excel automation is to automatically generate drawings and inserting macros into the drawing, using the excel file as an instruction guide.

To be able to generate custom drawings from excel, the user needs to setup a template in excel to communicate the correct information that electrical will read from.

To be able to create a custom drawing from excel, the user needs to:

  • Save macros corresponding to the part of the drawing
  • Edit macros to set variables for macro values to be replaced and inserted
  • Define an Excel template with the format wanted to use and the necessary information to define macro to insert.

excel spreadsheet and menu options for driveworks automation

Starting off by choosing the size of the motor control system, whether it’s a 4kW system, 3kW system or whichever, it will automatically filter the remaining compatible components with your specifications.

It will tell you the parts you will need to choose from for your build such as your circuit breaker, contactor, motor, etc. This reduces your up-front sales engagement when putting this information together for a quote for a customer. DriveWorks can pull information from supplier websites to let us know if they have supply available for us to order. If supply is not available, go ahead and choose another component that will work with your build that is in stock.

Once the project components have been selected and configured, the information is exported to an excel template created for turning the DriveWorks information and driving electrical schematics using the data.

Watch the on-demand webinar to see this DriveWorks automation demonstration in action. If you have more questions about this process or any of the solutions shown in the demo of this process, reach out to us and we can help with finding the solutions that are the best fit for you.

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Adam Ferrer

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