How New Technology Is about to Transform Electrical Engineering and Design

The Journal (Newcastle, England), March 30, 2012 | Go to article overview

How New Technology Is about to Transform Electrical Engineering and Design


E&I represents 29% of the world's capital expenditure on process plant - nearly $14bn this year - and 30% of the engineering and design labour.

In plant operations, it typically accounts for 60% of maintainable items and 30% of maintenance man-hours, as well as being critical to safe and efficient operation so there is a premium on design that is right first time and ease of maintenance.

Yet these systems are often created and managed in isolation, using spreadsheets and simple drafting applications.

This leads to considerable inefficiency and wasted effort.

Even the most popular special-purpose applications are considered difficult to use and do not make sufficient use of the information they create.

All this is about to change with the release of AVEVA Electrical, a powerful new application designed to meet the through-life requirements of all sizes of electrical installation.

It is a sister product to AVEVA Instrumentation, the company's fastest-growing product.

AVEVA found that almost as soon as customers began to use AVEVA Instrumentation they would ask for an electrical application with the same power and ease of use. AVEVA Electrical includes many features specifically requested by our lead customers. The new product's most striking feature is its use of highly intuitive graphical and spreadsheet-style interfaces.

These make it easy to use, not only for engineers and designers, but also in plant operations and maintenance tasks.

AVEVA Electrical comprises three integrated modules - Engineer, Wiring Manager and Designer - which share a common database and handle complementary tasks and information. The Engineer module is used for defining or importing equipment data, tracking changes, creating and managing reports and documentation, and so on.

Its unique feature is what AVEVA terms "graphical engineering", whereby tabular information is presented in easily understood diagram form, similar to Single Line Diagrams (SLDs). This enables the creation of an unlimited number of diagrams and levels of detail, from the complete power distribution system right down to an individual switchboard tag.

The Wiring Manager module handles the creation and connection of cables. It enables a user to create cable schedules and handles drumming and Bill of Materials outputs. It shares AVEVA Instrumentation's intuitive "drag and drop" interface, which is unique in this class of application.

Finally, the Designer module enables the efficient production of deliverables such as schematic drawings and Single Line Diagrams direct from the database, ensuring accuracy and completeness of information.

AVEVA Electrical is a powerful stand-alone product, but it also integrates closely with AVEVA's other plant and marine solutions. …

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