4 Ways to Reduce Design Rework

The bane of every engineer's existence – rework!

You’ve just translated your brilliant idea into a beautiful schematic. You’ve created all of its related documentation and verified that all connectors are properly constructed. So now you’re feeling pretty great about it! But with all great designs, there’s almost always changes that will need to be made. Now projects are getting pushed back, and your additional responsibilities are starting to lag.

Instead of stressing, let’s look at four different ways SOLIDWORKS Electrical minimizes the amount of time spent redoing work so that you can focus more on innovation and design.

  1. Time-hop with templates
  2. Modularize with macros
  3. Standardize with shared libraries
  4. Push designs forward with change propagation

Time-hop with templates

It’s time to start a new project. The first step is to dig through old projects until you find all of the common pages that you need to copy and paste into the new one. Then, the labor-intensive process of updating all of the title blocks, page numbers and project description information begins. If we’re being honest, this process almost certainly takes more time than it is worth and is rather mind-numbing.

Luckily, SOLIDWORKS Electrical takes this process and minimizes it via Project Templates. These intelligent, customizable templates can be built up over time and used again and again as a fantastic starting point for your designs. Title blocks update automatically with all relevant project description information, and all of the page numbers, wire numbers and component marks can be updated with the click of a button.

Reduce Design Re-Work with SOLIDWORKS Templates image

Modularize with macros

We live in a world where customization is key. More and more customers are asking for variations on products, and you need the ability to adapt to their demands quickly. But how can you possibly provide customization in a market where everything moves so quickly? One part of the answer, as discovered by Henry Ford, Michele Trancossi and many others is modularization. Breaking a project into interchangeable modules provides the flexibility needed to meet or exceed expectations while minimizing the workload and the cost of production.

After an electrical project is set up, SOLIDWORKS Electrical allows you to further modularize designs via Macros. Macros are basically chunks of work, or modules, of any size that can be stored in a common library and reused over and over again on different pages, across projects and even among coworkers. A drag and drop is all it takes to create a new macro, and, likewise, a drag and drop is all it takes to use one. Macro libraries can be searched and organized so that they are always on hand, and component marks, line numbers and (of course) our Bill of Materials can all be updated instantaneously after a macro is added to a project.

Standardize with shared libraries

Sharing your work with coworkers is a win-win on all accounts. Not only does it reduce the amount of time spent on projects, but it also helps to standardize company-wide which results in more professional and put-together designs.

SOLIDWORKS Electrical enables real-time sharing of your work with a common space for all content created. Whether you create a new symbol, add a new part along with its relevant metadata, create a spiffy new title block or create a new macro, rest assured you will not have to redo work that has already been completed! Furthermore, if a coworker creates content or downloads and unpackages it from the Electrical Content Portal, the moment it is saved by you immediately makes it available to the team as well.

Push designs forward with change propagation

Once a project is complete, you never need to go back and make a change again, right?

Wrong! Making changes is one of the most painful and error-prone portions of schematic design because something as simple as changing the type of motor being used might involve making changes in ten different places. All schematic pages and reports need to be searched through and then modified with the latest information. If something is missed, not only can it be confusing, but it can ultimately lead to design failure.

To address this, let’s walk through the process of switching out a motor in SOLIDWORKS Electrical.

  1. Right-click on any representation of the motor or find it in the component tree,
  2. Delete the current part and add the new one,
  3. Click the button to update reports, and
  4. Pat yourself on the back and grab a coffee because you’re done!

In three steps (the fourth is optional), we can confidently say that all documentation is up to date and accurate. Furthermore, if a more drastic change needed to be made, the same principles will apply. Renumbering wires, redoing marks and renumbering pages are all a thing of the past with intelligent functions to address each of these mind-numbing, time-consuming activities.

Intelligent designers deserve intelligent tools, and I’m happy to say that with SOLIDWORKS Electrical you get just that! Reducing rework is just one reason this tool is becoming the industry standard. Check out our other blogs and learn more about how SOLIDWORKS Electrical can help automate everyday tasks!

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