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Electrical Computer-Aided Design Consulting Headquarters
Doug McAlexander, Inc.
"Doug is one of the most knowledgeable people I've encountered in the controls space. He really knows the industry and has a tremendous depth of knowledge around AutoCAD Electrical. He has a keen ability to help any customer succeed."
Product Line Manager
Creating a preferred vendor parts catalog for AutoCAD® Electrical
When you share the vendor catalog (default_cat.mdb) across a network it is normal to experience a slower response time when performing a part number Lookup. This is due to network traffic/latency. The search-interval, or seek-time, for a part Lookup is also affected by the size of the default_cat.mdb file. The more manufacturers you select during the installation process, the larger the default_cat.mdb file, resulting in a slower seek-time.
There is an alternate method you can use if you would like to have access to all manufacturers from time to time but would also like to work from a smaller "preferred" list of manufacturer parts. First, make a copy of the default_cat.mdb file (normally located in the Catalogs folder) and rename the copy to complete_cat.mdb. Next use MS Access® to edit the default_cat.mdb and remove all manufacturers and/or part numbers you will never use. If you never use AB, then remove AB parts from all component tables (i.e. CR, LT, SS, PB, etc.). Note: If you know you will never us AB parts, do not select the AB checkbox from the manufacturer's list when installing AutoCAD® Electrical. Only check the boxes for the manufacturers you will actually use.
Once the catalog database is trimmed down to only your preferred manufacturer parts the seek-time for a Lookup will be less. The next thing to do is to right-click on your project name and select Properties. Click the button labeled "Other", then click on the radio button labeled "Optional: Define a secondary catalog lookup file for this project." Browse to the complete_cat.mdb file. OK out of all the dialog boxes.
With the "trimmed down" default_cat.mdb you should experience a faster response when performing a part number Lookup. Anytime you need a part number from the complete catalog, click the "Other" button from within the Lookup dialog (version 2010 and previous) and follow the prompts to temporarily switch to the complete catalog. For version 2011 or later click the arrow in the field labeled as Database and select the Secondary File.
AutoCAD® Electrical is an enhanced version of AutoCAD® that gives AutoCAD® the "horsepower" to create controls schematics and panel layouts with speed, consistency, and accuracy. You can leverage past designs so future project lead-times can be trimmed to a minimum. Built-in automated tools increase your productivity. AutoCAD® Electrical has the tools to make your schematics "smart" so report extraction, error analysis, and even language conversions are easy tasks. You can even convert an entire electrical project from JIC to IEC symbols, or vice versa, with a few keystrokes.
We can put your personnel on the fast track to becoming highly efficient with electrical CAD software. If you already use AutoCAD®, you can make the switch to AutoCAD® Electrical with relative ease. The file format doesn't even change. And yes, you can convert your existing "dumb" AutoCAD® drawings to the intelligent AutoCAD® Electrical format. We have a staff of trained personnel who can convert older drawings from other formats or from standard AutoCAD format so your design team can stay focused on new projects.
On-site Training, Implementation, and Customization Support for AutoCAD® Electrical (U.S. or International design standards)
Let us convert your existing drawings to AutoCAD® Electrical format
Off-load your extra work to us so you can meet demanding deadlines
Full ECAD support, including smart border template creation, symbol creation, and maintenance of your symbol library, so your designers can stay focused on sales orders
Pre-paid phone/e-mail/video support contracts available (contact us with a question and receive a phone call, e-mail, or video with detailed step-by-step instructions)
If you would like to discuss your ECAD needs, whether it be training, implementation, or design support, please feel free to call Doug at (770) 841-8009, or send an e-mail to ECADConsultant@gmail.com.
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Last Update July 25, 2015