Using Databases and Lists in electrical design software - The 5 basic rules

By Thor Vegge

This article describes the 5 things you need to know in order to work with databases and lists quickly and effectively - in an advanced electrical design software as PCSCHEMATIC Automation.

When having achieved reasonable skills in drawing PLC, wiring and power control circuit diagrams, you can save a lot of time by getting familiar with how to work with databases and lists.

To phrase it in a popular way, you might say that there are 5 things you should know, in order to work with databases and lists effectively - in an advanced electrical design software as PCSCHEMATIC Automation.

1. How to let PCSCHEMATIC fill out lists automatically

When creating electrical documentation projects, the applied components are represented by one or more electrical symbols - one symbol for each of the functions in the component. All of these symbols can have attached article data - e.g. an EAN13 number or a type description. This makes it possible for the program to fetch further electrical data for the symbol/component in the attached database.

When you click on a component from one of the component databases, you automatically get a menu containing electrical symbols for all functions in the component.
When you place these symbols, you transfer data to the diagrams automatically. Therefore, order lists and files can be filled out automatically.

When the project lists are to be filled out, the program therefore fetches information about which components that are used, directly from the drawn electrical circuit diagrams. Based on this information the program fetches further information in the database, and the lists are filled out automatically.

2. How to create your own database

To make this function the best, it is an advantage to be able to create your own database. This could for instance be done by just importing parts of the existing component vendor databases for the program. Data, which you already have electronically, can also easily be added to the database. Some companies choose to select a single person as responsible for handling the PCschemaitc database.

3. How to perform database maintenance

When you wish to perform database maintenance, you should also know how to edit database information, update information from the applied component vendor databases, and how to add new components to the database. Here you can save time by learning how to create new components to the database graphically, as well as by learning how to design your own symbols.

4. How to Create, Insert and Update project Lists

If you do not use the pre-defined list pages, which are included in the software package, it is a good idea to get familiar with how to create lists in PCSCHEMATIC Automation. - Or at least to learn how to easily adapt these lists to meet your own demands.

You should then know how to easily insert these lists in the project, as well as how to quickly specify which components to include when generating the lists. Finally, you should know which command to apply, in order to have the lists filled out.

5. How to Export list files

All list types in the program can be created as list files. When you e.g. wish to export a parts list to a storage management system, send an ordering file, a wirenumber file, or a PLC I/O list to a PLC program, you should know how to create list files in few minutes. If you wish to learn how to do this on your own, this takes a little effort.

However, the free manuals for the electrical design software includes descriptions, in which you can see how to do - so this is definitely possible. A short-cut to also master this side of electrical documentation, is taking a course in the program. The time spent on such a course, will be regained quickly in your daily work.

Other articles in the series

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