We recently "upgraded" to SWE 2015 and are giving the 2D version a trial before diving into the 3D for our department. I have a list of issues and have tried to reach out to our VAR, but to no avail. I was wondering if anyone had some advice on the following.
1. PLC Manager - The PLC manager is buggy and placing a "PLC" symbol and working from there is a nightmare. How do you manage your PLC's in the schematics?
**Partially Solved** -- The equation editor for the PLC channel address seems to be bugged. If you place a physical address on your PLC in the parts library, then use the equation editor, the "channel type" variable and the "physical address" variable return the same value. I'm pretty sure this is a bug. Copying and pasting the address (into the mnemonic column in the I/O manager), description and a user data 1/2 from a spreadsheet into the I/O manager seems to work well though.
2. Components using PLC Address as mark - I've tried to write an "if" statement in the project configuration, but can't get this to work. The best work around I've found is using "#P_TO_0" and hiding either that or the actual mark depending on which one should be used.
**Unsolved** -- Still haven't found a solution to this other than manually entering, which is a complete pain since the wires from the PLC and the components themselves all have to be manually edited.
3. Wire numbering - This seems to have a whole assortment of issues, especially when using terminal blocks. Removing the wire numbers doesn't remove them all depending on terminal blocks. Renumbering wires in a duplicated project is buggy, sometimes the only solution I've found is deleting the wires and placing them again. I've tried using different terminal blocks with different circuits (passing/hyper passing/hyper hyper passing) but continue to run into the same issues.
**Solved** -- This seemed to be an issue with the type of circuits the TB were using. Setting them all to passing and not using hyper or hyper/hyper seemed to fix this.
3. Origin-Destination Arrows - I've noticed that I can't connect some wires, even though they are the same wire style, if there are terminal blocks on one of them. Again, I've tried different terminal block circuits, but the problem is still there.
**Solved** -- Again, this seemed to be associated to the terminal block circuits
4. Attribute sizing - When importing an ACADe symbol, the size of the attribute in the attribute editor will look normal and be the proper size, but when the symbol is placed, the attribute will be tiny. So in the editor, I'll make the attribute very large, but when the symbol is placed, the symbol is the proper size. This is more of an annoyance, and I think it has something to do with importing in imperial vs metric, but the problem persists regardless of the units.
**Solved** -- I deleted the footprint and recreated it from scratch. Importing a footprint and changing the unit system once you've already saved it pretty much breaks the footprint. Not sure why it can't scale everything based on switching from metric to imperial. It scales the symbol itself fine, but not the attributes.
5. Viewports - Is there anything similar to layouts and viewports (model vs paper space) in 2D SWE? I haven't found anything remotely close to this. I can add multiple enclosure views as another scheme, but none of the components will hold their scale since scaling is only relevant to SWE in the cabinet layout drawing format. So I create a separate location for multiple cabinet layouts and views, but now I have 3 or 4 enclosures in my BOM. My VAR says the 3D handles this nicely, but I'm skeptical because I haven't been able to find an example online, and they have yet to produce one.
**Solved** -- By creating multiple locations and naming them whatever view you want to represent in that drawing, you can create a cabinet layout for each location, add multiple symbols for each component in the component tree, avoid having duplicates in the BOM and allow components to keep their scaling.
Any help is appreciated!
Here's another round of questions I've gathered as we continue to transfer our schematics from AutoCADe to SWE.
6. We have a revisions page for our projects, but when we open a project, right click the "Document Book", there isn't an option to add additional revisions. How do you add multiple revisions to the books/projects?
**Solved** You have to validate and verify the revision, then hit Ok to close the window. Choose to print or not, then open the book revision back up and you can add a new revision.
7. How do you guys use in-line wire numbers/gauge/wire color? Right now we are using the equipotential label to populate the wire number, gauge and color (from User Data 1 in the wire styles manager), and the wire label to populate just the color. For example, we use the wire label so we only show color for stuff like sensors running back to the PLC and the equipotential for most other circumstances. When we do this though, I created a "wipeout" box to hide the wire behind the symbol and placed the equip_tag and equip_tx_0 attributes over it, then played around with the location so it would show up on the wire. The problem is, this wipeout box is static and won't conform to the dimensions that we need. If we have 18AWG WHT/BLU, that is going to need a bigger box than 14AWG BLK. We can't use the symbol for both since that wipeout box isn't dynamic. Our work around is having the box fit one and moving the other just above the wire.
7.A. How do you know where the equipotential/wire label is going to come in at? It doesn't come in where you right clicked on the wire and I'm wondering if it's related to the origin point in the symbol creator.
8. How do you assign different roots to sub classifications in the "Component Classification" manager under the library tab? Example, if you want the "Fuse disconnectors" to have the root DS and the "Fuses" to have the root FU, this isn't possible, The entire hierarchy for the "Fuses, Disconnectors" has to be the same. Not sure if this is a bug or unwanted feature.
9. How do you insert a symbol with multiple parts into the 2D panel? For example, if you have a fuse and a fuse block, and only want to place the fuse block, how do you also place the fuse so that component no longer appears in your cabinet layout tree when you hide the items that are already inserted.
10. How do you change the orientation of the information from the Origin/Destination arrows? It gets redundant when you have to manually rotate the "To:####" or the "From:####". I've tried the "Do not rotate attributes" in the symbol editor, but negative, doesn't work.
10.A. Is there any way to show additional attributes for the origin/destination arrows? Right now there is legitimately one attribute you can show. I think it's the wire number of the wire connected to that arrow.
11. Is there an easy way to create a table in SWE? To place information like VFD Parameters or something? Haven't found an easy way to create a table.
12. Why do some wires not have the option to display the wire label? When I right click on some wires in my drawing, the display wire label is greyed out. If I replace the wire, or delete and redraw it, sometimes it gets fixed, sometimes it doesn't. Has anyone else had any issues with this?
13. "Invalid Argument" error when creating a cable. Has anyone else seen this? It seems to happen when you change the conductor core to AWG on the properties page. I can fill out all of the information for the cable, but if I change the cable cores to AWG, I get this error and have to cancel out of it and start over.
13.A. Also in the cable creation, the description gets deleted once I create the cable.
**Sovled** Updated to 2015 SP1 (or 1.1, I can't remember) fixed this. We are now able to create cables with AWG cores. Everything is right in the world... Almost.
If you think you have a quality or helpful reply and need screenshots, please ask and I will help any way I can. Once again, the resources for SWE help are few and far between, and most do not go into the depth needed to actually accomplish work in industry, so any help will be appreciated.
UPDATE -- 1/29/2015
Still no solutions to the previous issues. We updated to SWE 2015 SP1.1 (or maybe it was just SP1) and all of the issues still persist.
14. When using terminal blocks after an orgin/destination arrow, they won't show the equipotential label in the 2D panel layout. Terminal blocks before the arrow have their wire number (equipotential) represented, but not the terminal blocks after. The terminal blocks have the same manufacturer part numbers, schematic symbol and panel symbols. Even with different part numbers and symbols, the problem still persists.
15. This isn't a software bug, but do the parts you can download from the ECP (Electrical Content Portal) catalog not have dimensions for them? There are a ton of parts on this site, but the ones I've downloaded do not have dimensions.
16. Do the fonts look different depending where they are used? We use the RomanS font and it appears and prints fine when used in symbol creation and text boxes, but if you use the RomanS in the project configuration's font page, they do not print the same. Despite being the same font and the same size, the font looks different and is nearly unreadable when used for anything on the font page in project configurations. Changing the font we use isn't a big deal, but our customers have always complimented our AutoCAD Electrical drawings, and we want to keep our SWE drawings as close to the ACADe as possible.
**Solved** The RomanS (standard AutoCAD Electrical font) is bugged in SWE. It doesn't print correctly if you use the native SWE RomanS font. When I open 'Text Styles' under the Tools tab, the field for 'Font Style' is blank next ot WD. I think WD made it into my project from an AutoCADe import. When I create another layer using the RomanS font, the field next to 'Font Style' defaults to standard as soon as I choose a font type. You can't delete this standard out, and it seems to be causing the printing issue for this font type.
17. Is there a function to align symbols/equipotential labels? I see where you can align the wire numbers, but that seems to be the extent of what you can. Also, when using wires, there is a dotted line that extends to show where you're aligning to, but is this function only available when using wires? This would also be useful when placing symbols.
18. Can you standardize layers on a project or global level? Everytime we edit a symbol, we have to create the font we want, then create the layers for the attributes we want to place them on. It's just a time consuming process that makes it more difficult for our department to standardize drawings.
** Partially Solved ** You can create the layers you want to use on the title blocks, then every page that uses that title block will have the standard layers on them. This doesn't solve having to create those layers so you can assign attributes to them when creating a symbol though. If you create the symbol and have a layer with the same name as a layer within the drawing, but a different color, whatever is assigned to that layer will take the color of the drawing's layer.
19. Is there an ability to add more scale options for the 2D panel?
**Solved** SWE2015 SP1 (1.1?) now allows users to enter custom scales. Awesome.
20. Metric vs. Imperial footprints. It seems that whatever dimensions you have entered for the part will be interpreted as metric or imperial, depending on the footprint symbol itself being set to metric or imperial. The part manager says 'mm' for all dimensions, but if you create an imperial footprint and attach a part with dimensions in mm, it will not be scaled correctly at all. I changed the part dimensions to inches, and the footprint scaling was fixed. Not sure why they prompt you to insert dimensions in mm when the footprint determines the dimensions. Another enhancement request submitted.
21. When editing a title block, if I right click, select all, then go to modify, properties and change everything to layer 0, SWE crashes. I'm trying to clean up the layers we use and standardize which is used for certain attributes and the color it will be. I noticed this crashing in my attempt to clean it up. If I drag a box over everything, then change the layer, it works fine. We imported our titleblock from ACADe, so there were some unwanted layers.
22. How do you change the cable roots from "W"? I could just have it place the text "CBL" (the root I want to use) in the equation under Marks, or manually change it everytime, but this takes away from the intelligence of the software. There is no symbol to edit the root mark on either.
A. Also, you can't use page and row numbers to number cables, but you can every other component. Has anyone found a work around for this other than manual input?
23. I'm importing a report of terminal block tags with information that Wago's smart DESIGNER uses to create terminal strips. To import this spreadsheet the name of the sheet needs to be "1_Klemmendaten" (picky Wago software), and SWE exports my report with the default "4". Just wondering if anyone knows where this "4" is being pulled from and if it's possible to change it. I'm thinking the "4" represents the component type, since they're terminal blocks and that is one of my "WHERE" conditions in the SQL code. I'm not sure about that, just an initial hunch.
Again, any help would be appreciated. Also, if you are using SWE to design and create panels, I'd appreciate you sharing your contact information with me. It seems that SWE is mostly used for overviews of electrical systems or education. It's hard to justify it's usability against ACAD given the bugs and manual work-arounds needed to produce a schematic that is actually plotted and used in a panel shop.