Computer-Aided Engineering (CAE) software is the designer’s best friend, a tool proven to enhance the productivity of the user. It has liberated engineers from the most tedious aspects of their job, shortened project turnaround times and improved the quality and accuracy of their work.
For example, electrical CAE (E-CAE) systems have assumed all functions once performed manually or by using more than one program, like a computer-aided design (CAD) package to create graphical schematics and the table-based Microsoft Excel to create parts lists. Those programs couldn’t share data with each other, which necessitated a great deal of manual (and redundant) data entry, crossreferencing and error-checking. That is a low-value use of an engineer’s time and a complex machine or plant design required an awful lot of it. Today’s advanced electrical CAE programs have automated these and many other non-value-added tasks like wire numbering and device tagging. Engineers are completing assignments that once took days or weeks in a small fraction of the time.
The latest generation of CAE programs has broken decisively from CAD and earlier CAE tools by adding a powerful central database that enables them to provide substantial additional automation. This database can hold a large archive of recurrent content, ready for insertion into a project with a single keystroke.
Engineers can convert project documentation into different languages or regional, national and international standards. This makes the database-centric CAE wellsuited for cross-country and cross-border collaborations or for serving a multinational customer base.
Computer-aided design (CAD) tools have traditionally been well accepted by businesses worldwide since their introduction over 25 years ago. For example, each successive generation of electrical CAD software has empowered the individual user to be that much more productive. Legacy CAD systems willcontinue to perform as advertised, but companies relying on them risk falling further down the productivity curve at the expense of their competitiveness. A new generation of computer-aided engineering (CAE) tools incorporating a powerful database has been shown to deliver cost savings of up to 80 percentand significant improvements in design integrity and order turnaround times. Unlike legacy systems that support only one discipline, these advanced CAE systems internalize all design tools and report generators required by multiple disciplines, ensuring greater speed, accuracy and flexibility in product development and order fulfillment. While this new database-centric approach offers more ways than ever to make individual electrical, fluid and process control engineers more productive, far greater efficiencies and cost savings are being realized by using their advanced capabilities strategically to restructure workflows, facilitate information-sharing among departments and automate creation of product content. These stretch benefits can be worth tens of thousands, even hundreds of thousands of dollars or more annually.