Autodesk incorporates VIA’s Wiring Diagram into AutoCAD

San Rafael, CA—Autodesk’s AutoCAD has incorporated and augmented VIA Development’s (Marion, IN) Wiring Diagram (WD) to create its newly released AutoCAD Electrical 2004, which Autodesk says is the “first fully integrated solution for designers of electrical control systems.”


San Rafael, CA— Autodesk ’s AutoCAD has incorporated and augmented VIA Development’s (Marion, IN) Wiring Diagram (WD) to create its newly released AutoCAD Electrical 2004, which Autodesk says is the “first fully integrated solution for designers of electrical control systems.”

Scott Reese, Autodesk’s product manager and VIA’s former operations VP, says that, in addition to integration with AutoCAD software, Electrical 2004’s upgrades include many Euro-friendly features. “A lot of the feature enhancements evolve around the European market. Their discipline focuses on IEC design, which is a more horizontal design that is very different from the vertical-thinking designs of the North American marketplace,” said Reese in a recent interview with Control Engineering .

VIA had focused primarily in North America, and Autodesk acquired some of its assets in March 2003 for an undisclosed sum. Reese reported that Autodesk’s global reach has signifi-cantly expanded WD’s sales since the acquisition.

Reese adds that the U.S. alone has 150,000 electrical controls designers, and that most use AutoCAD in the widely accepted DWG format. However, 80% of users don’t implement an electrical controls design solution. Some mix their own customizations and/or use homegrown symbol libraries or smaller third party add-on packages. Unfortunately, some are still drawing lines, arcs and circles, he says, rather than taking advantage of AutoCAD’s automated features and reporting; multiple document linking and updating, libraries; import/export, mark-up; browser-based interaction; and ability to generate PLC code and I/O drawings.

AutoCAD Electrical 2004 will reportedly save users’ time by avoiding purchase and installation of two pieces of software, WD and AutoCAD, which was required in the past. Also, users won’t have to wait for VIA to upgrade WD to match the latest revision of AutoCAD, adds Reese.

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Also, for more on VIA and electrical controls design, see:

Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Mark T. Hoske, editor-in-chief

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