Picture this: It’s 3:57 PM on a Wednesday afternoon and you have just placed your final symbol on your schematic drawing, which is due today. You submit it to your project lead and pack up to leave so you can get your daughter to dance class by 5 PM. Just as you reach the exit, you are stopped by your projector leader who informs you that your drawing cannot be approved and sent to configuration management without the updated corporate title block and new component labels. Sound familiar?

Scenarios like this are perfect examples of why more companies should seriously consider standardizing their electrical libraries. While there are many sound arguments that can be made for the practicality of standardized electrical symbols and specifications, below is a list of the top five derived from the experts here at CADimensions, Inc.

1.    Easy Accessibility – When using a shared library, a symbol can be created once and accessed by anyone on the network.
2.    Cuts down on manufacturing confusion – The adoption of a standardized set of electrical symbols eliminates the instance of designating different symbol to identical components.
3.    Reduces Rework – Creating and implementing one standardized set of electrical symbols cuts out the need for useless and redundant schematic rework. If you use the approved symbol the first time, you won’t have to go back and put the correct one on the second or third review.
4.    Improved Mechanical and Electrical Communication – Standardized electrical symbols mitigate instances of miscommunication between members of ECAD and MCAD teams.  Links between 2D symbols and 3D modeled components keeps everyone in lock step.
5.    Saves Time – Aside from the time saved on miscommunication and rework, standardized electrical symbols also make searching for and locating the correct symbol in your company’s shared library much easier. Using filters for symbol name, type, or manufacturer in the search, ensures you are directed to the correct file. No more searching or guessing which iteration of the symbol is the correct one to use.

When speaking to customers about the issues impeding their progress on customer projects, these are the things that come up most often. While we’re not suggesting electrical symbol standardization as the miracle remedy to all of your electrical design woes, we definitely credit it as a rather simple solution in achieving a more efficient and accurate work flow.


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