Nate Holt's Blog

October 10, 2010

Tutorial – Using Excel with AutoCAD Electrical – (Part 5 – PLC I/O desc addr updates)

Filed under: Electrical, Tutorials — nateholt @ 7:57 pm

 (Part 5 – Updating drawing PLC I/O Description and Address text from Excel)

This is the 5th installment of the Excel / AutoCAD Electrical tutorial. The first four were:

  • Part 1 – Copy existing project drawing set, export “To Spreadsheet”, edit in Excel, update drawings “From Spreadsheet”
  • Part 2 – Ability to not only push edited attribute values from Excel to the drawing set, but do “block swap” as well
  • Part 3 – Enhancing the editing capabilities by adding your own custom attribute columns to an existing Excel sheet and having these work with the “From Spreadsheet” update tool
  • Part 4 – Editing wire number assignments from Excel and then pushing the edits back into the project drawing set

In “Part 1” we did some simple drawing updates based upon schematic component info held in the “COMP” sheet. But there are sheets for seven other categories of terminals, PLC I/O, wire numbers, and panel components.

5th Installment – Updating drawing PLC I/O Description and Address text from Excel

Repeating here what we did in part 1 of the tutorial, this is how we initiated the dump of key data categories of our active AutoCAD Electrical project out to an Excel spreadsheet.

After the dump above creates the Excel spreadsheet, we open up the PLCIODESC sheet (or SHEET1 if selected the option marked in yellow above). Here’s part of the PLCIODESC sheet (below). There is one row for each I/O point of each I/O module found in the schematic project drawing set.

We can edit the I/O address for each point or we can add in up to five lines of description text for each I/O point, right here in the spreadsheet.

Below is an example where we’ve replaced three “SPARE” I/O points with actual description assignments.

We can enter up to five lines of text for each I/O point.

Then, on the update “From Spreadsheet”, this data will find the proper I/O module (using the “handle” and the “drawing name” link as described earlier) and update the appropriate description text attributes on the I/O module.

Note: See “Step 4 – Trigger the Excel –> Drawing update” in the Part 1 of the tutorial for complete step-by-step of this “From Spreadsheet” update sequence.

1 Comment »

  1. Very good!!! This really reduce drawing time. I’ll adopt it.


    I have a doubt about IEC2

    When I need to draw a ladder, I pick the ladder icon and display the dialog box; well ’til now, the problem is that the dialog box doesn’t let me choose the first number reference, neither the checkbox that cancel the number reference insert. Maybe is the IEC2 that is not able to do it.

    I always create a project that includes singlelines draws, multiline, power, control, and view (this one not automated yet but I’m improving).
    I use to draw a ladder and erase the bottom line to make a singleline draw (power). In the different vertical lines, I insert thermal/magneto breakers, motor circuit breaker (guarda motor), and others; all from the one pole folder (I don’t know if it is alright).
    From that become 2 problems to solve for me. The first is that I need a different Tag encoding for the different components.
    For instance (please assume the override tags names) in the first line I have a Q1 (thermal/magneto breaker), AS1 (soft starter) and terminals, In the second line I only have a Q2, But in the third line I have a D3 (diferential), and in the last line I have a Q4 and AS4. As you now when I insert the diferential, the default tag is D1 instead of D3, and the second soft starter by default is inserted with “AS2” tag name instead of AS4 that I need
    There is a form to autotag the component referring the rung number? (yes, the one that I can´t put in the previous paragraph).

    The last one (for now ;) ) As I have in the same project the singleline diagrams and functional diagrams (multine) and others, the tags are repeated, the problem is that the functional diagram does no tag renumbered from the beginning as the single line diagram, ie if the single line diagram was in Q17, the functional diagram starts at Q18.

    Thank you very much

    Ernesto Fraga
    Montevideo – Uruguay

    Comment by Ernesto — October 13, 2010 @ 12:52 pm

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