Assign Item Numbers to Subassembly Parts in AutoCAD Electrical

Posted on April 29, 2014 by Todd Schmoock, Manufacturing Solutions Engineer:

AutoCAD Electrical does not assign item numbers to subassembly components by default.  To some this is not important since the components are purchased as a group every time.  However, many times the subassembly components need to have an item number identified for replacement purposes.

A fuse assembly is a good example of this.  What if you have a panel where there are 2 different fuse blocks and each fuse block has different fuses?  It would be better to have 2 different item numbers listed for the blocks and unique item numbers listed for the fuses on the report rather than just 2 item numbers for each different fuse block.  Let’s say you added the fuse symbol on the schematic drawing and used the multiple Catalog option to identify the fuse.  By default AutoCAD Electrical would create item numbers for each of the fuse blocks and just list the fuses as a subassembly component under the fuse block without an item number, but you want an item number assigned to the fuses.  Two options will be described in this document.  The second option is usually more desirable.

Option #1 – Project Properties setting and using the Multiple Catalog

Without making any changes to a typical installation and adding the fuse using the Multiple Catalog option:

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AutoCAD Electrical will report the fuse blocks with an item number and the fuse listed as a subassembly component below without an item number:

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Changing the Item Assignments to the “Per-Part Number Basis” option, in the Item Numbering Setup dialog in the Project Properties, will force AutoCAD Electrical to assign an item number to the fuses:

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If this option is set after the project drawings were created you need to run the Resequencing tool on the Panel tab.

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Additionally, you may want to add the column property “Sub” to report the quantity of each subassembly component:

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If you do not care that the item numbers are not in order, the options shown above will work.

If you want the item numbers to be in sequential order and you do not care if the subassembly component is listed with the parent item, there is a way to make the item numbers be listed in sequential order.

In the reports dialog box under Display option select the “Display in Tallied Purchase List Format” option:

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Now the fuses are listed in sequential order and you do not need the “Sub” column since the “QTY” column totals up the catalog numbers:

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Option #2 – Insert Generic Marker on the panel drawing

This option does not use the Multiple Catalog tool as described in Option #1.  Additionally, neither option uses the Assembly Codes option that works with the default_cat.mbd file since AutoCAD Electrical does not assign item numbers to subassembly components using the assembly code option.

This option uses the Manual option on the Panel tab>Icon Menu flyout:

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When inserting a fuse into a fuse block it would be better to use the “Draw shapes” option so you can represent what would look like a fuse:

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The report looks like this before using the Generic Marker:

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After inserting the generic markers representing all the fuses and assigning an item number to each the report will list the fuses and the quantity as shown below:

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The drawing looks like this:

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Note that the tag is blank in the report under the TAGS column for the fuse. If you want to use the surf tool and associated them with the parent fuse block just add the appropriate tag value associated with each fuse block. The report would list each tag as shown below:

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Looking at the dialog box when using the surf tool it will list the fuse block and each fuse:

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Now that you have seen the options available and the end results, you can choose the work flow that will best fit your organization.

One last option you could adopt is to create a schematic symbol and a panel footprint for each component. Add any required catalog information to the default_cat.mdb and footprint_lookup.mdb databases. Once everything is available to place you create the drawings just as you would actually build it. This option is the least desired since it means you have to create every component and depending on what is out of the box verses what you have to create it could take considerable time to get everything setup.

I hope this helps you better understand how to assign item numbers.  Contact us if you run into any design challenges.

Thanks,
Todd

Check out some of Todd’s previous posts:

Todd has over 25 years of experience in the mechanical engineering field. Ten years of his time was spent as a documentation specialist/designer at Honeywell, Inc., working on several government contract which required strict drafting and design documentation in accordance with government standards. Todd joined Synergis in 2003 and he regularly presents classes as Autodesk University.  Todd is a graduate of Delaware Valley College in Doylestown, Pa. He has over 20 years experience in the mechanical engineering field. Ten years of this time was spent as a documentation specialist/designer at Honeywell, Inc. where he worked on several government contracts which required strict drafting and design documentation in accordance with government standards.

Contact us, visit the Synergis website or subscribe to our blog.

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