TAC ProjectBuilder – HVAC and Environmental Controls Design
Visimation helps TAC increase productivity and profitability
TAC (now Schneider Electric) is a leader in the building controls and HVAC industry. Visimation developed ProjectBuilder™ on their behalf, a tool for documenting HVAC (Heating/Ventilation/Air Conditioning) and environmental control designs. ProjectBuilder gives TAC design engineers an automated process to assemble diagrams of building control systems from design data and generate a Bill of Materials that determines part number quantities for design support.
Before TAC used ProjectBuilder, HVAC controller configurations were created from scratch using Excel and Visio. To automate this process, ProjectBuilder was developed using a custom Excel and Visio working environment, an Access database, and data from a TAC proprietary software application called TAC Design+.
How It Works:
Visimation and TAC designed the system with the following workflow methodology:
- Users begin the design process by creating HVAC layouts in TAC Design+. When the configuration is complete, they save a TAC Design+ data export file.
- Next, users import this tab-delimited text file into Excel and modify configuration data using custom menu items.
- When the configuration meets requirements, users can generate a Visio drawing from these data by selecting a custom menu item.
- To create a Visio drawing from the Excel data, TAC ProjectBuilder reads data from Excel and builds visual representations in Visio using custom Visio shapes containing predefined part and configuration data that are stored in a local Access database.
- Within the Visio environment, TAC ProjectBuilder enables further configuration modifications based on any required components that fall outside of the defined domain.
- Finally, users can create a Bill of Materials for the configuration document and display it on a drawing page.
Benefits:Overall, ProjectBuilder increased productivity and profitability for TAC by providing the visuals support engineers need when communicating with clients. Specifically, ProjectBuilder allowed TAC to:
- Create drawings faster and easier
- Capture design data from a separate software tool
- Improve drawing accuracy
- Promote consistent company-wide documentation
- Minimize diagram maintenance
- Maximize flexibility to change documentation at any stage
- Expedite delivery of record drawings to customer
- Eliminate the need for CAD training to create or modify project drawings
- Employ existing library of AutoCAD drawings