Boost Your Efficiency with Assembly Codes for Catalog and Footprint Lookup in AutoCAD Electrical

23 Jun, 2016 By: Thayne Wickam

IMAGINiT Tricks Tutorial: By using the assembly codes in both the Default_Cat.mdb and the Footprint_Lookup.mdb, you can quickly provide assemblies with the correct BOM information and the correct footprint on the panel layout.

Editor's note: This tutorial courtesy of IMAGINiT Technologies.

What are ASSEMBLYCODE and ASSEMBLYLIST in AutoCAD Electrical? The AutoCAD Electrical Default_Cat.mdb uses Assembly Codes during BOM reports, to provide assemblies through one schematic component in the project drawing. This can affect the Footprint_Lookup.mdb configuration when inserting or updating the footprint symbol.

Assembly codes (ASSEMBLYCODE) provide a unique entry to be used with additional parts that may or may not display in the drawing, such as internal parts, parts you cannot physically create, or parts you simply don’t want to display. These additional components can be placed in the BOM by adding the ASSEMBLYCODE in the assembly list (ASSEMBLYLIST) for those entries.

How it Works: Adding ASSEMBLYCODE and ASSEMBLYLIST to the Default_Cat.mdb. While in the Insert/Edit dialog box for parent or footprint components, the Default_Cat.mdb is accessed through the Lookup button in the Catalog data section.

The catalog browser automatically opens with the family table of the component being inserted/edited, such as CR (Control Relay), PB (Push Button), SS (Selector Switch), etc. Below is an example of the catalog lookup for CR (Control Relay). Filtering, in the search, is set for the manufacturer ACME.  

The two entries shown above are the relay assemblies for DIN rail mount (ACME-555-1D), or for screw mount (ACME-555-1S). The ASSEMBLYCODE for the DIN rail is ACME1 and for the screws is ACME2. Initially, only the ASSEMBLYCODE entries are showing until it is edited. Selecting the edit button on the right side of the catalog browser, ASSEMBLYLIST entries would show as displayed below.

The ASSEMBLYLIST entries will automatically be added if one of the two ASSEMBLYCODE entries are selected during the catalog lookup. Below are examples of the different component blocks that could be used in the assembly blocks.

FP_ACME-555-1 includes ACME-555-1D and ACME-555-501D. The DIN rail needs to be separate, because many components are mounted to it and the length needs to be set when added to the panel design. FP_ACME-555-2 includes ACME-555-1S, ACME-555-501S and ACME-555-S. The only thing added to the one of the blocks are the two screws. Below are examples of what the two footprints should look like as assemblies, either with or without screws. The idea is to have the footprints change according to which assembly code is selected.

Adding ASSEMBLYCODE and ASSEMBLYLIST to the Footprint_Lookup.mdb. Once the Default_Cat.mdb entries are specified for the different assemblies, The ASSEMBLYCODE can decide which footprint to insert or update. This is done through the Footprint_Lookup.mdb file. To access this file, go to the Panel tab>Other Tools panel flyout> Footprint Database File Editor.

Select a manufacturer table or create one if not already created. The example below shows the ACME manufacturer table. The two block names point to the two footprints created; with and without screws.

Comments can be added to help clarify what each entry is referring to. To create a new entry, click the Add New button. To edit one of the entries, select it and choose the Edit Record button. To remove an entry, select it and pick the delete button.  

Note: Remember, if the Default_Cat.mdb uses an ASSEMBLYCODE, the code must be provided in the Footprint_Lookup.mdb in order to recognize which footprint to insert or update.

The footprint record contains the Catalog Number in the Default_Cat.mdb, along with the Assembly Code. The example below shows both catalog entries and the drawing to be inserted.

Once the Default_Cat.mdb and Footprint_Lookup.mdb have the entries with the assembly codes, the footprint should update according to the catalog entry that was selected.

Test and Verification of the BOM and Footprint Update

Below shows the ACME-555-1D catalog entry in a schematic component. The entry is using the ASSEMBLYCODE ACME1. Notice the screws are missing in the footprint.

The Catalog Check button in the Insert/Edit Component dialog box shows the ACME1 BOM for the DIN rail assembly.

Below shows the ACME-555-1S catalog entry in a schematic component and displays the entry using the ASSEMBLYCODE ACME2. Notice the screws are part of the footprint.

  The Catalog Check button in the Insert/Edit Component dialog box shows the ACME2 BOM for the screw assembly.

The Goal is to be Efficient

The goal in today’s world is to be as efficient as possible. Using the assembly codes in both the Default_Cat.mdb and the Footprint_Lookup.mdb, can quickly provide assemblies with the correct BOM information and the correct footprint on the panel layout.


About the Author: Thayne Wickam

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