Autocad Electrical best product for electrical "loop" sheets?

I use Mech Desktop and Inventor..... and have little experience or understanding of electrical schematics.
However..... my boss is trying to create electrical
"loop" sheets for PLC automation using plain jane Autocad.
It seems very cumbersome doing this. Basically like using Autocad as an Etch a Sketch.
Would "electrical" be a much better "tool" for what we are trying to do?
And..... some general questions Id like advice on. If doing electrical schematics in plain Autocad... should one NOT use paper space for the text and border.... and instead keep everything in model space?
John
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(remove NS to use the address) 614.937.0463 voice 208.975.1011 fax
http://worthingtonengineering.com
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I use Via Lite... The old version has its limitations but for what we did it was ok...They got bought up by autodesk (go figure) and are now marketed by them. If you do enough work to justify it they may be worth looking at if you already own Acad anyway. I would never buy acad for that purpose tho...
In my experiance there is never enough time, and doccumentation is one of those tasks that gets under estimated, short circuited and pre-empted. To use Acad basic for this seems to me to be a real problem if you plan to do it in the course of buisness... If you wanna do it now and then well thats differant...
I dont know about you guys but I hate paperwork, and making that rtask easier is ALWAYS my goal....
my 2 cents worth
henry

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So what would you use for loop sheets?
Is Visio just as good or better?
John
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(remove NS to use the address) 614.937.0463 voice 208.975.1011 fax
http://worthingtonengineering.com
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snipped-for-privacy@privacy.net wrote:

Pardon my ignorance, but what is a "loop sheet?
All I've used in the past 9 years is Acad for doing machine/PLC schematics. Special routines are nice but not necessary.
ARM
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Well I hate to admit this.... but I really don't know either.
Maybe someone will chime in and explain how loop sheets differ from ladder logic schematics?
John
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A Loop Sheet, in the context I believe your are using it in, is associated with individual, or multiple, control circuits. It can be represented in a few different ways. It could a diagram of one individual loop, or the loops of a complete system, or a number of interrelated systems. They could also be presented in a few different formats. There is usually additional data on the loop sheet relating to the loops, or circuits represented. That could include, but not limited to, specs. on loop instruments, splice or termination points, set points (temp, flow, and pressure, settings), location of instruments, and other data pertinent to the loop, or system. The loop sheet is necessary for tuning, trouble shooting, maintenance, and changes to the process being controlled.
An example of a simple loop sheet for a system could be a tank with product being drawn out for a manufacturing process. The factors needing control might be the amount being drawn out and at what rates, the amount being replaced and the rate needed to keep the tank at a constant level with the tank influent being a mixture of multiple liquids each needing to be added at a specific ratio while being supplied at different and changing pressures, the possible need to keep the tank contents at a specific temperature, and all these variables needing to be kept within a tight tolerance to meet some standard, or risk substandard production of the end product.
A loop sheet could be equated to a schematic, or print of an electrical system, and would be just as useful, or useless, depending on if its been kept up to date or not, and the ability to locate it at a moments notice (it's 3 AM - all the managers and engineering staff are away from the plant, liquid is spilling from the overflow of multiple tanks, the maintenance staff can't access the loop sheets because the manager keeps them locked in his desk in his locked office, and the process could become extremely unstable, might be hazardous, be worth thousands per gallon, or take weeks to restart production if it isn't shut down properly).
Working on a complex, or even some simple, control systems without loop sheets would be like a doctor having orders to do an amputation, and not being given the information as to which appendage needs to be removed, and being told, "oh, he's in there", accompanied with an arm gesture towards the hospital. :-] Hey don't laugh, it happens!
Louis-- ********************************************* Remove the two fish in address to respond
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Thanks for great reply!!
Question tho..... do loop sheets "replace" ladder logic schematics?
Or are they used in "conjunction" with them?
John
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and
the
For the most part they are different worlds.
Ladder logic schematics tend to represent an off - on, or digital world. For example a home heating thermostat is measuring an analog quantity, and its output is digital off - on. There is a limited artificial intelligence capacity with ladder logic components (with minor exceptions). Ladder logic schematics are more discrete in nature showing subcomponents of a device such as a relay contact.
Loop Sheets represent devices in an analog word, components are represented as assemblies (individual internal components of the part aren't usually shown), and most often consist of analog output sensors, analog controllers with varying levels of intelligence and complexity, and analog input control devices. Loop sheets are drawn, and represent components more in a block format like a logic flow sheet.
Comparing the two is like the correlation between an a kid's wagon, and computerized package sorting conveyor system you might find at a UPS Distribution Center. They are both capable of transporting packages, but there are rather unique differences.
Louis
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