Electrical Design Software | Elecdes Design Suite by Scada Systems Ltd

Routing functions description


The Paneldes route optimisation function takes the input data, described in Route Preparation, and produces the reports described in Route Reports. Panel models are analysed differently to Plant models.

This topic describes how the route optimisation function works. It contains links to topics describing options that you can use to control its execution. For a description of how to use the route optimisation function, see:

How to generate wire and cable routes.

See also...

How to generate wire and cable routes.

Route optimisation reports.

Wire schedule preparation.

Cable schedule preparation.

Panel ducting.

Plant raceway.

Route connections.

Automatically suggested connection settings.

How to check the raceway connections in your model.

How to tune your model for wire and cable routing.

Route optimisation errors and warnings.

In this description we will use the following terms:

"Conductor"Wires and cables for a panel model; cables for a plant model.
"Component"Devices, instruments and terminals for a panel model; panels and field devices for a plant model.
"Raceway"All of the types of conductor carrier.
"Network"A set of connected conductor carrier segments with the same POWER number.
"Connected"Connection will only occur if the connection distances are not exceeded.
"Alternate route length"A distance (4 cm for wires, user defined for cables) that limits the number of routes that will be saved for any particular conductor. All routes that are shorter than "the shortest route + alternate route length" will be saved.


  • Paneldes extracts the names, sizes and locations from all of the components on the model.

  • Paneldes extracts the names, shapes and locations from all of the raceway on the model.

  • Paneldes identifies all raceway connections (to other raceway) and builds a model for all raceway networks in memory.

  • The connections to all of the components are then added to the network.

  • Paneldes now reads the conductor databases.

  • The loaded conductor list is sorted to prioritise the use of available raceway (see below).

  • For each conductor, all of the routes from one component to the other component are analysed.

    Two preliminary searches, to find a single viable route, are made with tight limits on how many steps they can take; one from device A to B and one from device B to A. The final search uses the full user-specifiable step limit and is started in the direction of the most successful preliminary search.

    If either of the preliminary passes reaches the step limit then the step limit multiplier will be increased automatically for the final search. This is done because the failure of the preliminary search indicates to Paneldes that the route is complex and that the overall step limit may be too small to find this particular route. The step limit is reset to the user specified value for the next cable.

  • All of the routes that are within the Alternate Route Length of the shortest route are considered viable routes for this conductor.

    Where more than one route can be used between any two components, the shortest distance from the final segments to the source and destination components is used to determine the optimum route from the list of established routes.

  • Cable filling factors will be checked as conductors are allocated to routes. Alternate routes will be used if the sum of the cable factors of all conductors presently placed in any part of a route (segment) exceeds the cable factor capacity of that route segment.

    The largest conductors (by cable filling factor) will be placed in a route first. The largest conductors will therefore take the optimum routes where available.

    You can also use the NEC code to calculate raceway fill for trays and conduits.

  • All of the conductors should now be routed.

  • Any under filling, overfilling or alternate routing will be reported in the report databases.

  • Conductors that could not be routed (for any reason) will have no route or length data in the appropriate fields of the report databases.

  • The conductor lengths, as reported in the wire and cable reports, are calculated by summing the length of the path drawn for the conductor. Paneldes does not route conductors down only the centre of the route but attempts to choose the most realistic position for the conductor along the route.

    The length that a conductor requires to traverse a raceway segment can be set explicitly.

  • Corners between straight length segments without an intermediary corner or riser segment will be drawn as an arc. The radius of this arc can be configured in the Paneldes preferences.

  • When routing wires, Paneldes adds the ORTHOGONAL distances from the first and last duct TO the source and destination terminal [or device]. Terminal positions are extracted from the device terminal catalog's (CATX) if available. If no CATX terminal is available, then the device centre is used for an approximate terminal position.

  • When routing cables, Paneldes does not use orthogonal distances. The connection distance is calculated from the centre of the panel directly to the first segment of raceway.

  • In addition to this length Paneldes adds up to two trimming lengths to each conductor. These can be configured by the user as a percentage e.g. "5%" or a fixed length such as "2m".

Conductor list sorting

The conductor list is sorted prior to routing to prioritise the use of available raceway. The sort is made using the following conditions in order, such that a matching conductor will come first in the list:

The condition of primary importance is the largest cable factor. This ensures that the largest, most expensive cables take the optimum routes.

Different cables that connect to the same locations can be optionally grouped in preference to the conditions described above. This will allow cables between common locations to be assigned to common routes.

Large cables will still come at the start of the list, but small cables will be grouped together if they connect between the same locations. The cable size (cable factor) at which cables are routed in groups is user configurable.

The settings to enable the grouping of cables and to determine the size at which to group the cables (large cable cut-off) are the found in the Paneldes preferences.