Electrical Design Software | Elecdes Design Suite by Scada Systems Ltd

Plant Construction Discussion

3D vs. 2D

Nearly all plant design disciplines use 3D models to design and layout their projects. Using 3D models and computers allows engineers to accurately assess:

  • Materials requirements.

  • Interaction and interference between disciplines.

  • Pipe routing distances between plant buildings, vessels and other facilities.

Electrical engineers have lagged behind in the 3D modelling arena. There are only a few engineering companies world-wide who model their planned electrical distribution systems in 3D.

Electrical engineers usually take 2D site plans and use these to make estimates of such things as:

  • Raceway quantities.

  • Cable lengths.

  • Optimal cable routing.

This often produces gross over estimations and under estimations (+/- 30% - 50%)

Managing interference with other disciplines, is usually done by educated guesswork and re-work.

A large part of the cost of any electrical engineering project is the cost of installation and materials. Cost of raceway, cable and re-work can amount to more than all other electrical components combined.

With 2D approximation methods, Electrical engineers have very little chance of avoiding significant costs over and above the required cost of a project.


Paneldes provides the FIRST personal computer based cad solution for electrical engineers who wish to model their raceway system in 3D. Paneldes provides functions which can:

  • Reduce your materials estimation error to +/- 5%. (True cable lengths and raceway requirements eliminate costly overruns)

  • Automatically route cables via optimum routes. (Less cable required)

  • Report, for maintenance purposes: raceway - cable cross sections.

  • Report: missing raceway segments and routes, redundant segments and routes, devices and panels which are not terminated / fed, raceway which is over filled or under filled etc. (Reducing estimation error and re-work)


  • A Bill of Materials for all components is automatically created. i.e. You can spend time accurately representing your plant as a model, rather than omitting detail to give you enough time to count and list a summary of parts.

  • You can easily ensure that interference will not occur in your plant (during the design phase).

  • The designer completes the final design (AS BUILT) of your plant rather than a person on site.

  • Cable lengths are optimised and reported.

  • Cable routes are optimised and reported.

  • Cable tray fills are optimised and cross sections reported, with 32000 optional levels of power separation.

  • Components are selected from parts databases (from your circuit diagrams) - minimising error.

  • Component sizing is parametric AND catalog (database) based. You do not have to measure or scale components as you insert them.

  • Maintenance is made easy with the Paneldes Global Editor which allows you to simply re-specify multiple components which will automatically be re-sized on your model.

In summary: You have less risk of design/materials error, re-work and AS BUILT changes, PLUS a more accurate knowledge of parts and materials required (i.e. cost). AND YOUR PLANT CONSTRUCTION COSTS SHOULD BE REDUCED. All you need is a 3D raceway system model!