Guest Column by David Joesting of KLH
Kohrs Lonnemann Heil Engineers (www.klhengrs.com, 1-800-354-9783) is a Professional Service Corporation that has been in business since 1955. We offer Mechanical (HVAC), Electrical (power, lighting, systems), Fire Protection, and Plumbing Engineering services as well as Communication Technology (audio, video, telecom, data, security). This allows us to coordinate between all disciplines and to provide excellence in engineering, design, and field services.
For years workload and deadlines prevented us from fully developing our own software to relate databases to CAD drawings. We learned of Design Master from a new employee who had used it as his previous place of employment. The Design Master team came to our office and showed us how easy it was to use. By the end of the demonstration even the skeptics were able to do some work with the software. Design Master personnel provided subsequent training at our office and helped us get the software set up on our network and computers. Design Master has been equally accommodating with ongoing support service.
Though there were the expected bumps in the road to using new software, the learning process was far smoother than the cumbersome methods that we previously used. It didn’t take long for us to find that it proved to be the functional electrical commercial software that we have been seeking.
Multiple users on a common network, including remote sites, can simultaneously work on different drawings of the same project since the database relates to the CAD drawings in real-time. Though it does take some time upfront to customize and expand the master database to suit one’s needs and standards, the return is tremendous. For instance, filling out panelboard schedules is a thing of the past, as is last minute load crunching – just set up the basics at the beginning of the project and Design Master does the rest. Not only that, but the software automatically tracks and calculates all loads upstream to the service entrance.
Similarly, Design Master automatically creates the Luminaire Schedule based on recognizing the lights used on the project and building the schedule from the database of lights. No more cranking out voltage drop or fault current calculations the old fashioned way, they too are automatically generated. And, yes, the symbol legend is also created for you based on actual symbols used on the project. Simply insert the schedules into the CAD drawing and refresh as required.
We have found the immense time savings, which of course directly impacts profit, renders Design Master the software of choice for our construction related electrical engineering and design. We have reported a reduction in design time of approximately 1/3 over projects that did not take advantage of Design Master. The relatively low cost per licensed seat demands serious consideration from any firm that is weary of unnecessarily spending valuable resources on redundant and menial tasks, not to mention the resulting reduction in needless errors.