Panel layout

The panel layout process

To generate panel layout, follow the process as listed below:

  • Complete schematic drawings.
  • Create a new page and set scale and measurement units.
  • Place base plates, cable ducts and rails on the new page.
  • Click on menu Generate Layout and use the Generate Layout window to assign components.
  • Click on Generate or Generate All button to generate layout.
  • Use guides to place and align layout shapes.

Preparing a page for panel layout

Pages on the New Electra drawing template are set at 1:1 scale and measurement units set at inches. These page settings are optimized for schematic drawings. To prepare a page for panel layout drawings:

  • Click on the + icon on pages menu.
  • Click on the File menu and then on Page Setup. Or click on the page setup icon, on the bottom left of your editor.
  • Click on the Scale input and enter a source unit. Then click on the Scale target input and enter a target unit (Recommended: 1:5 for smaller panels and 1:10 for bigger panels).
  • On the Measurement units drop down, select millimeters.
Pages menu
Pages menu
You can change the page scale in Page setup window
You can change the page scale in Page setup window

Inserting plates, cable ducts and rails

One of the first thing to do during panel layout drawings is to insert a plate (base plate or front plate).

To insert a plate, select the Layout stencil and drag the plate symbol to your drawing.

All Plate symbols have automatic dimensions that you can show or hide by right clicking on the plate.

Users can also set units for plates, cable ducts and rails to be displayed on a drawing by right clicking on these symbols.

Rails, Cable Duct, and Plate
Rails, Cable Duct, and Plate

Dimension shapes

To measure length and diameters, Electra provides dimensioning shapes on the Layout stencil to be dragged and dropped on drawings. All of them automatically display the dimension when their handles are dragged.

Right click on dimension shapes for more options.

Dimension symbols
Dimension symbols

Generating panel layout

To generate panel layout:

  • Click menu Generate Layout.
  • Ensure that all references are matched correctly with components.
  • Click the Generate All button on the Generate Layout window.
  • Place and arrange generated components on your panel layout drawings.
Generate panel layout for your circuits
Generate panel layout for your circuits

When the Generate All button is pressed, Electra will automatically synchronize your panel layout to your schematics.

For example, you may have added or deleted some symbols on your schematics, and Generate Layout will insert or delete components accordingly.

If you have changed the references of your schematics, Generate Layout will also automatically reflect this change.

Using guides to place layout shapes

To create a guide:

  • Drag on the ruler and drop a guide in any position.
Ruler guide
Ruler guide

Once a guide is created, drag layout symbol to guides for attachment (shape handles will turn red). When guides are moved, all symbols that are attached to guides will automatically move and follow guides.

Placing shapes on a guide:

  • Drag shapes onto the guide (center of shape will turn red to indicate latching on guide).
Placing shapes on a guide
Placing shapes on a guide

Using Automatic Placement on Rails

Layout symbols can be automatically placed and arranged on rails if Automatically Place Layout Symbols on Rails is enabled in File | Preferences | Electra Options.

To automatically arrange layout symbols on rails, simply drag and drop a layout symbol onto a rail:

  • Layout symbols must be touching rails in order to be automatically placed and arranged.
  • Multiple layout symbols can be dropped, but only one symbol needs to be touching rails for all symbols to be automatically placed and arranged on rails.
  • Symbols can be dropped between previously placed symbols, but still be touching rails, in order to be automatically arranged.
  • When the rail is fully occupied, layout symbols to the right is booted out from the rail to make room for newly dropped symbols.
  • Layout symbols can be dragged from rails, and symbols that is still on rails will be automatically rearranged.
  • When rails are dragged to new positions, all layout symbols on rails will be automatically moved and repositioned on rails.
Electra arranges layout shapes when they are placed on a Din Rail

Disabling Automatic Placement

By default, all layout symbols are enabled for automatic placement on rails, but can be disabled individually or globally. To disable automatic placement on rails globally, see Automatically Place Layout Symbols on Rails. To disable a layout symbol from automatic placement individually, simply right click on any layout symbol and select "Disable automatic placement". Once it is disabled, this individual layout symbol will not be automatically placed. This is useful for certain layout symbols like base plate, or relays that is placed on relay base.

You can disable the Automatic Placement feature
You can disable the Automatic Placement feature

Using 3D layout shapes

To use the Layout 3D shapes, click on the stencil menu, and open the stencil "Layout3D".

3D Layouts shapes in Electra
3D Layouts shapes in Electra

Making your own layout shapes

To make your own layout shape:

  • Draw lines, arcs and graphics or drag and drop a CAD drawing or an image of the layout shape onto Electra.
  • Group all shapes and select them.
  • Click on menu Create Layout Symbol.
  • Type in a name for the layout symbol.
  • Click OK.

An icon will be generated automatically when the layout symbol is added to a stencil. Right click on the layout symbol in the stencil and select Edit Icon to modify layout symbol icon.

Creating your own layout symbol
Creating your own layout symbol
Electra Cloud