A man at his computer looking into why automated CAD software is superior to manual.


Andrew Mutch Andrew Mutch Having previously worked as an aircraft technician with HM Forces, Andy is one of our Professional Services Consultants and has been with EPLAN for 10 years. Part of Andy's role is to actively analyse customers processes, develop solution concepts and workflows for customer requirements. Andy is also our resident Harness expert!

Manual VS Automated: Why Automated Electrical CAD Software Is Superior

Author: Andrew Mutch Time to read: minute minutes

Automated Electrical CAD software offers many advantages over manual software that requires users to manually draw circuits. Automation helps determine what’s possible with the materials and processes available, while encouraging innovative and creative ways to meet complex project requirements within a timescale and budget.

In this blog, we'll explore the key reasons why automated electrical CAD software is superior to manual methods.

Manual vs Automated

Manual drafting is a labour-intensive process that can be incredibly time-consuming. Creating complex designs by hand requires meticulous attention to detail and a significant amount of effort. Those designs are prone to human error, which may be difficult to spot and cause lengthy delays and costly changes down the line.

Manual drawings also have limited reusability, they cannot be easily modified or reused. Any changes or revisions require starting from scratch or painstakingly altering the existing drawings, making the process even more time-consuming.

Automated ECAD software fixes these problems, and many more.

> With an automated platform, your team can organise documentation for colleagues, mechanical engineers, customers, and external stakeholders, facilitating a shared approach to project delivery that fulfils outcomes using fewer resources.

> With automation, human error is eliminated, avoiding problems (especially at the production stage when it is more difficult to rectify the mistakes.) In this way, both accuracy and cost-effectiveness are increased, and projects are completed in a faster timeframe with improved margins.

> Automated electrical CAD software offers the advantage of reusability and standardisation. You can create templates, libraries, and macros for commonly used components and circuit designs. This not only speeds up the design process, but also ensures consistency across different projects. With manual drafting, achieving this level of standardisation is challenging, and each design tends to be a unique creation, making it harder to maintain quality control and efficiency.


Discover how to avoid electrical mistakes getting through to production

How Automation Saves Time And Money

Ultimately, automation adds value by saving design engineers valuable time and resources by carrying out repetitive tasks. Over the course of a project, these repetitive manual tasks eat up a huge amount of time, they can sap motivation or momentum, and divert time away from creative input that could increase the value and functionality of electrical designs.

At the same time, overdependence on manual processes makes communication slow and problematic – with the risk of duplication of effort, misunderstandings between stakeholders, and increased likelihood of errors.

Automated ECAD software: Creating New Opportunities For Innovation And Creativity 

EPLAN’s automation technology makes it easy for users to automate numerous work steps, including the automatic generation of schematics if so desired. With each automation step, the creation of designs and documentation for manufacturing becomes more efficient and requires less manual work, opening time for more projects, or more complex projects.


“EPLAN standardises and automates your engineering. You can take a step-by-step approach to enrich your product data further, which allows you to optimise entire downstream processes.”

Dieter Pesch, Senior Vice President Product Management and Development EPLAN


With automated ECAD software, features like drag-and-drop components, automatic wire connections, and intelligent libraries streamline the design process, reducing project timelines significantly. Report generation also becomes a quick and hassle-free task, as the likes of terminal diagrams, wiring diagrams or bills of materials are generated with the click of a button.

For example, EPLAN Electric P8 will automatically create detailed reports for you as an integral part of the project documentation – continuously upon request or cumulatively after project completion. EPLAN Pro Panel Professional offers an integrated optimisation of manufacturing processes for control cabinet and switchgear engineering; you get a wide range of manufacturing data and information automatically, from component labelling to supporting the manual wiring process.

Automated ECAD software offers unmatched efficiency, accuracy, collaboration, and integration capabilities. It empowers engineers to design complex electrical systems faster, with fewer errors, and with a level of sophistication that was once unthinkable. In today's fast-paced world of electrical engineering, automated ECAD software is not just superior; it's a necessity for staying competitive and delivering high-quality, error-free electrical systems.

 Want To Find Out More?  

Our brand new guide ‘How to Avoid Electrical Mistakes Getting Through to Production’ is now available to download. Gain invaluable insights on reducing errors, minimising costs, and improving productivity and transparency in your electrical design projects.

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