Home Company Products Services Support Contact
  PRODUCTS: FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions

 

General
Intelligent AutoCAD
Cable Scheduler
Tie in List
Instrument Index
Process Line List
Equipment List
Instrument Loops
Instrument Datasheets
Project Documents
Database References
Customer Back End
Project Maintenance

General:

<back to top>
Q:Can more than one person work on a project?
A:All of our modules are built for a multi-user environment so that many engineers and designers can work on each project all at the same time.

<back to top>
Q: Is there a time limit on licenses?
A: In general, K Data licenses are 1 year. For an additional cost, you can purchase lifetime licenses instead. If you maintain your support contract when you renew, the 1 year license renews at 50% Cost. Note that the support contract also expires every year.

<back to top>
Q: How long does training take?
A: With many modules, minimum training to get started can take as little as a couple of hours. Some people can step in and work productively right away. Complete and detailed training for some modules can take 1 to 3 days and depends how much of the module you want to use. More detailed training for Cable Scheduler may take 3 days, AutoCAD 2 days, Instrument Index 1 hour, Loop Drawings less than a day, Instrument Datasheets 1 hour, Client Maintenance 2 hours, Project Maintenance 1 hour, Registering blocks less than a day, Database References less than a day.

<back to top>
Q:How long before I see payback on my investment?
A: Usually people see an increase in productivity within a day or two. Large increases in productivity typically depend on the experience and imagination of the user. With the more complex modules immediate gains are moderate but as the user becomes acclimated to all of the tools available significant gains will be seen.

<back to top>
Q: Are there any other software packages that I need to purchase?
A: The only software that is required is Microsoft Access 2002 (or Access Runtime) or later and AutoCAD 2000i or later. If you only anticipate working in Access, you do not need AutoCAD installed on your computer. Likewise, if you normally only use AutoCAD, you do not need Access installed on your computer.

<back to top>
Q: Can I export reports to Excel? What about exporting to a CSV file?
A: Yes, most reports can be exported to Excel or CSV files from the same screen you get when you select a report. The layout in Excel will look just like the report in the user interface

<back to top>
Q: How big does a project have to be if I want to see cost savings?
A: Even projects with as few as 30 instruments can show savings. Obviously, in a smaller project there is less repetition and there probably are not many of one type of transmitter or a certain size motor, etc… The less the repetition within a project the smaller the savings. On a project with 2000 instruments and motors, there is a significant increase in productivity since all modules have been designed to take full advantage of similarities in equipment to automatically generate documentation whenever possible.

<back to top>
Q: If I use the setup program to install K Data, How do I install K Data on a second computer?
A: For Microsoft Access, all you need to do is open the K Data main database on your network and click Install the User Interface. For AutoCAD it is a bit more complicated and this is discussed under “AutoCAD Setup” in the readme.doc.

<back to top>
Q: Can I add a new Field to a table without having to open each project database and modify it?
A: Yes. K Data has a tool to do this, just select the field type, enter the field name and select the table to add the field to. K Data will add the new field to all currently registered projects as well as the template file for all future projects.

<back to top>
Q: Can I add records to my equipment list, instrument index, etc... if they are not on my drawings?
A: Yes. One of the basic principles of K Data Engineering Tools is that it must be flexible enough to allow users to add all relevant information to the database even though it may not be on a drawing.

<back to top>
Q: Can I view a list of documents that each Instrument, Equipment, Valve, Circuit, etc... shows up on?
A: Yes. Every module can display a list of all drawings that a record shows up on.

<back to top>
Q: How big do the database files get?
A: Project databases typically wind up less than 10 MB. We have seen a few project databases getting near 20 MB. The common tables database is around 6 MB, customer back end databases are around 3 MB. The User Interface database is stored on each user's computer and can get to around 43 MB but since this is a local file, it loads quickly and doesn't use network resources. The temporary files database is also stored on each user's computer and is typically about 6 MB. The AutoCAD VBA code is around 4 MB and is saved on your server, all AutoCAD users will load this file from the server.

<back to top>

Intelligent AutoCad:
Q: Do I need a different module and authorization codes for every type of drawing I am working with in AutoCAD?
A: No. K Data uses one AutoCAD "add on" to handle all drawing types.

Q: Can I use my existing AutoCAD blocks?
A: Yes. See the Register_Blocks document for information on registering your blocks. However, it may be necessary for you to edit the prompt string in the attributes of your blocks if your, attributes are not completely defined.

<back to top>
Q: How long does it take to register my AutoCAD blocks?
A: Most blocks can be registered in a minute or two. It depends on the complexity of the block. For example, an instrument bubble typically only has 2 attributes, one for prefix and one for number but a drawing frame can have many more attributes in it. Obviously it is going to take longer to register a drawing frame than an instrument bubble but typically it only takes 10 to 15 minutes to register a drawing frame.

<back to top>
Q: When are my changes in AutoCAD saved in the database?
A: All edits and additions are immediately updated in the database. Additions will not appear in a list while a user has the module open but the next time the module is opened or refreshed the new records will be in the list.

<back to top>
Q: Can AutoCAD users delete records from the database?
A: Yes and No. AutoCAD users sometimes have the options to delete existing record from the database but K Data will verify that the equipment is not used before actually removing the record from the database.

<back to top>
Q: My client sent me a new drawing frame to replace their existing frames that are in several hundred drawings. How do I replace the existing frame in a drawing without having to re-type all the information?
A: Once the frame is registered for the client, you can insert the new frame in a drawing and pick the button on the toolbar to updated selected items. Any information that is in the database will populate the new frame automatically.

<back to top>
Q: Can I copy objects in a drawing without having problems in the database?
A: Absolutely. As items are copied in a drawing, they are added to the database with "Acopy_of" + the same tag or equipment number as the original blocks.

<back to top>
Q: Can I cut objects from one drawing and insert them into another drawing without having problems in the database?
A: There is a toolbar for cutting objects from one drawing and pasting them on another drawing. This method of cutting and pasting automatically links the equipment to the correct records in the project database.

<back to top>
Q: Can I set up assemblies that I use on a regular basis?
A: Yes. Assemblies can be used for creating sets of objects that are commonly used together, for example on a Piping and Instrumentation Diagram, a control valve assembly will usually have a bypass and block valves. If you set up this assembly, you can insert all the parts in one step.

<back to top>
Q: If I didn’t use the proper procedure to draw process lines can I go back and edit them later?
A: Absolutely. If you have drawn one pipe without from and to information filled in, you can use the normal edit pipe button and pick the from and the to. If it is easier for you to draw dumb lines for the entire project and then go back and make them smart later, by all means go ahead and do this. There is a button on one of the toolbars that will automatically find all pipes that don’t have from or to information filled in and allow you to select the equipment.

<back to top>

Cable Scheduler:
Q: What if I don’t want to connect wires to terminals?
A: This is fine. Simply select the equipment that a circuit goes from or to in the drop down list box. You do not have to terminate wires from circuits on terminals.

<back to top>
Q: What if I want to connect wires to terminals?
A: You can pick the “Connect From” or “Connect To” button and select the terminals and wires to be connected.

<back to top>
Q: What if I want to terminate some wires on terminals and not others?
A: Not a problem. Simply select the equipment that a circuit goes from or to in the drop down list box for any circuit that you don’t want to terminate wires on terminals and pick the “Connect From” or “Connect To” button for all circuits when you do want to connect wires to terminals.

<back to top>
Q: Can I cut and paste wire numbers in Access?
A: Yes you can.

<back to top>
Q: Can I cut and paste terminal numbers in Access?
A: Yes you can.

<back to top>
Q: Can I generate large quantities of circuits automatically?
A: Absolutely. In fact, this is one of the biggest productivity tools available in the cable scheduler module. You simply go to the utilities tab and pick “Multiple Instruments”, “Multiple Equipment” or “Multiple Terminal Boxes”. Once in any of these forms, select the instruments, equipment or terminal boxes to add a new terminal strip to, select “create circuit also” and fill in any common information for the circuits, then select “Accept”.

<back to top>

Tie in List:
Q: How do I get process information into the pipe tie in list?
A: Most of the process information for the tie in list comes directly from the process line list. Once the data is in the process line list, you select data from either the “from” or “to” column and you are done.

<back to top>
Q: Can I add tie ins in Access without drawing them in AutoCad?
A: Yes. One of the basic principles of K Data Engineering Tools is that it must be flexible enough to allow users to add all relevant information to the database even though it may not be important enough to show on a drawing.

<back to top>

Instrument Index:
Q: Can I add instruments in Access without drawing them in AutoCad?
A: Yes. One of the basic principles of K Data Engineering Tools is that it must be flexible enough to allow users to add all relevant information to the database even though it may not be important enough to show on a drawing.

<back to top>

Process Line List:
Q: Can I add process lines in Access without drawing them in AutoCAD?
A: Yes. One of the basic principles of K Data Engineering Tools is that it must be flexible enough to allow users to add all relevant information to the database even though it may not be important enough to show on a drawing.

<back to top>
Q: Can I choose which equipment shows up in the “From” and “To” fields so that I don’t see all equipment in my report, i.e. I don’t want to see a strainer in the report?
A: Yes. In the process line list, the list at the bottom of the form shows all pipes in the process line. If a pipe goes to a strainer and you don’t want the strainer in the report, un-check the box that says “Print To”. Likewise, if you want to see the strainer in the report, check the box that says “Print To”.

<back to top>

Equipment List:
Q: Can I add equipment in Access without drawing it in AutoCAD?
A: Yes. One of the basic principles of K Data Engineering Tools is that it must be flexible enough to allow users to add all relevant information to the database even though it may not be important enough to show on a drawing.

<back to top>

Instrument Loops:
Q: My Instrument Index is fully populated with instruments, why aren’t there any loops in my Loops Module?
A: You probably did not assign Loop Numbers to instruments. You have to go back to Instrument Index and select the “Build Loop Numbers” button and automatically create the loops for all instruments or pick “Add/Edit Loops” if your loop numbers don’t follow the standard numbering convention.

<back to top>
Q: How long does it take to set up instrument loop diagram templates?
A: Typically it takes 3 to 4 hours to set up your first loop template. After the first one has been checked and completed, not only are you better prepared to create the next one but you also have tools available to make the next one much easier. After the first loop template, it only takes a few minutes to a half hour to create new templates since you can copy the first one. Of course this depends on the complexity of your loop drawings.

<back to top>

Instrument Datasheets:
Q: What if the type of datasheet I need is not available, can I add new type of datasheet and how do I do this?
A: Yes. You can add a new type of datasheet. Note that you can start by copying an existing datasheet type or start from scratch.

<back to top>

Project Documents:
Q: I have documents that don’t have any smarts to them, i.e. they don’t have any blocks that can report to the database. Even so, I still want the documents in the project document listing so I can print this list and send it to my client along with the complete set of documents. Can I add documents to this list?
A: Yes. You can type new document information into the document list directly, or if the drawings have a registered drawing frame, open them in AutoCAD and K Data will ask you if you want to add the drawing to the project.

<back to top>
Q: Can I add Excel documents to the document listing?
A: Yes. Simply go to the bottom of the document listing and type in the new document names. Be sure to select the correct type of document from the “Document Types” drop down list.

<back to top>

Database References:
Q: What are Database References and why do I need them?
A: Database References are used by the program to link certain AutoCAD blocks or text to the database. Drawing frame registration and Loop templates use references so that AutoCAD knows where to find relevant data.

<back to top>
Q: Can I add Database References?
A: Yes. There are over a hundred references pre-defined but there is always room for more. You can enter around 2 million references but you probably won’t need that many. The most commonly used references are supplied with the software.

<back to top>

Customer Back End
Q: Why do I need Customer Back End?
A: The Customer Back End database stores Drawing Frame registrations, Block registrations and the directory names for Piping and Instrumentation Symbols, Electrical Symbols and Loop Templates. The Customer Back End also can be used as a filter for cable types allowed on all projects that use this customer back end. Since each customer may have their own standard blocks and their own standard cable types, each customer must also have their own customer back end database.

<back to top>

Project Maintenance:
Q: Why do I need Project Maintenance?
A: Project Maintenance tells K Data how often to back up the project database, which fields to combine for a complete circuit number, instrument tag, equipment number valve number, tie in number and process line number. It allows you to edit the project profile which includes the project database name, client name, plant location, the paths to the project database file and drawings. It also provides a way to filter cable types that are allowed for the current project (beyond the point that the Customer Back End does).

 
©2005 K Data, Inc.