Update & re-import property sets / part information with Microsoft Excel.
In practice, metadata for parts can often be better maintained outside the drawing. For example, room temperatures, fire protection classes on doors, etc. can be processed more easily and quickly in a tabular display.
The part tables included in AutoCAD MEP and AutoCAD Architecture provide good functionality for creating lists from parts. The result can be exported as an Excel spreadsheet.
However, the current versions do not include a reimport function. This eliminates the need to modify the Excel spreadsheets and re-import the modifications into the drawing.
This additional function is available with our tool. You can import the exported part tables back into the respective drawing and thus update the properties on the original object. This additional development allows you, for example, to maintain door lists outside the drawing, but to track the changes in the drawing and thus also update them in labels.
The functionality is not limited to doors. All objects that can be assigned property sets in AutoCAD Architecture or AutoCAD MEP are updated during re-import.
Facility management made easy!
Until now, if you tried to get a table exported from AutoCAD back into the program, your only option was to transfer all the data by hand. AutoCAD can spit out part lists as Excel spreadsheets, but it does not read them back in after editing. Our add-in closes exactly this gap. Tables once exported from Auto-CAD can now be re-imported after completion. The externally collected data can thus be further used in the model without errors.
The initial situation: recording rooms for facility management
The other day at the facility management company: The new order from a major customer is causing headaches. The client, a well-known institute for technology and chemistry, wants to have a newly acquired building complex serviced. We are talking about a dozen buildings. In each building estimated 120 rooms.
The question of floors and room occupancy
Among other things, the different floors are important for the subsequent cleaning management, as well as the room occupancy. Tiled rooms, hallways with industrial carpet, linoleum in the laboratories and clean rooms are present. Since conversions are pending, all rooms are already recorded in CAD. The planner has now created a component list for the floors and exports it as an Excel list. Four employees walk the property and add floor type, room occupancy, and door fire protection classes to the spreadsheet.
But the real Herculean task is yet to come. The architect must bring the collected data back to Auto-CAD.
More efficiency required
This is how you would have done it in the past: get back completed Excel spreadsheet, print it out and enter the collected data from colleagues into the parts list by hand in AutoCAD. Room after room – a lot to do and an additional source of errors.
We have developed our solution for exactly this kind of challenge. The ACA-PropertyExchange add-in allows data from Excel spreadsheets to be fed back into AutoCAD. The advantage: All relevant data for facility management can thus be imported back into the component list. You save yourself from tedious typing, because the tool takes care of this process for you. Transmission errors are therefore excluded.
By the way, the path of data from the AutoCAD model to SAP’s FM software is not far.