From Ild to Cad: a Step-by-step Guide to Converting Instrument Loop Diagrams

07 July 2023. By Charlotte Lee. Estimated time to enrich your life: 4 minutes.

Understanding the Basics of Instrument Loop Diagrams

Instrument loop diagrams (ILDs) are commonly used in the design and installation of industrial automation systems. An ILD is a detailed schematic diagram that depicts the interconnection of field devices, junction boxes, and panels with control systems. The diagram shows the physical layout of wires and components in the system, along with crucial information such as wire numbers, tags, and terminations.


Creating ILDs requires in-depth knowledge of the specific instrumentation used in the system, including sensors, transmitters, switches, and other control devices. It is essential to identify the correct wiring diagrams for each instrument type and ensure that the loop is designed according to the relevant standards and specifications. Converting ILDs to computer-aided design (CAD) files can simplify the design process, allowing faster revisions and better collaboration between teams.


Check out this guide on how to convert DWG to G-Code, the next step in the automation process.

Identifying the Need for Converting Ild to Cad

Converting ILDs to CAD files can offer several advantages over traditional paper-based designs. One of the main benefits is that CAD files are easily modified, allowing designers to make changes and improvements without starting from scratch. This process saves time and reduces potential errors that may occur when manually updating drawings. Additionally, CAD files can be easily shared with team members, providing better collective visibility into the design process.


Another reason to switch to CAD files is the ease of access to the design. Paper-based designs require storing large amounts of physical paperwork, which can be a challenge to organize and locate when necessary. CAD files can be stored electronically, making them easily accessible and retrievable when needed. This benefit accelerates the design process and makes it easier to find documentation in the event of an audit or inspection.


For more information on automation design, check out this article on converting DWG to G-Code.

Choosing the Right Software for Ild to Cad Conversion

When it comes to choosing software for Ild to Cad conversion, there are various options available on the market. However, not all software is created equal. Some software may offer basic functionalities suitable for smaller projects, while others may be more complex, offering in-depth editing and automation features. The key to choosing the right software is to identify your design needs and find software that caters to them.


Before deciding on software, consider the file formats that it supports. Ensure that the software is capable of reading your existing ILD files and can export files in the CAD format that you need. Other factors to consider while choosing software include ease of use, customer support, cost, and learning curve. It may be beneficial to try out several different software options before deciding on the right one for your specific workflow and design goals.


Check out this guide on how to convert floor-plans for fire safety zone plans, the next step for designing safe and comfortable spaces.

Step-by-step Guide for Ild to Cad Conversion

Converting Ild to Cad is a multi-step process that requires specialized software and technical knowledge. The following is a step-by-step guide outlining the essential steps involved.


  1. Import the ILD file into CAD software

  3. Verify the imported ILD

    Once the ILD file has been imported into the CAD software, compare and verify the file to ensure that it accurately represents the physical layout of the instrumentation.


  5. Edit the ILD in CAD software

    After verifying the imported ILD, make necessary modifications such as adding annotations, adjusting wire layout, or rearranging component locations using CAD tools.


  7. Save the CAD file

    After editing the ILD, save the file in the CAD format required. Ensure that the saved file adheres to the relevant standards and specifications.


Want to know how to convert floor-plans for fire safety zone plans? Check out this guide for more information on designing safe and comfortable spaces with automation design.

Common Mistakes to Avoid during Conversion Process

Converting instrument loop diagrams (ILDs) to computer-aided design (CAD) files can be time-saving, resulting in faster revisions and better teamwork. However, it’s essential to acknowledge that mistakes can happen during the conversion process, mainly due to human errors. One of the most common mistakes is incomplete or incorrect information. It’s crucial to ensure that each field device, junction box, and panel is correctly identified and labeled. Additionally, ensure that all required information is included in the CAD file, such as wire numbers, tags, and terminations.


Another mistake to avoid is creating an overcomplicated CAD file that can be challenging to navigate, making it difficult for team members to understand intuitively. A complex CAD file can lead to mistakes, delays, and additional expenses. To avoid this mistake, consider using standard symbols, colors, and layering protocols. This approach increases the clarity of the CAD file and simplifies interpretation, leading to an efficient design process.


How to Convert from GeoTIFF to CAD and GIS is another article that can help you gain insights into CAD file conversion.

Benefits of Converting Ild to Cad and Conclusion

Converting instrument loop diagrams (ILDs) to computer-aided design (CAD) files can provide several advantages. One of the benefits is that CAD files can be easily shared with team members, enhancing collaboration and minimizing the risk of errors. Additionally, CAD files offer faster revisions, improving the design process’s efficiency and cutting down on downtime. CAD files can also be easily stored and retrieved, reducing the need for physical paperwork and saving space.


On the other hand, some challenges might arise when converting ILDs to CAD files, mainly related to human error, such as missing or incorrect information or creating an overly complicated CAD file. However, by avoiding common mistakes and sticking to best practices, the benefits of CAD files far outweigh the associated risks.


In conclusion, converting ILDs to CAD files can be a game-changer for industrial automation design projects, bringing in several benefits, including improved workflow, shared visibility, easy access, and document control. Nonetheless, designers must be mindful of potential pitfalls and remain knowledgeable on the latest design trends and techniques.

Charlotte Lee is a novelist from Houston, TX. Her books explore themes of culture, identity, and the immigrant experience.

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