Re-using Electrical symbols and cable data in Bentley Raceway and Cable Management

 Product(s):OpenBuildings Designer
 Version(s):CONNECT Edition
 Area:Electrical Annotation and Design


I've created an electrical symbol layout for a building, including panel and cable data using Cable Manager. We are also using Bentley Raceway and Cable Management for all plant related systems such as electrical, I&C, communication, etc..  Is there any way to bring the OpenBuildings Designer symbol layouts and cable data into Bentley Raceway and Cable Management so that all of the data is in one application for the routing process? 


While there is no direct integration between OpenBuildings Designer and Bentley Raceway and Cable Management, you can bring that data across using a combination of Excel reports exported from OpenBuildings Designer and then imported into Bentley Raceway and Cable Management. It is a manual process and requires the creation of a custom MicroStation Report to gather the symbol data and coordinates, along with XML configuration templates and symbol placeholder geometry in Bentley Raceway and Cable Management.

In order to use the following process, you will first need to have a “complete” electrical system layout with the panel(s) and symbols connected with the appropriate cable data defined using Cable Manager.

Export data from OpenBuildings Designer

To start, use the Output Manager tool from the Data/Reporting tab > Electrical tool group to export the cable list data from Cable Manager to an *.XLS file and save the results.

Next, create a custom MicroStation report to capture the name, value, and location of the symbols (equipment) used in your layout.  An example is shown below, where the Origin property defines the coordinates of each symbol.

Once the report is configured, export the results to an *.xlsx file.

Open this file in Excel and perform the following cell manipulations:

  1. Filter the list to display only equipment.
  2. Remove the unit name from each Origin cell by using the Find and Replace tool, replacing the unit name with a blank.
  3. Separate the resulting XYZ values to separate columns using the Text to Columns tool with a Comma Delimiter.

Import data into BRCM

Attach your OpenBuildings Designer electrical DGN file to an empty DGN file in Bentley Raceway and Cable Manager.

Import the symbol value/location *.xlsx report using the Equipment Import tool, selecting the applicable settings configuration XML file.

Click on the Select All, Update, and Update buttons to map the imported symbol data. If the imported data does not have an equivalent, click OK to open the Equipment Manager dialog and choose a native Bentley Raceway and Cable Manager equipment symbol to act as a placeholder for the various OpenBuildings Designer symbols.

Import the *.XLS cable List using the Cable List Import tool. Low voltage, or “LV”, is used in this example.

Similar to the equipment above, map the cable data to its Bentley Raceway and Cable Manager equivalent.

Select all drawings and voltage levels using the ID Manager > Collaboration Manager tool.

Map the resulting cable connection points to the placeholder symbols defined previously by selecting Automatic Equipment Map from the Manage drop-down list.

Connect existing raceway to and/or between the placeholder symbols using the appropriate raceway system and size.

Create routing data

With an empty DGN file open in Bentley Raceway and Cable Management, use the Cable Manager tool to auto-connect (source to target) the imported OpenBuildings Designer cable list.

Check and analyze the auto-routing entry points using the Entry Points and Analyze Route tools.

Using the Visualize tool, create 3D cable visualization for checking purposes. Make any changes necessary and save if needed.

Attach your raceway DGN file to your new Cable file to view the 3D cables in context.