Schneider Electric’s Newest Software Update Aims to Increase Speed, Efficiency, and Accuracy to BIM

May 01, 2021 by Alessandro Mascellino

Automation giant Schneider Electric announced an update of its LayoutFAST software.

The LayoutFAST 7.0 upgrade brings an enhanced software interface, as well as new configuration and design automation features. The overall speed, efficiency, and accuracy of LayoutFAST have also been improved for an overall better building information modeling (BIM) and electrical design experience.


Building Information Modeling

In engineering, the term BIM generally refers to the creation and management of digital representations of physical and functional characteristics of places. BIMs are computer files that can be sold, exchanged, or shared to enable decision-making actions related to a particular built asset. BIM is used by various individuals and organizations worldwide, notably to support the design, construction, and maintenance of buildings.

Schneider Electric first started working on BIM in 2018, releasing the BIM Electrical Design 1.0 software. On that occasion, Dmitry Bibik, then a director with Schneider Electric design institutes, said the new software allowed for reducing errors and inaccuracies in the project documentation to 60%. Bibik also mentioned the software could potentially reduce building costs by 30% and increase speed construction by 22%.


The 2020 Product of the Year Gold Award

Schneider Electric has improved its BIM software steadily since 2018. Last year, LayoutFAST won the Software: Design, Modeling, Monitoring Gold Award in the 2020 Consultant-Specifying Engineer Product of the Year awards. LayoutFAST won the prize for its high scores in four different categories.


Schneider Electric LayoutFAST

The main interface of LayoutFAST. Image used courtesy of Schneider Electric


The first was in productivity. Since the BIM is both a web-based configuration tool and an intelligent plugin for Autodesk Revit, providing numerous electrical tools for the entire project cycle.

LayoutFAST was also awarded for the efficiency of its designing capabilities. The software can create preliminary designs and layouts with minimal input, as well as provide access to essential design data and drawings.

Thirdly, Schneider Electric’s software won the 2020 Product of the Year Gold Award for its construction performance, which enabled an efficient transfer of detailed information between design and construction teams.

Finally, LayoutFAST was selected for its operational excellence, enabling remote visualization of facility and operations and management (O&M) data, together with BIM models for visual operations applications.


Streamlining Engineering Processes

The new version of LayoutFAST can now reportedly cut design time in half and introduces new automated functions.


Building a model within LayoutFAST. Image used courtesy of Schneider Electric


“Building information modeling just got easier with the new LayoutFAST!” commented Bassem Ammouri, Energy Management Software Director at Schneider Electric. “Our enhanced design software allows you to seamlessly integrate customized and always accurate BIM objects from the cloud, into your design,” Ammouri added.

LayoutFAST 7.0 offers single-line diagrams and riser diagrams generation based on the connected electrical distribution in Revit. Control panels can be configured based on automated and predetermined rules, creating comprehensive bills of materials.

Finally, the new version of Schneider’s software can reduce change orders and minimize risk by retaining compatibility with BIM objects that have been upgraded to the latest version of Revit universal standards.

Schneider Electric believes that this update will help minimize designers’ work time.

How do you think LayoutFAST 7.0 will help advance more companies into Industry 4.0?