January 17, 2020
Radica Software, based in Malaysia, has released a fully browser-based electrical CAD software, Electra Cloud, that the company says will allow engineers to create, edit, and share 2D electrical, pneumatic and hydraulic circuit drawings with team members.
The software works on all computer operating systems including Microsoft Windows, Linux, and Apple Macintosh, as well as on any mobile devices such as smartphones. The company claims that the solution will help engineers complete circuit drawings between 300% and 500% faster than traditional software currently available.
Because it is cloud-based, the software can help users collaborate on their drawings with team members located anywhere in the world in real-time, without requiring a software download.
“Software in the electrical CAD industry has not seen many changes,” says Thomas Yip, CEO and founder of Radica. “So, we are thrilled to offer Electra Cloud, a breakthrough solution for engineers around the world. We’re saying this because Electra Cloud can be accessed from anywhere using a web browser and users no longer need to have software installed on their computer to access electrical drawings like previously. This sets Electra Cloud apart from ECAD products in the market.”
According to Yip, the cloud-based software has been in development for several years. “This was not an easy decision, because we are a small company, but we know that the cloud is where the market is heading,” he says. “The product is fully browser based and available for all platforms, and unlike our competitors, because we don't’ have a lot of technology baggage in our software, we could jump on this right away.”
While customers have concerns about cloud reliability and security, Yip says that the majority of customers are embracing the cloud. “The majority of our beta testers are embracing the cloud positively, and they have told us that this is a far better experience,” Yip says.
The Team Dashboard in Electra Cloud allows team members working on the same project to always have access to the latest version of drawings. It enables easy sharing, commenting, chatting and collaborative editing.
“With the Team Dashboard, you can invite colleagues or managers to view all of the drawings, and each drawing can be customized for sharing,” Yip says. “It makes everything easy and accessible. Collaboration is the main value proposition here.”
In addition, Electra Cloud also includes a File Version Control feature that saves changes made to the drawings in real time, which allows collaborators to revert to previous revisions without worrying losing any work.
Yip says the solution can also easily integrate with other systems in order to share data for simulation, digital printing, and other applications.
The software features automated tooling including automatic tagging, circuit reuse, real-time cross reference, an extensive set of NFPA/JIC and IEC symbols, PLC modules, the ability to automatically generate bill of materials, terminals, panel layout and others items.
According to Yip, over the next year users of Electra Cloud can expect to see improvements that include a full-fledged component database, and capabilities that will allow the solution to serve a central place for the engineering team to share specifications, PDFs, Google documents, and spreadsheets.
“It is a great concept and it is great that you then have access from anywhere¨” said Joseph Stieha, an Electra Cloud Beta user from PowerTech Water Inc., based in Lexington, KY. The company has more than 150 Beta customers currently testing the system.
Electra Cloud is now available directly at cloud.radicasoftware.com. It is available for free for 30 days, after which customers can use the system for $99 (U.S.) per month or $999 annually for Electra Standard (without hydraulic and pneumatic tools). The Electra Professional version (with hydraulic and pneumatic tools) is available for $1,499 per year.
“We also have a unique licensing option,” Yip says. “Only users are required to license the software to use all of the tools. Marketing staff and managers do not require licensing, but can still view files and have permission to comment and approve. That can lower the total cost of ownership.”
Radica Software also plans to release an offline version of Electra Cloud along with the ability to use the solution in a private cloud.