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Letters from our CEO

AutoSPRINK by MEPCAD

MYTH – vs – FACT”

MYTH: AutoSPRINK is windows based and not a third party AutoCAD add-on program and therefore won’t be compatible with the AutoCAD drawings I receive from the architect.

FACT: AutoSPRINK is completely compatible with AutoCAD up to and including the latest releases. It licenses Autodesk’s own RealDWG™ import/export engine so there is no need for users to purchase AutoCAD. Our latest release will also offer the new AutoPREP program that will make AutoSPRINK’s user friendly windows interface compatibility with AutoCAD much more seamless than using AutoCAD itself or any other AutoCAD based fire sprinkler design program.

MYTH: You must do all work in 3-D. Converting 2-D drawings into building models or working in so called “virtual reality” which seems far too complicated and unnecessary, after all, drawings are flat!

FACTS:
1) AutoSPRINK allows work to be performed in either 2-D or 3-D.
2) Users can design 3-D system piping over unmodified imported 2-D CAD drawings.
3) Column symbols can be automatically converted into 3-D members and roof planes can then be automatically placed so systems can be designed to roof structure. This also allows hangers to be placed to code requirements and “cut” to roof slops over 2-D single line structural members at zero elevation.
4) Lastly, for the ultimate design, 2-D drawings can be converted into real world models with minimal user input. This not required but it facilitates 3-D coordination with structure and other trades. Imagine having your field crews install your system design without having to take the 300 machine out of the truck! The exacting designs created from 3-D modeling make this the norm not a fluke.

MYTH: AutoSPRINK is not AutoCAD based and is too complicated to learn in a reasonable timeframe.

FACT: AutoSPRINK is totally Windows based and as such is by far the easiest and most user friendly program available. If you understand MS Windows and fire sprinkler codes, you can be designing, hydraulically calculating and stock listing a project in your first day of class. The basic class lasts for five days and upon graduation, you should be at or above your current design level regardless of what program you are now using. There is also an Intermediate class of three days and a two day Advanced class that we highly recommend taking. Regardless of how much training you have you will continue to improve each and everyday thereafter for as long as you use the program. That’s one or two weeks out of your life and depending on your skill level and commitment to learn your production will increase between 50 to over 200 percent with increased accuracy. Guaranteed!

MYTH: AutoSPRINK is just too expensive when compared to the other programs in the market place.

FACT: AutoSPRINK’s “Bronze” level program lists for a very low price, which includes all maintenance, technical support and free program release updates. Considering AutoSPRINK has its own graphic design engine and there is no need to purchase or upgrade AutoCAD, that’s nearly $2,000 less than any competitive program regardless of its additional cost. The bronze level program features Automated Bi-Directional Hydraulic Calculations, Real Time Hydraulic Analysis, True 3-D Design and full AutoCAD Import/Export Compatibility. It is capable of designing any type of fire sprinkler system for any type of building and can outperform every competitive program on the market today. Guaranteed or your money back! Also, when calculating costs you must consider increased productivity along with the accuracy of designs that fit and install with fewer labor hours. That makes any investment in AutoSPRINK a very quick pay back with sustained profitability thereafter.

MYTH: AutoSPRINK is fine for small jobs but when it comes to large projects with enormous drawing files and continual revision drawing it is too much work to have to continually go through the import process over and over again.

FACT: AutoSPRINK is available with a new program called AutoPREP that makes AutoCAD interface nearly seamless. We all take it for granted having to spend hours dealing with complex, convoluted AutoCAD drawings to get them cleaned up to a state where they can be used as a background. That includes, but is by no means limited to, collecting and binding x-refs, removing all unnecessary layers, blocks, text and duplicated entities etc. That is no longer the case. The cumbersome drawings that took hours to prepare can now be completed in a matter of minutes. More importantly, any revision drawings can be prepared and readied for design with literally the push of a button. This is due to the programs built-in memory wizards that keep track of all previous user input to originally prepare the drawing. This allows the program to perform the same tasks on any subsequent revision drawing. It can then run a “compare” feature that delineates each and every change or modification in the revised drawing. This includes added, deleted, revised or relocated architectural or structural elements including walls, beams, text, etc. It will then make it a much easier to revise system designs and/or determine cost impacts to provide change orders etc. The program also has the incredible ability to automatically convert 2-D line based drawings into complete 3-D models with little user input. This program can revolutionize design as we know it and save another 20 to 40 percent in design time.

MYTH: To design with AutoSPRINK you must choose a pipe type for each part of the system such as branch line, cross main, riser nipple, riser etc. and make sure these pipes are placed in the proper sequence throughout the system.

FACT: In order to achieve accurate hydraulic calculations and proper make-on assignments, system piping components must be properly defined in any program. AutoSPRINK has taken its internal intelligence to a new level by having the program assign all pipe roles such as branch lines, cross mains, riser nipples, etc. according to the pipe’s size and orientation and to what it is connecting. You can now simply choose a pipe size and draw as you would in any other design program. We have also made drawing in 3-D as effortless as drawing in 2-D by adding a new elevation lock command. This feature keeps all piping at user specified elevations. Combined with automated connect commands for riser nipples, swing joints and drop nipples, this allows cutting of all vertical piping to exacting tolerances with the added benefit of providing completely automated hydraulic calculations.

MYTH: Stock Listings is too complicated and it’s easier to list by hand!

FACT: Line based attribute driven programs require all portions of the system to be properly drawn and connected in order to perform any additional task. Some programs now provide error messages at problem locations to assist in correcting “errors” to assist the user in making necessary corrections in order to perform stock listing or provide hydraulic calculations. AutoSPRINK’s internally intelligent, object-oriented technology allows these functions to be performed regardless of “errors” or even system connectivity. Each individual system component contains all necessary information including size, part numbers, trim, color etc. With the push of a button at any stage of design the user can obtain a bill of materials or a complete stock list with all desired reports. Partial stock lists can be generated by simply selecting any portion of the system to be delivered. Later, when sending the remainder of the material is needed, simply select the entire system to insure completeness and the program will notify you which items were listed previously so as not to double order. When you also consider that each intelligent system component can contain its own “trim” package, totally accurate stock listing can truly be a simple task. What you see is exactly what you get! Including the TRIM!

MYTH: AutoSPRINK does not have a large enough support, training or development staff!

FACT: M.E.P.CAD has the largest staff of dedicated professionals devoted to training, support and development of our programs than anyone in the industry. Our dedication to development and providing state of the art programs is unmatched by any competitor. Our innovation is proven with several patents and many more pending that will insure superior performance and unmatched capabilities long into the future.

MYTH: AutoSPRINK does not have an estimate program.

FACT: The same state of the art technology also allows our AutoPRICER program to be the most powerful fire sprinkler estimating program in existence. It is capable of providing totally accurate and concise estimates in just a fraction of the time with minimal input. Its object intelligence also contains material and labor pricing internally for each system component. This allows our users to build complete “kits” of risers, drains, pump assemblies, anti-freeze loops or typical sprinkler piping kits with pipe, fittings, sprinkler, hanger, etc. to be used in any estimate. Stored in the handy on-screen parts bin, users can drag and drop them into the drawing, connected to the system or not, to obtain a comprehensive estimate. Versatile system wizards can draw complete grid, tree or loop systems that are automatically hydraulically calculated finding the true remote area. Program features, AutoFITTINGS, AutoCOUPLINGS and AutoHANGERS can then be used to place all required system components allowing costs comparison of various system types in minutes. The program has a built-in proposal generator that creates detailed “MS Word” proposal documents, including design criteria by area, point and click qualifications, clarifications, inclusions and exclusions etc. It also contains another feature called design transfer that keeps track of all relevant information collected during the bidding process ready to hand over to the design department. Some of its features include design specifications, pre-bid meeting notes from contractors, consultants, AHJ’s etc., value engineering ideas and possible change order implications that equate to bottom line profit. You can also order it with a built-in simplified estimator specific version of AutoSPRINK (built for the back of a napkin guy) with all the functionality listed above. Estimate drawings can be included as part of the design transfer package to give the design department a head start with usually veteran input.
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