June 2010


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Saving Time with Image Modules
Improve Your Graphic Development Process

Sarah Erdman,
Marketing Director
QA Graphics 

An integrator’s core responsibility is to ensure that a project’s mechanical systems are integrated correctly and operate as they should. As with every industry, the building industry has evolved so that jobs are supposed to be as efficient as possible, requiring a great deal of multi-tasking and getting more done in less time. For integrators, this means their job not only requires the integration of systems required for a project, but also the creation of graphics for the end-user to see and manage that integration.

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A common trend many integrators follow is outsourcing these graphics needs to companies that can build superior graphics in less time than integrators can do themselves. If someone else can do the graphics faster and better, why focus a large amount of time on graphics when that time can be focused elsewhere? A resource that integrators can to look to is QA Graphics, an industry leader in the design of control system graphics. The company has provided graphics for a number of major control companies in the U.S.

In addition to outsourcing solutions, QA Graphics has developed resources that allow integrators to assemble graphics more efficiently themselves. A new solution that has been created to make the graphic development process simpler and faster specifically helps Niagara AX users reduce their workload. QA Graphics has developed a BAS Image Module which Niagara AX users can rely on to build better graphics within their BAS software. Using an Image Module can save integrators time creating system graphics. In addition, they don’t have to build the animations for the graphics; they can simply drag and drop pre-built animations onto the palette.
The new BAS Image Module is offered in conjunction with the company’s commercial version 3.0 of their 3D Symbol Library for Niagara AX, to provide more appealing and realistic graphics than provided by default with the Niagara AX platform. The BAS Image Module provides users with both static and pre-built animated images. The library and module function smoothly within Niagara AX, allowing the user to build their graphics, pull in the pre-built animations, and bind the points and animations. The module can be opened through Niagara AX’s palette sidebar, similar to the existing graphics provided with Niagara AX, where the user can drag and drop the symbols onto their canvas.

The 3D Symbol Library provides the equipment and components needed to consistently assemble high-end system graphics, allowing users to spend less time assembling 3D BAS graphics and further distinguish themselves in the market. The library offers a competitive advantage within the building automation industry. With over 280 static and 85 animated graphics, the symbols can be used to create most major mechanical systems. Key symbols include boilers, chillers, dampers, filters, piping, fans, cooling towers, generators, valves, ductwork, coils and more. Users can develop high-end system graphics and represent mechanical control drawings in a schematic, graphical view. Examples of system graphics may be viewed at: http://www.qagraphics.com/graphic-services/bas-symbol-library.

“Our company provides extensive graphic outsourcing for the building automation industry, so we understand the time and skill needed to develop system graphics,” said Russell Zimmerman, vice president of operations/engineering at QA Graphics. “We are always looking for ways to assist integrators, and we’re excited to announce this new BAS Image Module and other resources to develop Image Modules because we know it will help simplify the graphic development process.”

Also available is a resource developed by QA Graphics that shows how to build your own Image Module within Niagara AX. The time it takes to create your own Image Module depends on one’s skill set, but it could take up to a week to build and verify. This free resource is available at: http://www.qagraphics.com/creating-image-module-in-niagara-ax.

If you’re interested in learning how you can simplify the graphic development process and access high-end graphics, contact Sarah Erdman, marketing director of QA Graphics, at 515.965.3403 or serdman@qagraphics.com.



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