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Topic Title: Amtech 2013 any good
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Created On: 19 January 2013 04:54 PM
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 19 January 2013 04:54 PM
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jengo22

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Anyone upgraded to the new AMTECH 2013 and have you tried the ipad free upgrade just trying to see if worth the money.
 19 January 2013 05:36 PM
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Brunokid

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I was looking at Amtech but looking on the site it seems they don't do an NICEIC EICR

I'm affraid that my biggest customer wants to see that logo on top
 19 January 2013 06:03 PM
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Martynduerden

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I used Amtech several years ago 16th edition

It oversized most cables,
Displayed constant icu faults on low Ze installations,
Additional software cost for specifying the CPD of the HV side for the first LV cable .
It allowed the design of new circuits without cpc core using trunking and conduit without warning.

That said SISO applies in droves.

Just an opinion on previous editions.....

-------------------------
Regards

Martyn.

Only a mediocre person is always at their best



www.electrical contractors uk.com
 20 January 2013 04:55 PM
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michaelbrett

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Originally posted by: jengo22

Anyone upgraded to the new AMTECH 2013 and have you tried the ipad free upgrade just trying to see if worth the money.


I have the new 2013 edition.

NICIEIC EICR certs are listed. This is accessible via a seperate tab labelled as FT EICR. You have to purchase the blank certs from the NICEIC.

The I Pad version (as far as I'm aware) has not been released. My understanding that this will be some kind of free add on for 2013 users.

I am also waiting for the I Pad version to be released.

2013 seems to work just fine (so far).

Regards

MIke

P.S no connection with Amtech - just a reasonably happy customer
 21 January 2013 09:38 AM
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Jobbo

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The best thing about the 2013 version is protect. You now have energy let through (I2T/A2S) graphs and conductor withstands comparison. You can see the maximum and minimum fault current values for many major manufactures.

I've been nagging Amtech for years to give us these values.
Pro design has a few issues, like sourcing manufacture information for protective devices, lots of errors (driving me nuts at the moment)
 21 January 2013 10:15 AM
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Parsley

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Jobbo

How much did you pay this year for the support?

Amtech want just under £800 for the office package, I'm not sure if I can justify it this year.

Regards
 21 January 2013 10:44 AM
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John Peckham

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Parsley

I thought the £900 ish update package was a bit steep for what it does. I have the Amtech 2012 package and opted for the £300ish update package that keeps my 2012 version up to date.

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John Peckham

http://www.astutetechnicalservices.co.uk/
 21 January 2013 10:53 AM
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Parsley

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That's interesting John

Regards
 21 January 2013 01:14 PM
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AJJewsbury

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I might have got the wrong end of the stick, but...

It allowed the design of new circuits without cpc core using trunking and conduit without warning.

As BS 7671 permits steel conduit/trunking to be used as a c.p.c., what's the objection to the software allowing it?

It oversized most cables,
Displayed constant icu faults on low Ze installations,

might the two be connected? (At high fault currents, MCB's energy let-through can often exceed the cable withstands for even common combinations - e.g. 32A MCB & 2.5/1.5 cable)

- Andy.
 21 January 2013 02:10 PM
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OMS

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might the two be connected? (At high fault currents, MCB's energy let-through can often exceed the cable withstands for even common combinations - e.g. 32A MCB & 2.5/1.5 cable)


almost certainly the case Andy - Amtech is very good at revealing all those perfectly fine circuits the designer has guessed at based on experience. It's why we rarely use it for "design" - just for verification (often one of several methods of verification).

On a more general note, be aware of a number of inherent problems not which the least of which is the inability to report conductor temperature of parallel conductor groups in cable analysis reports.

There are several other slightly alarming aspects to dealing with motor protection at source or motor end as well.

personally speaking, I've grown up with amtech - I quite like it - but its still just a tool for minimum compliance with BS 7671 -it's an expensive luxury unless you actually need it.

regards

OMS

-------------------------
Failure is always an option
 21 January 2013 03:59 PM
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Martynduerden

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Originally posted by: AJJewsbury

I might have got the wrong end of the stick, but...



It allowed the design of new circuits without cpc core using trunking and conduit without warning.


As BS 7671 permits steel conduit/trunking to be used as a c.p.c., what's the objection to the software allowing it?



I asked Amtech the question back at the time and they confirmed what I suspected, it was there as a means of confirming compliance of an existing design, which is totally acceptable, my concern came from the fact that it would not be deemed an acceptable practical method nowadays, I am aware that BS7671 permits it.



It oversized most cables,

Displayed constant icu faults on low Ze installations,


might the two be connected? (At high fault currents, MCB's energy let-through can often exceed the cable withstands for even common combinations - e.g. 32A MCB & 2.5/1.5 cable)

- Andy.


Entirely possible Andy, but the logic fails, Fail a circuit design based on icu, increase the conductor to allow for failed circuit just in case somebody ignores the program.

Incidentally the over sizing was not limited to circuits or installations with low Ze.

-------------------------
Regards

Martyn.

Only a mediocre person is always at their best



www.electrical contractors uk.com
 21 January 2013 06:38 PM
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OMS

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I asked Amtech the question back at the time and they confirmed what I suspected, it was there as a means of confirming compliance of an existing design, which is totally acceptable, my concern came from the fact that it would not be deemed an acceptable practical method nowadays, I am aware that BS7671 permits it.


I wouldn't say it's not an acceptable method Martyn, it is used - what's the feeling on allowing the armouring as a CPC then - Amtech allows that as well. Several sectors I work in actually mandate it - for a variety of reasons.

Entirely possible Andy, but the logic fails, Fail a circuit design based on icu, increase the conductor to allow for failed circuit just in case somebody ignores the program.


I'm not sure I follow that Martyn - either the circuit design meets all the minimum criteria of BS 7671 or it doesn't.

It may comply for CCC and fail on volts drop, energy let through etc

Incidentally the over sizing was not limited to circuits or installations with low Ze.


I can't say I've seen Amtech oversize a cable - actually the reverse is true in that you often get a conductor size that's smaller than expected from long hand calcs - usually small enough to just achieve minimum compliance with BS 7671

Regards

OMS

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Failure is always an option
 21 January 2013 10:01 PM
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Martynduerden

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Originally posted by: OMS

I asked Amtech the question back at the time and they confirmed what I suspected, it was there as a means of confirming compliance of an existing design, which is totally acceptable, my concern came from the fact that it would not be deemed an acceptable practical method nowadays, I am aware that BS7671 permits it.


I wouldn't say it's not an acceptable method Martyn, it is used - what's the feeling on allowing the armouring as a CPC then - Amtech allows that as well. Several sectors I work in actually mandate it - for a variety of reasons.



Its not that long ago you were condemning the use of SWA as CPC, preferring the use of 3 or 5 core, I have no issue with the use of armour as the cpc assuming its man/woman enough.

As for conduit and trunking as cpc well its entirely different from an SWA's armour.

I don't believe many new installations use the conduit and trunking



Entirely possible Andy, but the logic fails, Fail a circuit design based on icu, increase the conductor to allow for failed circuit just in case somebody ignores the program.




I'm not sure I follow that Martyn - either the circuit design meets all the minimum criteria of BS 7671 or it doesn't.

It may comply for CCC and fail on volts drop, energy let through etc


I am also lost, surely if it fails it fails.it does not half pass?


Incidentally the over sizing was not limited to circuits or installations with low Ze.


I can't say I've seen Amtech oversize a cable - actually the reverse is true in that you often get a conductor size that's smaller than expected from long hand calcs - usually small enough to just achieve minimum compliance with BS 7671


Nice to know it swings both ways - I prefer to use my own program or simply pen n paper

-------------------------
Regards

Martyn.

Only a mediocre person is always at their best



www.electrical contractors uk.com
 21 January 2013 11:44 PM
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Zs

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ho hummmmm,

From my 5 months and thousands of circuits on Amtech, which was surely 2012, I'd say that if you ask it to tell you the cable you'll get a fat result particulary if you give it only basic information. Tell it 6 foot long and 400Amps with armour as earth and nothing else and it will have a field day. If you tell it what you are thinking it will usually verify your gut instinct for you.

I wouldn't buy it for home use, especially after going through the 2396 and all the tables and spread sheets we had to produce for that, which I am still using. I like the Amtech drawing of the circuits from source to final very much though.

Zs
 21 January 2013 11:50 PM
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Martynduerden

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Originally posted by: Zs


I like the Amtech drawing of the circuits from source to final very much though.

Zs



Not difficult to reproduce something very similar in AutoCAD / viseo though.

Still I guess cad is not a cheap option.

-------------------------
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Martyn.

Only a mediocre person is always at their best



www.electrical contractors uk.com
 22 January 2013 02:36 PM
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OMS

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Its not that long ago you were condemning the use of SWA as CPC, preferring the use of 3 or 5 core, I have no issue with the use of armour as the cpc assuming its man/woman enough.


I don't think so - concerns of specifying the armour as CPC based on installer competence maybe - or possibly an additional core for certain specific applications maybe - condemning the method, nope.

As for conduit and trunking as cpc well its entirely different from an SWA's armour.


Not really Martyn - the equivalent CSA of steel compared to installed CPC's is massive.

I don't believe many new installations use the conduit and trunking


You'd be suprised - I could show you a number of very large manufacturing sheds and some absolutely huge storage buildings that rely on the containment for earthing of the high bay lighting systems. Circuits are fed from individual 16A MCB's ranged over three phases and there's only one neutral condutor as well.

What few socket outlets exist do have CPC's.

I am also lost, surely if it fails it fails.it does not half pass?


Agreed - that's what I said

Nice to know it swings both ways - I prefer to use my own program or simply pen n paper


Well the outcome is demonstration of compliance with BS 7671 - the method is not mandated. I use amtech where I have to by contract, where it's convenient to thrash out a quick design or where I have lots of repetitive elements to deal with. A few how brew spreadsheets or longhand does the job equally well.

I guess the idea is that we have simple (safe) methods that work in most situations - more complex methods are only really warranted when some advantage may be made from them.

Regards

OMS

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Failure is always an option
 22 January 2013 08:38 PM
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Jobbo

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Thumbs up for 2013 version. Been using the updated protect today and its very good, it's the best thing they have done in ages.
 22 January 2013 10:36 PM
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Martynduerden

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Originally posted by: OMS


As for conduit and trunking as cpc well its entirely different from an SWA's armour.


Not really Martyn - the equivalent CSA of steel compared to installed CPC's is massive.




I have issues with using conduit and trunking as a reliable method of providing earthing to final circuits, whilst it is as I sad in the regs I doubt it will be there for any length of time, it is an old outdated installation method and I don't believe it has any place in a modern wiring system, I am sure you are well aware of the differences between SWA, conduit & trunking and you chose to ignore the for the purposes of debate, one significant difference being each circuit being independent, SWA's generally (not always) tend to contain a single circuit where as conduit & trunking may contain masses all sharing a common cpc not necessary a problem in fact it could be a positive.

I don't believe many new installations use the conduit and trunking


You'd be surprised - I could show you a number of very large manufacturing sheds and some absolutely huge storage buildings that rely on the containment for earthing of the high bay lighting systems. Circuits are fed from individual 16A MCB's ranged over three phases and there's only one neutral conductor as well.

What few socket outlets exist do have CPC's.



Your example I feel is rare, most I believe would say that using conduit & trunking as cpc is no longer permitted, they'd be wrong of coarse but they'd also be in the majority.


I am also lost, surely if it fails it fails.it does not half pass?


Agreed - that's what I said.




Is it ?



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Martyn.

Only a mediocre person is always at their best



www.electrical contractors uk.com
 23 January 2013 10:27 AM
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AJJewsbury

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I have issues with using conduit and trunking as a reliable method of providing earthing to final circuits, whilst it is as I sad in the regs I doubt it will be there for any length of time, it is an old outdated installation method and I don't believe it has any place in a modern wiring system

Does that mean you have similar concerns over the earthing of steel conduit/trunking as an exposed-conductive-part?
- Andy.
 23 January 2013 11:23 AM
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OMS

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I have issues with using conduit and trunking as a reliable method of providing earthing to final circuits, whilst it is as I sad in the regs I doubt it will be there for any length of time, it is an old outdated installation method and I don't believe it has any place in a modern wiring system,

On what basis Martyn - as exposed conductive parts we are going to continue to "earth" them, thus the continuity must be assured, thus they are perfectly acceptable CPC's - there is nothing old or outdated about that.

I am sure you are well aware of the differences between SWA, conduit & trunking and you chose to ignore the for the purposes of debate,


I am aware of the differences Martyn - although the "difference" is not one I've ignored for the debate - what fundamental difference do you see between armouring or an MICC sheath and metallic conduit and trunking - given that the relevant fault currents and resulting system reactances are taken into the assessment?

one significant difference being each circuit being independent,

How so - unless you are in the habit of providing independant and isolated glanding arrangements for SWA's into say a switchboard there is no independance, and I'd be worried if there was - and what "benefit" do you see this "independance" having anyway - in many cases the presumed independance is actually a disbenefit.

SWA's generally (not always) tend to contain a single circuit where as conduit & trunking may contain masses all sharing a common cpc not necessary a problem in fact it could be a positive.

Almost certainly it is positive Martyn - it gives a considerably lower touch voltage under fault conditions (R2 will be significantly lower than that for any single circuit), it provides without exception "supplementary bonding" for both special and ordinary locations, it provides protection, inherently against high protective conductor currents - and perhaps most importantly it also protects against the BS 7671 assumption that faults are only ever between conductors of the same circuit - this idea of having a "true" Zs for circuits is a bit of an industry problem really - based on what people learn in simple systems using broadly insulated components



Your example I feel is rare, most I believe would say that using conduit & trunking as cpc is no longer permitted, they'd be wrong of coarse but they'd also be in the majority.

As I said, ignorance of the systems under discussion is common, and being in a majority of "wrongness" doesn't change that. As I mentioned, the arrangement is more common than you think - as a contractor, if you can elimiate both a mass of unneccesary circuit CPC's and ditto for 2/3rd of unneccesary neutrals in say 1millon square foot of storage facility or factory space then the financial advantage is enormous - when put in front of a client and contractor, that kind of saving in copper and containment is a big inducement to listen to a competent engineer over coffee.

Rising main bus bar system - would you want an independant CPC with that ? - it's basically trunking ?





Is it ?


Well I thought so, Martyn

Regards

OMS

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Failure is always an option
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