3D model of substation

Smart Tools For Substation Design

Today’s demand for Grid Modernization requires new tools and methods for substation engineering design.  Regardless of where a customer may be located in the electric power delivery system, the need for greater safety, quality and efficiency continues to grow.

Mesa Associates entered the custom design application space over a decade ago and has a rich history of both customizing existing design software for clients needs, as well as creating custom applications unique to the power industry.

Mesa and the Power Industry are converging on smart tools for substation design developed in partnership with industry leaders such as AutoDesk and Spatial Business Systems.  These advanced tools integrate the process for substation design to capture every device, wire and installation detail required to safely and efficiently design, construct and maintain a state-of-the art substation.

These tools provide a magnitude of order improvement in quality, both in new substation design, as well as upgrades and modifications to legacy facilities

Mesa is working at the forefront of this design space and stands ready to provide you with support wherever you may be in the adaptation or utilization of these tools.  We can provide you with partnership support ranging from startup services (standards and library creations) to full turn-key design solutions ready for construction.

Why Smart Design Tools?

Design For Safety

  • Establish Go/No-Go limits for structures, equipment, and zones of safety
  • Design Rules Checks (DRC) while performing designs to identify and prevent customized safety critical elements
  • Smart drawings that capture complete wiring details; and enable faster and safer field troubleshooting and support
  • Ability to incorporate lessons learned and new safety initiatives as part of the smart toolset DRCs

Design For Constructability

  • Clearance conformance
  • Location Boundaries and encroachment zone limit protections
  • Rigging and equipment location planning
  • Precision component placement in 3 dimensions
  • Highly accurate Bill of Materials for receiving, sorting, staging and assembling complex layouts
  • Ensure long lead item identification to support supply chain efforts
  • Electrical Designs that permit rapid development of testing and commissioning plans

Excellence In Quality

  • Bill of Materials automatically generated from smart design elements, ensuring accurate counts and manufacturer ordering numbers
  • Integrate client CAD and design standards into well-defined custom libraries
  • Design Rules Checks for all electrical and wiring elements to ensure critical design elements are incorporated project wide
  • Maintain design consistency and integrity throughout a project’s drawing set regardless of size or complexity
  • Incorporate legacy equipment into upgrades and modifications to ensure seamless integration

Higher Productivity And Efficiency

  • Integrated workflows permit immediate data exchange between disciplines
  • Design Rule Checks provide consistent and repeatable review that may be integrated with unique customer standards
  • The ability to continuously reconfigure and extend the toolset as teams discover new and improved design methods

Capabilities & Technologies


  • Integrate symbol libraries, AutoCAD Electrical report formats, icon menu organization, and catalog database with AutoDesk Vault
  • Partner with developers to create new tools for streamlining design processes
  • Build parts library that includes parts and subassemblies
  • Create 3D Standard Models to be used for designs
  • Include iProperties into 3D models
  • Identify when models include phantom parts to ensure accurate BOM
  • Greenfield & Brownfield designs using client provided libraries
  • Adapt AutoCAD Electrical/SDS symbol libraries to meet customer standards & specs
  • Assist clients in developing or customizing symbol libraries
  • Client specific catalog database and report formats
    • Export BOM to Excel or place in drawings
  • Partner with AutoCAD Electrical/SDS developer to create custom tools and AutoCAD Electrical user interface


  • Substation Design Suite (SDS) Solutions
    • Physical for AutoCAD
    • Physical for Inventor
    • Protection & Control for AutoCAD Electrical (SDS P&C)