Dear Desktop Engineering Reader:
In spite of the vital, enabling role collaboration plays in dispersed design, manufacture, and processing environments, the term itself is almost passé. Everybody leverages collaboration technology in one form or the other. And everybody uses the term, albeit they have a fuzzy definition in their heads as to what it really means beyond file export/import, finding a file in a PLM system, and GoToMeetings.
But when you start talking about global design, manufacturing, and processing with swarms of dispersed design, control, electrical, manufacturing, mechanical, process, and other engineering teams, you’ve bumped up “collaboration” to a new level. You’ve time zones, cultures, and, most importantly, language with which to deal. Especially here in the US, we’re not that keen on lurnin’ furrin’ languages even though we work with engineers in China, the EU, Russia and elsewhere all the time. This is why I sat up when the announcement of EEC One from EPLAN Software & Services crossed my desk last week.
You may best know EPLAN for its EPLAN Electric P8 electrical planning and engineering tool, the EPLAN Harness proD 3D software system for designing and documenting cable harnesses, and its EPLAN Pro Panel 3D CAE solution for engineering control cabinets and switchgear systems. EPLAN Engineering Center One -- EEC One -- is the mechatronics-centric solution in the company’s integrated suite of engineering solutions for electrical product design and automation development broadly known as the EPLAN Platform.
The basic idea of EEC One is to reduce configuration times and costs by providing structured access and information exchange across engineering disciplines ranging from electrical CAE to MCAD, and from mechanical engineering to plant engineering. With it, you can manage the different settings, values, and so forth in machinery, plants, and systems, even PLCs and instrumentation.
The thing here is that EEC One helps you organize data generated by, say, CAD, control systems, and CAE tools, on every machine tool you have as well as every planned product into functional modules. A functional module has the mechatronics components complete with discipline-specific information such as mechanical, electrical, and fluid power that has already been defined, proven, tested, and documented. And that means, if you are planning a new line somewhere or even if you are planning a new plant, these “ready-made” components can be complied to form the foundation of required information for a machine or entire system. EEC One can generate all of the required project documentation such as the design drawing, schematics, fluid schematics, sensor/actuator lists, and the PLC programming.
The latest version of EEC One now supports six languages (Chinese, English, French, German, Russian, and Spanish). With EEC One working in conjunction with the EPLAN Platform technology, configuration engineers can now generate projects, schematics, and fluid plans in their own language automatically from a single source. And that’s neat and a much needed collaboration boost.
If you work in a global industry such as automotive, electric panel design, machine tool, oil & gas, power generation, rail systems, and steel and metal, EEC One could be a time and effort saver. Most importantly, by getting you and your worldwide teams on the same page with configuration data that’s already well vetted, it could give you an edge over your multi-national competitors. Hit the link over there to learn more.
Thanks, Pal. — Lockwood
Anthony J. Lockwood
Editor at Large, Desktop Engineering
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