Dear Desktop Engineering Reader:
Project planning machines, entire plants, and things like mechatronic devices can be a cross-disciplinary romp in information overload. You have client, departmental, and regulatory requirements. You have equipment as large as an electrical turbine and as small as a sensor to track. You have electrical and mechanical engineers doing their thing and making piles of data that others have to work with at some point. You’re probably crossing borders, and you have to manage, document, and control your workflows and data. EPLAN Software & Services just released version 2.3 of its EPLAN Platform for electrical product design and automation project development. It’s meant to bring a good measure of sanity to the process.
But EPLAN is more than a platform. EPLAN is also a portfolio of applications for electrical engineering and mechatronics. The EPLAN portfolio offers a number of toolsets that you’ve probably heard of – EPLAN Electric P8 electrical planning and engineering; EPLAN Harness proD, 3D software for designing and documenting cable harnesses; and EPLAN Pro Panel, 3D CAE software for engineering control cabinets and switchgear systems. There also solutions for jobs like creating P&IDs, planning and configuring process engineering machines and systems, and fluid power engineering.
The EPLAN Platform embraces everything from workflow optimization to individual plant and or machine documentation. It provides the central functionality for electrical CAE, electrical control, instrumentation and control systems, as well as fluid engineering. What it really does is create an engineering environment in which different engineers can focus on their assignments, work in parallel, and work with each other’s data as needed without hassle, which can accelerate and optimize your entire development project.
The key is that EPLAN Platform technology creates a uniform project-planning environment and connects the portfolio applications to each other for direct data exchange. That enables the EPLAN Platform to serve as the development center between different engineering disciplines. Since all the applications have the same basic data structure and functions, project quality should improve because you don’t have to manually recreate or reconcile data. EPLAN also plays nice with major mechanical design and other third-party systems. It integrates with workgroup and enterprise solutions like PDM, PLM and ERP.
For those of you already familiar with the EPLAN Platform, version 2.3 integrates the preplanning and detail engineering project phases and offers a number of enhancements focusing on standardization, automation, and consistency that sound like they’ll make life easier for you. These include new page scaling, integrated management of discontinued parts, project-wide table based editing of macro boxes, extended navigator display options, and some new search functions for settings. You can read some more about the enhancements in today’s Pick of the Week write-up.
If you’re not familiar with EPLAN or even if you are, there’s a terrific on-demand webinar linked at the end of the main write-up. It starts with an overview of what EPLAN Platform and the EPLAN product portfolio are all about that is well worth your attention.
Thanks, Pal. — Lockwood
Anthony J. Lockwood
Editor at Large, Desktop Engineering
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