Dear Desktop Engineering Reader:
EPLAN Electric P8 from EPLAN Software & Services provides capabilities for electrical project planning, documentation, and management. These projects can be P&ID planning for process engineering jobs, machine design standardization, variant engineering, instrumentation and control, and similar automation projects. But to think of EPLAN Electric P8 as just a project management system for electrical engineers would be to give this system short shrift. Today’s Check It Out link takes you to an on-demand webinar that will show you what I mean.
The vast bulk of “Can Your CAD Do This?” is demo. The first few minutes of the webinar are an introduction to the company and the last 10-15 minutes are a rather lively Q&A session. The demo is really well done, and the discussion on “effort reduction” early on is a real eye-opener. Back to that in a second.
EPLAN Electric P8 is a high-end system for your automation projects. Efficiency seems to be its watchword. The philosophy, for lack of a better word, that seems to drive this software’s code-to-human interaction is to automate and, frankly, rationalize as many tasks as possible so that you can focus on the engineering concerns and not on the critical but excruciatingly tedious tasks that computers should be great at doing but generally are not when it comes to electrical project management.
For example, say you’re printing a large document and you have to replace or insert new pages. To do it with EPLAN Electric P8, you simply insert a new page without fuss. It seems as simple as adding a page in MS Word. Printing labels is no big chore either. To get the idea of this “make the hard stuff simple” philosophy, go to the “effort reduction” presentation at about the 8-minute mark. The gist of it is that the company believes you can save hours and even days of toil on many tasks, and it shows you some numbers and how they got there.
The foundation of what EPLAN Electric P8 does is that it deploys with a database architecture, meaning that it stores, controls, and manages data for you. That also means that you can quickly make edits in a project, gain access to crucial information, and produce documentation. You can create and store macros to automate tasks. Macros can be simple, complex, scalable, and, through the online community, you can share and download macros. EPLAN Electric P8 also provides revision management functionalities, and it can exchange engineering data with other project disciplines.
But that’s not even a tenth of it. What the demo makes clear time and time again is that what EPLAN Electric P8 really has going for you is automation. It automates tasks like wire numbering, device tagging, cross-referencing, and error checking. Take device tagging: You can retag piles of them with a few clicks to initiate the change. It can, for example, automatically produce in-depth reports on wiring diagrams or simply make your schematic.
EPLAN Electric P8 also links to the EPLAN Data Portal. The Data Portal links to searchable components from more than 48 manufacturers. You find what you need, grab it, and then create the data set for it. One more cool thing about EPLAN Electric P8: It can translate your project into one of 17 languages pretty much with a click.
The “Can Your CAD Do This?” webinar is 69 minutes long, so get a snack, powder your nose, then hit the link over there. Registration is required, but do not let that deter you. EPLAN Electric P8 has too much going for it to pass up.
Thanks, Pal. – Lockwood
Anthony J. Lockwood
Editor at Large, Desktop Engineering