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EPLAN Engineering Center Automation strategies

EPLAN – efficient engineering.

Automation is key Modern modular system for functional engineering Today‘s machine and plant manufacturers face numerous challenges. Increasing global competition and more exacting customer demands crank up the pressure on costs and time. Anyone wanting to survive in the globalised market needs to optimise utilisation of the productivity potential of their company. Despite the challenges facing modern-day firms, there is a great deal of potential for optimisation within the engineering process. The introduction of a modern CAE system can be key, although this is not generally sufficient as a stand-alone measure. The key to success lies in consistent standardisation and automation across all areas of engineering. This is the only way processes can be efficiently designed and profitably networked together.

Made to measure instead of „made to fit“ The more complex the requirements, the simpler the solution has to be: EPLAN has developed a consistent automation strategy for the sustainable implementation of standardisation and automation. Innovative software solutions are available to support implementation: EPLAN Platform ƒƒ EPLAN Engineering Center One (EEC One) ƒƒ EPLAN Engineering Center Professional (ECC Professional) ƒƒ


Perfect-fit service strategies for you The EPLAN Engineering Center (EEC) is a form of „data control centre“ which can be tailored exactly to your requirements. We provide professional, seamless support for our customers throughout the entire automation process, from consultancy through standardisation to the use of macro, version and mechatronic engineering, all whilst considering your personal business objectives. This means EPLAN can promise you a genuine perfect-fit technology and service strategy.

Functional engineering


Variant management Product configuration Process optimisation Mechatronics

Disciplinespecific generation EPLAN Electric P8 & EPLAN Fluid

Option technology

Variants Standardisation Standardisation

Discipline-specific Mechatronics



Streamlining processes

Standardisation generates transparency Meeting targets by defining clear standards The definition of standards produces a binding database which allows systematic progression of automation processes within the company. Standardisation is an important step towards increased productivity, and can even reduce outlay and costs. Experienced EPLAN consultants can support you when defining relevant standards within your company. Depending on the company process you require, we make a distinction between two standardisation levels, which build on one another.

Step 1: Discipline-specific standardisation ƒƒ Step 2: Interdisciplinary standardisation ƒƒ


hine Machine

Module Function / Modules

Component/ AN Macro EPLAN Macro


Standardisation in engineering – the benefits to you: Better quality ƒƒ Consistent document structures ensure a reduced in incorrect entries and discrepancies in production documents. Reduced outlay ƒƒ The one-off definition of master data and binding guidelines ensures that engineering know-how is secured on a central basis and can be reused. Improved time-saving ƒƒ The automated documentation of reusable functions reduces engineering time significantly. This allows free resources to be used for the development of new technologies.



Discipline-specific standardisation „A department in check“ – what is being looked at? For discipline-specific standardisation, the focus is on processes or reusable product components within a specific company department. The consistent definition and central storage of reusable elements, templates and design guidelines produces a comprehensive database. The next stage is to use this to produce automatic product documentation.

What is the process? The following questions are key to discipline-specific standardisation: What documentation structure is required? ƒƒ Which are the reusable elements? ƒƒ What are the construction guidelines for planning? ƒƒ What is the data structure like? ƒƒ What reports are required? ƒƒ The first stage of discipline-specific standardisation in the ECAD department could involve the definition of project templates along with their document structures and reports (e.g. cable and terminal diagrams, hose lists). Then, reusable partial circuits (e.g. schematic macros) could be put in the spotlight. This means that a motor control macro can have several variants. Value sets are also defined, such as the motor output, as this then defines the technical specifications for the motor cable.

What software is used? Project templates are produced based on the EPLAN Platform, partial circuits (macros) are saved and made available in a central macro library project. Discipline-specific standardisation is rounded off by the definition of design guidelines (rules) within a simple Excel front end for the EEC One. IN SHORT: Discipline-specific standardisation secures project knowledge, saves costs and time, and improves quality!


EEC Professional

Interdisciplinary, mechatronic standardisation „All engineering processes on the test bed“ – what is being looked at? What works on a small scale can work on a large scale too: the benefits derived from standardisation in ECAD can be multiplied if standardisation is applied across the company and on a mechatronic basis. Interdisciplinary standardisation highlights departments, from mechatronics to fluid and electrical engineering to sales.

What is the process? Interdisciplinary structures are defined in conjunction with experienced EPLAN consultants. This means breaking down reusable, functional units of a machine or plant into mechatronic components. The following questions need to be answered: How can mechatronic components (e.g. grabber units) be ƒƒ enriched by discipline-specific standards? What departments are involved? ƒƒ Sales (calculations/quotation), mechanics, hardware (schematics/bills of materials), software (PLC programs, assignment lists, visualisation images), machine documentation, etc.

Dependencies between the disciplines in a component or among components themselves are described by rule sets. These provide an independent definition of the potential uses of the components. Once the mechatronic components have been described, they are saved centrally in an interdisciplinary module. This allows the standardisation team to reduce even complex machine and plant units down to just a few components. The modules provide a better overview of the range of different variants, whilst securing data in a central location. Another benefit is that your company know-how is secured centrally.

What software is used? The range of variants is made manageable by the highperformance EPLAN Engineering Center Professional software. The open architecture and numerous interfaces to different expert systems mean the possibilities are endless. The definition of the rule set and the central module storage provides optimum support for variant management across all departments.

Mechatronic component Visualisation

Bill of materials

Design drawings Fluid plan

PLC software

Calculation and quotation text Individual disciplines

ECAD circuit diagram

Mechatronic component

IN SHORT: The interdisciplinary approach gives you a firm handle on complex variant management.



Innovative methods in engineering Uncomplicated operation EEC One is used based on discipline-specific standardisation. This bridges the gap between conventional electrical engineering and functional working methods using EEC. This is a critical component in a consistent automation strategy. The discipline-specific modules allow the generation of all hardware information. An Excel front end gives you the option of intelligently combining input information such as motor or article lists from upstream departments with partial circuits (macros). All Excel functions are available. This guarantees easy access to the world of automation.

Clever technology The excellent connection between the EEC One and the EPLAN Platform optimises the operation options of our software solution. Macro navigator ƒƒ The built-in macro navigator provides visual support. With its help, you can keep an eye on all macro variants, representation types and macro types. It makes allocation to the input information easier. Efficient data management ƒƒ Meta data, e.g. project information, can be exchanged bi-directionally or read directly via external systems. This reduces manual input routines and redundant data maintenance.

Input information from upstream departments Sensor lists Actuator lists Motor lists Article lists Works tables

Excel Database

Integration of value sets ƒƒ EEC One supports the automatic activation of value sets and related technical information for cable crosssections, motor overload switches and parts. If a predefined value set is selected in EEC One, the system automatically adds the missing macro values.



Optimum results Once configuration is complete, generation of fluid and circuit diagrams can begin. They can be generated either at the touch of a button or directly, as a whole project in the EPLAN Platform. This enables pages with macros and project information to be produced individually, to the customer‘s specifications. Projects can be either partially or completely edited manually. Reports such as hose connection lists for fluid technology, cable lists for electrical engineering and bills of materials for the ordering process can be generated via EEC One in the EPLAN Platform. The EPLAN Platform also supports script technology, which is an exciting additional benefit within the automation process: for instance, this allows automatic translation of the project via EEC, or enables the user to view the finished project as a PDF document. This guarantees quick, neutral data exchange.

Standardisation Macro project Value lists Variants Templates Macros

Standardisation Discipline-specific standardisation Mechatronic standardisation

Rule knowledge



Product configuration Interdisciplinary configuration

Projects generated

Project 1

Project 2

Project 3

Results Tailored, interdisciplinary documentation in a PLM context


EEC Professional

Automation for complex tasks High-performance tool for individual requirements While EEC One supports document generation in the ECAD or Fluid sectors, EEC Professional is tailored for considerably more complex requirements. This is the highest-level module package in the automation strategy. It also integrates, for example, mechanical, PLC and documentation data. Based on the mechatronic standardisation and the resulting interdisciplinary modules, EEC Professional can be set up in two different ways. Product configurator ƒƒ Interdisciplinary configurator ƒƒ Whether you are producing series or individual products, our consultants are happy to help you with the decision-making process.


Standardisation Sales

CRM, Office

Discipline-specific standardisation




Mechatronic component

Mechatronic standardisation


Bill of materials

Design drawings Fluid plan

PLC software

Calculation and quotation text Individual disciplines

ECAD circuit diagram



Mechatronic component


Product configuration Interdisciplinary configuration


Results Tailored, interdisciplinary documentation in a PLM context


Product configurator EEC Professional as the product configurator is the central link between product development, production and customer requirements. Intelligent user interfaces lead both customers and sales representatives to the variant they require based on data entered previously during the mechatronic standardisation process. The strengths of product configuration at a glance: High fit accuracy ƒƒ With configuration screens tailored to your product portfolio, your sales representatives have the optimum basis for providing your customers with tailored solutions. The pre-defined rule set in the module provides peace of mind that only technically adapted configurations of variants and options requested by sales can be combined with one another. Simplification of quotation processes ƒƒ The product arising from the configuration process can then be transferred easily into a detailed quotation template or price calculation. The individual quotation items automatically refer back to the price information in your ERP system (e.g. SAP). Plans at the touch of a button ƒƒ In order to add value to your quotation or support your production department, EEC Professional also generates 3D drawings or schematics based on the product configuration. At the same time, EEC Professional aims to optimise coordination between sales, design and production. Support for online sales ƒƒ As an additional bonus, the software allows the uncomplicated marketing of your products via the internet or intranet. Based on the product configurator, you can use EEC Professional to automate the entire quotation process as far as the purchase order, thus relieving your sales team of routine tasks.


EEC Professional

Configuration solution for complex plants Interdisciplinary configurator

The unique selling propositions

While the use of an automated configurator is widespread in the product parts, it is just beginning to gain popularity in the specialist machinery and plant engineering sector. Support from a cross-disciplinary configuration solution is immensely important in this sector. With the right support, all the machine variants fulfil repeat, despite the machine or plant design being subject to constant changes. This is exactly what the functional engineering approach is all about.

High customisation potential ƒƒ The basic work of functional engineering involves disciplinespecific and mechatronic standardisation. The resulting modules incorporate the defined and tested functions. Depending on the customer requirements, machines or plant are put together individually, based on these modular components. Reduced engineering outlay ƒƒ

This innovative approach gives the specialist machinery or plant manufacturers high levels of transparency and top quality in the engineering process. The newly obtained flexibility in everyday business can mean a decisive competitive edge in the project business.

The central, interdisciplinary mechatronic configuration (functional description) can be used to generate complete documentation at the touch of a button. This can include quotations, 3D drawings, fluid and circuit diagrams and PLC programs, on an order-specific basis. This significantly reduces outlay on production and documentation. Better quality ƒƒ The defined rule set and automated processes in EEC Professional automate mostentry and duplication. This improves the quality of the production documentation.


Product comparison

Overview of services Features


EEC Prof.

Configuration options Discipline-specific configuration



Interdisciplinary standardisation


Product configuration


Rule definition Excel-based

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Own language Automation options EPLAN Electric P8






EPLAN Pro Panel


M-CAD interface


PLC interface




Interfaces to CRM systems


ERP systems


PDM systems


PLM systems


MES systems



Product overview

Added value in terms of costs, time and quality EPLAN Engineering Center One

EPLAN Engineering Center Professional


Standardisation of functional components

Increased repeat rate through standardisation in ECAD ƒƒ

Streamlining effect thanks to reuse of defined ƒƒ

Engineering. Improved quality due to defined processes. ƒƒ Avoidance of frequent engineering faults through the ƒƒ reuse of existing information.

components. Customer requirements are easy to fulfil as individual ƒƒ parameters ensure a large variety of options. Fast, accurate calculation options for customer enquiries. ƒƒ High quality achieved through the use of tested, error-free ƒƒ components.

Automation Reduced costs thanks to configuration of partial circuits ƒƒ and projects. Generation of EPLAN Electric P8 and EPLAN Fluid ƒƒ reduces engineering time. Quality increases thanks to reduction of routine manual ƒƒ tasks in engineering.

Time saved on commissioning and maintenance thanks ƒƒ to standardised, and therefore known, structures. Reflection of different components on a few ƒƒ parameterisable components. Automation and parallelisation of project processes Minimisation of configuration time and costs. ƒƒ

System openness and flexibility

Rationalisation potential allows free resources to be ƒƒ

Easy entry to the world of automation with step-by-step ƒƒ

shifted to the development of new technologies. Time savings and quality improvements through a ƒƒ reduction in routine manual tasks. Shorter production times. ƒƒ

conversion to automated engineering. Support for EPLAN automation technologies to ensure ƒƒ optimum integration. Support for various different automation technologies ƒƒ with different optimisation potential.


System openness and flexibility Incremental integration of the Engineering Center starting ƒƒ with a single discipline. Scalable solution ensures a fluid introduction of the ƒƒ system into everyday work. Productivity increases can be felt immediately. ƒƒ Involvement of further disciplines can be defined ƒƒ individually.

construction directives productivity potentials


top quality standardization


EPLAN Engineering Center


time saving mechatronical components


configuration engineering process

fluid power technologie order process

transparency system openness

electrical engineering

variant management process


plant engineering

individual disciplines

high precision

PLC software

technologies process optimization





variant management

CAE systems

functional engineering Cross-disciplinary engineering Consistent flow of ƒƒ information saves duplication and data reconciliation. Redundancy-free data ƒƒ guarantees top quality throughout the project. Functional components ƒƒ are tailored to the requirements of all disciplines. Transparency across ƒƒ engineering by means of clearly structured configuration processes. Central, structured ƒƒ archiving of company know-how. Simple use of functional ƒƒ components to encapsulate complexity.

automation strategy



bill of material

data transparency

EPLAN Platform

construction kit

PLC programs

special machinery



ƒƒ Process consulting ƒƒ Engineering software ƒƒ Implementation 03-2013 / 1

ƒƒ Global support

EPLAN Software & Service GmbH & Co. KG An der alten Ziegelei 2 · D-40789 Monheim am Rhein Phone: +49(0)2173 3964-0 · Fax: +49(0)2173 3964-25 Email: ·

Eplan engineering center one  
Eplan engineering center one