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EPLAN Magazine 01/2013


Dear Readers, In the era of social networking, information exchange is constantly increasing. Systems and solutions are increasingly becoming strongly networked and companies are forming alliances to secure knowledge transfer. But what about "networking" when it comes to automation? I believe that pressing ahead with integrated data exchange among systems and thus achieving networked processes is crucial. This is why we have created a 100 sqm. Community Area at the Hannover Messe to bring together software partners, component manufacturers, technology partners and key users. They all have one aim: to showcase their consistent engineering processes in conjunction with EPLAN. The element of optimum networking is increasingly becoming a requirement in terms of efficient engineering.

Maximilian Brandl President of the Management Board

Stronger as a team CAE, ERP/PDM, manufacturing integration and more


he heart of engineering was beating at this years Hannover Messe. Leading providers of automation, including Phoenix Contact, Rockwell Automation, Schneider Electric, Siemens and others presented their solutions on a 100 sqm. stand adjacent to the EPLAN stand. What did they have in common? They all showcased intelligent solutions, processes and interfaces relating to EPLAN’s CAE solutions. This demonstrates that in times of increased networking, manufacturers and users are working closer than ever.

EPLAN and intelligent interfaces What do automation technology manufacturers and engineering end-users have in common? They all strive for efficient, integrated processes. To emphasise EPLAN’s large process potential and bring manufacturers and users closer together, EPLAN created a unique community area at the Hannover Messe 2013. This gave numerous companies the opportunity to present their solutions relating to CAE and ERP/PDM, production integration and best practice. This was all done against an EPLAN setting in an area covering 100 sqm, next to the main 380 sqm stand. The purposefully built stand enabled EPLAN to demonstrate the entire engineering process; from sales through to design and production. Connected interface solutions were easy to find, from

consistent data management based on ERP systems and PDM data integration to manufacturing interfaces for wire fabrication, production and assembly. Visitors could also learn how to facilitate data exchange with PLC programming tools for bidirectional data synchronisation. Alliances for best in class solutions The idea of closely networking is also highly relevant for component manufacturers and system integrators. There is one target linking companies and users alike: Solutions must have a best in class status – a necessity to becoming established and providing a technological basis for innovation. But this high bar is by no means an end in itself. Companies are under pressure to improve efficiency, innovation and bring new machi-

nes and plants to market at a much quicker rate. Moreover, focussing on quality and efficient workflows is especially important in a globalising market place. It helps users to accelerate processes within the entire product development procedure. Partners involved: Aristos, Beckhoff, B&R, CSS Maier, Docware, Festo Didactic, Heller, ILC, Kiesling, Komax, Phoenix Contact, P&V, Rockwell Automation, Schneider Electric, Siemens, Steinhauer and Tesis were amongst the companies represented at the "Community of efficient engineering".


teyr Motors specialises in drive systems for ground, air and water vehicles with state-of-the-art monoblock motors through to diesel hybrids. While designers developed mechanical components on high-end 3D CAD systems, the company was still looking for support for its electrical engineering processes. The company therefore decided to install EPLAN Harness proD. The built-in 3D tool for wire harness engineering made it possible to parallelise mechanical and electrical development, reduce design time by up to 90 percent and provide comprehensive documentation to ensure process quality and stability.

"Full speed" for wire harness EPLAN Harness proD accelerates motor development

Quick and uncompromising In 2008, Steyr Motors launched the world’s first diesel hybrid motor for marine use. While modelling with 3D-CAD systems has been a matter of course in mechanical engineering construction for years, the electrical part couldn’t access modern software/technology. Cabling on the motor was done by hand and required close coordination between electrical engineering developers and mechanical designers. "The adaptations required to make the motor robust, such as a cutout so that the cable strand did not have to be led over the fin, had previously been

Pressure on deadlines exacerbates requirements In 2011, Roland Streitner was looking for a practicable software solution. "I had seen that, without adequate software support, development targets for the new generation of marine motors to be rolled out in 2012 would be very difficult to achieve". As part of this search, he came across today´s EPLAN Harness proD, which combines the data of mechanical and electrical design. The system not only supports the import of MCAD data in IGES or STEP format, but also in native data formats of all conven-

then be integrated and protected within the external structures of the drive unit. This considerably reduces the risk of mechanical damage. Adaptive adjustments included Even the option of simply importing component data – for plugs, for example – from manufacturer catalogues saves considerable amount of work. Together with the option of individual definition of standard components (e.g. cables in AWG and parameters such as minimum radii), this makes the initial creation of wire harnesses much quicker and easier.

generated after the alteration is also automatically correct." Extensive documentation improves quality Comprehensive documentation such as user-defined bills of materials and part lists used as the basis for cable diagrams including time, cost and weight calculations also incorporate the automatic derivation of control files for wire and cable assembly machines. The management of variants and options also automatically leads to a high rate of reuse of similar parts, which in turn has an im-

"With EPLAN Harness proD, we were not only able to complete the new motor in exceptional time, we also gained more time for the actual thought processes involved in development whilst improving quality and flexiblity." Roland Streitner, Electronic and Electrical Engineering Developer


very time-consuming," explains Roland Streitner, Electronics and Electrical Engineering Developer. "We always needed to compromise when protecting the cable from damage during installation and maintenance work." In addition the dimensions of the adjusted wire harness and its components could only be determined after the documentation for external suppliers of cable assemblies produced this data.

tional systems. One of the key reasons for the management to give the green light was the significant reduction in schematic development times. The actual benefit lies in the different approach: Today, electrical development does not need to wait for a production of a mechanical prototype, instead, it can work in parallel to the mechanical design. This means the cable strand and its components can be considered at an early stage and can

Another even more decisive benefit is the automatic adjustment of wire harness parameters, once the geometry is changed. "If, for example, the designer needs to move a rib to optimise stability and has to change the position of a cutthrough, this also changes the geometry of the wire harness," explains Roland Streitner. "The cable list with the lengths of the individual parts amends itself automatically, so the pin-board drawing

pact on the procurement process and spare parts storage. "With EPLAN Harness proD, we were not only able to complete the new motor in exceptional time, we also gained more time for the actual thought processes involved in development whilst improving quality and flexibility," reports Roland Streitner.

Unlimited teamwork EPLAN Platform connects disciplines, locations and company divisions


he forming technology specialists at the Schuler Group can now work in project teams across different company sites. After Schuler took over Müller Weingarten, it standardised its IT systems. While using SAP software as their leading system, EPLAN Electric P8 was also used to display electrical engineering and fluid power within a single system. This makes interdisciplinary cooperation easier.

Based on a shared IT system "Now we can work together," reports Christoph Kämmerle, who is responsible for ECAD system support at the Schuler Group. The fact that Schuler, which specialises in forming technology, can now utilise these synergies is based primarily on a management decision to put corporate IT on a shared footing. "We can now compare capacities in individual company divisions – across locations and technical departments," stresses Kämmerle. The interesting thing is that Schuler does not use a CADbased PDM system as their lead application, they use the group‘s SAP system. However, in order to cover the requirements of the manufacturers, Schuler also works with additional software such as the Engineering Control Center ECTR. In a similar way to a PDM system, it delivers design-related views and supports routine tasks. Target: Interdisciplinary engineering As part of the consolidation of the IT landscape, Schuler tackled the issue of interdisciplinary engineering, with the focus initially on the interaction between electrical engineering and fluid power. The problem: Müller Weingarten and

Schuler had previously acted independently in the market and had developed their own sequential workflows. In both companies, they were already looking for a solution to update EPLAN 5.70 and replace a competitor system. "We opted for EPLAN Electric P8 and a consolidation of electrical engineering and fluid power," explains Christoph Kämmerle. The EPLAN software is now well established in the Schuler group. "This means we can – depending on available capacity – develop hydraulics in Göppingen and electrics in Weingarten, or vice versa. It gives us flexibility," adds Kämmerle. Central data storage in the SAP system Whether it is a standard product or a special production: the sales team defines the basic structure in SAP. This involves a rough project framework as the actual specification documents are produced with the relevant disciplines. These start the development process one after the other, beginning with mechanics. The electrical engineers then receive an order from the ERP software and use designs from the mechanics as a basis. They work in EPLAN Electric P8 with part and

Optimum use of engineering capacities: Across disciplines and locations. material information from SAP, generating the relevant components and functions. As well as the bills of materials, all the necessary documents, including circuit and terminal diagrams, are transferred from the EPLAN software to the SAP system in the form of PDF files. "This means our production is flexible and we can utilise free capacity when it becomes available." Electrical engineering and fluid power combined By combining electrical engineering and fluid power, Schuler can use the EPLAN Platform for both electrical engineering and fluid power. "We are at the stage where an electrical or fluid component contains just one device tag whereas before it would have been three, depending on the relevant discipline," explains Christoph Kämmerle. However, electrical engineering and fluid power have not yet been brought close enough together, according to Schuler employees. One of the problems is that the whole system of standards is not yet geared up to-

wards mechatronic processes which can be considered as standard." To date, there are no standards to cover this and all trades have their own regulations.


Child’s play tube connections EPLAN Fluid Professional – now includes tubing function direct in 3D


lock, open, close, control: Complex workflows require intelligent control and reliable drives. To meet increasing requirements in this sector, manufacturers of fluid power components are offering a growing range of pneumatic complete solutions with intelligent valve terminals and communication interfaces from a single source. Ready-to-fit pneumatics and ready-to-install systems are key. The high level of comparability between these systems and control cabinet engineering means it is logical to translate the tried and tested benefits of virtual control cabinet design to fluid power by means of EPLAN Fluid Professional.

The new version of EPLAN Fluid Professional provides plenty of support. Virtual 3D mounting layout in fluid power engineering is what the EPLAN Fluid Professional solution offers as part of the forthcoming EPLAN Platform 2.3.

Free choice of workflow – based on a fluid power schematic or directly in 3D „„ Casing data direct from EPLAN Data Portal „„ Mounting layout in 3D – as simple as 2D thanks to eTouch technology „„ Automatic generation of all fluid power connections based on the fluid power schematic or by means of manual definition of 3D connections „„ Automatic or interactive tubing between components „„ Free routing of tubes and definition of routing tracks in 3D „„ Consideration of material properties (e.g. bending radii to comply with bending safety regulations) „„

EPLAN Fluid Professional combines things that belong together: 2D fluid power schematic, simple 3D mounting layout and interactive tubing. New: system support for tubing The direct link between the fluid power schematic and the 3D mounting layout generates the tubing and cabling routes completely and automatically at the touch of a button. The fluid power engineer can then decide on the ideal route for the pneumatic tubes in the enclosure. Minimum bending radii and other design influences can be saved in the system and are considered when defining the layout. As well as the 3D layout, the designer gets lists of all fluid connections. These can then be preproduced – with the tube lengths required totalled up to calculate the total bill of requirements. Even if subsequent changes are made to the position of the components, the lines can be automatically redrawn if required and values updated. The benefits are clear: Highly realistic representation in 3D, for visual checking of the installation site „„ High level of planning reliability „„ Optimum dimensioning and space utilisation „„ Provision of production and assembly drawings „„ Perfect-fit components „„ Complete documentation for ordering and production (bill of materials,tube lists and connection lists) „„ More than 50 % time savings on layout alone „„ Significantly faster creation of mounting and production drawings „„



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More consistent, more comprehensive amendment records and accelerated adaptation of mounting and production drawings in the event of modifications Quality, detailed documentation for reproducible results Facilitated communication with specialist departments, suppliers and customers Reduced "time to market" Sustainable cost reduction due to standardised solutions

Even more efficiency can be achieved if the component manufacturer takes over design and implementation based on quality production drawings, precise assembly instructions and complete information for the ordering system. The production depth for the end customer is therefore significantly reduced. This saves time and money, and allows the company to focus on its core expertise. In brief: Designed to customer specifications, produced and delivered ready to connect. Image: Festo Systemtechnik

Potential savings thanks to virtual prototypes The development of a virtual prototype at the earliest possible stage of project development makes planning easier. It allows precise verification of solutions relative to customer requirements and guarantees a perfect fit at a later stage. Reduced time to market and sustainable time and cost savings are the result. As well as virtual placement of components, their fluid power tubing is also an important element.


rombacher is one of the largest beer breweries in Germany. Its slogan, which translates into "as unique as its taste" is also reflected in its technology. Production and logistic systems are constantly being expanded and modernised in order to keep pace with the expansion of the company. Krombacher‘s operational engineering department keeps an overview of efficient electrical planning, modification and documentation of existing and new plant data using the EPLAN Platform.

Consistently competitive EPLAN Platform saves Krombacher’s operational engineering department time and money Krombacher relies on EPLAN Krombacher’s brewery systems are divided into two production plants in the Krombach district of Kreuztal. The headquarter covers the production, while bottling and logistics are located on the other side of the state road. These production and bottling sites are linked by underground lines, so the technology and production-logistics are rather complex. "We have a high level of automation," explains Ulrich Stiebeling, head of the operational engineering department. There are currently over 1000 controllers and enclosures installed across the whole company premises. Krombacher uses EPLAN Electric P8 for electrical design, plus EPLAN Fluid and EPLAN View for pneumatic design and visualisation. Convert or redraw? When devices are replaced, the plant needs to be extended or optimised and Ulrich Stiebeling‘s team is normally faced with the challenges of entering changes manually. Smaller plants are also planned and implemented completely in-house, with conversion of old plans from EPLAN 5.70 to P8 also done by hand. "When it comes to conversions or major plant and machine changes, we need to decide on a case-by-case basis: Convert or redraw? A newly drawn plan is always beneficial for the future," explains the head of operational engineering.

Good documentation saves time and money Good documentation is a question of discipline: Schematics produced in EPLAN which can be viewed in PDF form have a familiar structure which makes work easier for service technicians if errors occur in the system. "They always find

implementation of DIN EN 81346 makes clear guidelines indispensable. Clear guidelines – smooth processes "Our aim is group-oriented drawing, so all those involved in the plans can work efficiently with them," underlines Torsten Friedrich. The catalogue of guidelines

Front runner in terms of consistency The next step is to move in the same direction for pneumatic design with the help of EPLAN Fluid. "Pneumatics need to be checked just as carefully as electronics," explains electronic engineer Udo Klappert, neglecting them can result in time-wasting and expensive periods of

The famous brewery in Germany´s Siegerland area configures and documents on the EPLAN Platform and insists on strict, consistent standards from its suppliers. the faults – it is just a question of whether it takes a quarter of an hour or several hours," believes Ulrich Stiebeling. With clear, current EPLAN visualisations, the origin of faults is easy to find without expensive downtimes. Clear guidelines prevent illegible plans. This applies to the in house team and external specialist suppliers to which orders are issued for complex major systems, for example in the bottling plant. This is why Krombacher not only demands EPLAN Electric P8 based documentation from all plant suppliers, but also issues clear guide­ lines for the use of the CAE system to Krombacher standards and provides training to ensure its proper use. The

containing all specifications was drawn up in conjunction with EPLAN. Anyone accepting an order from Krombacher is given sample documentation, master data and component libraries on storage media. The aim is to standardise the structure, terminology and documentation to enable structured archiving so that project data can be accessed more quickly and, last but not least, maintenance costs can be reduced. The Krombacher guidelines have proved particularly useful when it comes to handling error checking. Krombacher demands tested drawings from its suppliers, as "faulty plans are wasted money".

downtime. Consistent electronic and pneumatic design and documentation from a single source gives Krombacher operational engineering additional time and cost benefits in terms of development design and maintenance.


Increasing menthol yield Tesium uses EPLAN PPE as central planning tool at Symrise


n 2012, Symrise AG invested 16 million euros to double the production capacity of nature-identical I-Menthol at its headquarters in Holzminden in the south of Lower Saxony, Germany. For the process automation experts at its subsidiary company, Tesium, the real challenge of the project lay in setting up the new plant within an established, ongoing production operation. Tesium used EPLAN PPE to configure the measurement, control, instrumentation and automation technology. Consistent processes to improve productivity The plant, which was planned and realised by Tesium, has been producing nature-identical I-Menthol within a towncentre chemicals site since summer 2012. The success story of the globally soughtafter flavouring and coolant is a similar length to the one about extending the engineering for process technology within the company. "As an independent subsidiary of a research company that produces aroma chemicals, cosmetic ingredients, flavours and fragrances, we are used to converting our engineering for process plants into production scale reliably and quickly," explains Kai Wedding, Marketing Director at Tesium. In engineering, working quickly and reliably requires consistent processes. When Symrise plans new process plants or converts existing ones, this is done so by representatives from four key areas on the project team. From Tesium‘s perspective, these are production-related management as the direct client, then a process engineer familiar with processes, chemical reactions and quantity balances. The third representative is recruited from plant engineering and the fourth from EI&C planning.


Shared basis for planning With a team composition of this kind, it is clear why it is so important to work with consistent planning, data and terminology. EPLAN PPE therefore takes on a key role. Tesium uses a piping and instrumentation diagram (P&ID) as the top level of graphical documentation, including the

are highlighted in colour, by the specialist departments. "The colour highlighting is important to ensure that optimisations in one area do not lead to subsequent problems with fitting in another area – for example, if a change in pipe dimensions means that the flange diameter of a valve no longer fits as originally planned, because it was ordered based on an older project version," explains Armin Thies, Head of EI&C Planning.

Barrier-free data flow thanks to the EPLAN Platform accelerates the engineering process. chemical processes and transport routes for the different materials used. Symbol databases make work easier through maintenance of all project versions in a database for those involved in the project to access the latest version without older releases causing inconsistencies in the project. "Starting with the higher-level process diagram, we then work deeper into the plant," explains Armin Thies, Head of EI&C Planning at Tesium. All components required for the operation of the menthol plant, including reactors, pumps, pipelines, measuring instruments, stirrers and control valves, are tethered within the flow diagram with standardised symbols and detailed technical specifications. For

pipelines, this information traditionally includes nominal width and pressure, medium to be transported and pipe material. Similarly, the key elements of the measurement and control engineering are configured within the process diagram. This work finally ends up in loop lists and sheets. These reflect the complete EI&C equipment for each individual process within Symrise plants. Equipment clearly defined If any changes are made to the engineering during the project, EPLAN PPE automatically records the revision status while individual lists in the form of non-editable PDF files are checked for changes, which

As process and control engineering cannot operate separately from electrical engineering, there is a direct link to EPLAN Electric P8 within the EPLAN Platform. Barrier-free data flow accelerates the engineering process and supports later maintenance and service work by providing seamless documentation, among other things. For Kai Wedding, this forward-thinking way of planning and working is a major factor in achieving high levels of operational reliability and thus production availability – especially for the new menthol plant which involves continually separating the laevorotatory menthol molecules from crystallisation as part of a highly complex process. So it is not easy to just switch the plant off.

Aвтоматизация with vision

How Russia’s experts in process and energy technology are optimising their engineering


he development of automated control systems requires good knowledge of process automation and close cooperation between engineering and production. "Sputnik-2," based in Perm/Russia, leads the way on the development and implementation of automated process control and energy distribution systems. In 2004, the company decided to use a professional engineering tool – and opted for EPLAN. 98% of earlier configuration errors are a thing of the past – as well as the huge improvement in quality, automated configuration and reduced delivery times.

Everything from a single source "In principle, all the systems briefly met the company‘s requirements as they had a similar structure and functions, but the final decision went in favour of EPLAN software. EPLAN offered comprehensive flexibility by adapting various reports and forms, plus a high-performance Application Programming Interface" explains Igor Pyankof, designer and leading CAE expert at Sputnik-2. Today, the company uses EPLAN Electric P8, EPLAN PPE and modules including API, EPLAN Data Portal and the new field cabling module EPLAN FieldSys. For the technicians, the most important function is the multi-user option. Multiple technicians can work on the same project at the same time in a shared information area. If, for example, signal data is entered during the first phase of project development, it is automatically

The figures speak for themselves: 98% of earlier configuration errors could be avoided. displayed in field device reports and in the hardware and software lists. If a signal needs to be changed, the data merely needs to be updated in the functional diagram, and all other locations are automatically updated. The creation of different document types (reports) in the functional diagram in both graphic and table form was also made considerably easier for the Russian designers. The flexibility to define settings and report forms increases the level of individual adaptation while at the same time enabling maximum compliance with the GOST standard, which the Russian localised software naturally supports. Whether it is automated schematic creation, programming in API (Application Programming Interface) or configured

macros – Sputnik-2 many of EPLAN’s automation options. The benefits are clear: Reduced project design and delivery times. „„ Higher quality documentation. „„ 98% of earlier configuration errors have been eliminated, and the remaining 2% have also been prevented as the program is adjusted further. „„ Significant reduction in project costs as fewer technicians are needed and less time is required for order processing. „„

The Sputnik-2 design department has a focus on further engineering processes and there are plans for a special con-

figurator for process control systems. The automated specification process with cost estimates for components will allow further optimisation. Among the short-term plans is the integration of existing price databases and creating projects with complete calculations. One of the main objectives is to combine all the areas of a project (field level, enclosure fields for process control systems, low-voltage enclosures with suitable references, schematics, reports and routing plans) within a shared system area. This step allows all errors which could occur when different departments work together to be identified and avoided. "In summary, implementing EPLAN software at Sputnik-2 has optimised the workflow across the whole company," concludes Igor Pyankov.

The company In 1993, the department for automated process control systems at the "Perminskiy Center" became an an independent business and given the name "Sputnik" (Russian for satellite). Over the years, the company has developed and implemented a range of different projects in process automation and energy distribution for customers including RusHydro hydro power plants, the mining and chemicals group EuroChem and the new Salavat power station. The Sputnik group of companies has been given Siemens Solution Partner and WinCC, PCS7, PL Solution Specialist, which is the highest level of Siemens accreditation.



ow can process costs be reduced to enable a quick, flexible reaction to customer requirements? And without having to start a new development every time? EPLAN has developed a 4-step plan for successful implementation. This gradual approach has been trialled by both customers and consultants and has proved its worth many times over. The result: Reduced complexity, increased reuse and maximum flexibility. Plus lower process costs and increased efficiency in engineering.

Standardisation in products and processes In order to standardise engineering, both the product and the process sides needed to be taken into consideration. On the product side are the platform strategies, which allow a large number of product variants to be generated from a range of similar components. On the process side, organisational and work standards are developed to simplify complex workflows and increase flexibility via clever combinations. Therefore, it is important to standardise individual steps in the engineering process even the applications are different.


The "Standardised Engineering" guidelines cover the following areas: „„ Standardisation – Transparency, correct and comprehensive „„ Modularisation – Clarity by means of interdisciplinary structuring

The systematic approach of EPLAN‘s 4-step model is target-oriented implementation. Each step represents progress in terms of increasing efficiency.


Classification – Simplification and increased reuse Parallelisation – Minimisation of engineering and construction time

A companies products, automation functions and specific processes established within the company are all clearly analyzed based on the following questions: „„ „„ „„

What engineering methods fit the individual applications? What are the steps required as a result? What needs to be done first?

Step by step to Incremental

4-step model:




Basis/Standardisation IEC 81346/IEC 61355


Structuring Product-/Technology model

Definition and organisation



Definition of reuse

Macro project file structure

Library Characteristics structure



Generation program EEC One/Prof.

Automation Product documentation

Location, function, product aspects

Step 1: Standardisation Studies show that many companies have already tried to implement standardisation, but have failed due to the demands the time requirements of day to day business The conclusion is often: "Everything is different here, and so it won‘t work ..." or "The software doesn‘t have the right functions for our process ..." Too little time and inadequate advice are the


most common reasons for these costly failures. So the studies suggest that starting a project without sufficient

Classification Describe characteristics

knowledge should be avoided. A project analysis also needs to be carried out before a solution can be applied to the software. The most important element of this process is change management, which involves all those affected by change, adopting a new way of thinking. Once the basic prerequisites are in place, the project can begin. Norms such as e.g. IEC 81446 forms the basis for the structuring of products, machines and plants – involving as many disciplines as possible with consistent terminology. A clear definition of individual products, including correct wording, understanding of assemblies, functions and variants can provide the basis for the following steps. Level 2: Product model/Technology model Determining product structure from the view of the customer forms a product

model which throws up the following questions: What are the product functions of my machine from the perspective of the customer? Clear structuring is required – all employees involved in the engineering process need to work together as all departments have their own view of the machine. For example, the mechanic sees modules and assembly units from a physical perspective. The electrical engineer thinks in higher-level logical structures and in manufacturing, it is all about production characteristics such as installation and mounting locations. The product structure is enriched with more and more specific information along the entire development process,

from the first idea to implementation. So it is all the more important that a clear product structure is established. it is therefore important to determine: "Which properties can be calculated automatically based on pre-defined properties?" The number of degrees of freedom or selection criteria are automatically set in rules and dependencies. This is the basis for subsequent automatic configuration (see step 4). Interim summary of Step 2: Complexity is minimised – at the same time, increasing the chances for clear manageability and definition of rules. Infrastructure is normally generated automatically – for example the current range for the main switch, the number of inputs and outputs (I/O) or the safety technology required. As part of the structuring process, the main task is to record knowledge in values and rules which the project engineer can easily define on an intuitive basis. By contrast, the technical structure represents the technical configuration of the relevant variant to be produced – such as construction, drawing, switches and program component.

Level 3: "Definition of reuse" You often hear people say that there is no room for reuse in mechanical engineering. If you start at the module level, this claim appears correct. If you go one or two functional levels deeper, the hypo-thesis is destroyed. Similar basic

The successful implementation of "standardised engineering" concept is following a structured workflow. Complex processes are being divided and simplified in a step-by-step model.

improved efficiency implementation of "standardised engineering" reduces complexity whilst increasing flexibility functions are often used – with each industry having its own focus functions. So the aim of this stage is to recognise the functions for reuse and describe them clearly. EPLAN Consultants can utilise their experience from various products and best practices.

construction of the product structure required can be derived at this stage. The result is the most favourable process for the individual company. This method also determines the efficiency gains within the company. Strategy Incremental efficiency improvement by configuring reusable components in­ stead of individual order engineering. Implementation requires a change management system – as every employee involved in the process needs to apply different working steps if the methods are to be changed. The best method is determined by the highest possible efficiency gains that can be achieved.

Detailed process analysis and professional change management enable standardisation and automation.


Interim level


Macro engineering Partial unit 1

Project 1 Version 1 Version 2

EPLAN Engineering Center One

Project 2

Partial unit 2 Version 1 Version 2

Project 3

EPLAN Engineering Center

Partial unit 3 Version 1

Project 4

Version 2

This function forms the basis for a reusable construction template. Level 4: Method/Configuration What engineering method is the most efficient? Each approach is based on one of these construction methods: „„ Copy technology „„ Maximum project engineering or option engineering „„ Generation technology Depending on the results of Steps 1-3, the right decision for engineering and

Would you like to know more about the benefits of "standardised engineering" and generation engineering? Please get in contact:


Helped out of a fix Effective configuration: Terminals, cables, plugs


erminals and cables/lines connect controllers in enclosures to external sensors/actuators, drives and machines. In order to ensure that nothing goes wrong, EPLAN offers manufacturers extensive opportunities to incorporate mechanical and logical technical requirements at the configuration stage. Is the terminal a conventional electrical connection or does it have specific properties? Is it an isolating terminal, PE terminal or shielding terminal which requires assignment of devices and cable connections? Questions about questions – the right answers can be found in EPLAN Electric P8.

Small symbol – big effect The circuit symbol is an unassuming circle which, according to its definition, symbolises a "separable electrical connection". There is immense variety in terminals relating their purpose. This incorporates the mechanical model and the logical electrical use of the terminal. The same applies to cables and lines which represent the connections from the terminal strip to devices connected. As well as physical requirements (e.g. in chemical resistance or mechanical stability) the logical electrical properties and their application are crucial to correct configuration. Correct connections – safe production What parts and accessories which are not shown in the graphical schematic are required in the project? The planner brings the requirement and his knowledge of logical properties of items and connections into the EPLAN project on a one-off basis. This is both important


Extensive know-how on configuring terminals, cables and plugs: EPLAN Electric P8 for maximum results.

and necessary, as the project documentation is subsequently used for a wide range of purposes. As well as correct wiring of the components, it is important that the right connections are fitted to the terminal strip with the right conductor/wire types. Specifically: During on-site configuration, the cables must be fitted to the terminals specified by the planner. In the event of maintenance or errors, the operator or maintenance engineer must be able to identify connections as­ quickly as possible. Complete and correct documentation is therefore crucial in order to minimise downtime.

Communication skill Integration of PTC Windchill and EPLAN Electric P8 – for perfect cooperation


irect and fast communications guarantee simple, seamless cooperation. The new aristosEWI (Electronic Windchill Integration) allows the disciplines of mechanics and electrical engineering to communicate with one another. Parts lists can be exchanged both ways between EPLAN Electric P8 and the PTC System Windchill. Data management is considerably simplified and developers in both disciplines have an overview of the entire system to enable more efficiency in engineering. Simple cooperation Mechanical and electronic design processes are gradually converging. The new aristosEWI (Electronic Windchill Integration) exchanges structural data such as parts lists between EPLAN Electric P8 and PTC Windchill. The development from Leipzig-based IT system house aristos integrates the leading CAE software into the Windchill product development system from PTC. Users can benefit from complete documentation of all product structures within a system. This enables cooperation between ECAD and MCAD disciplines, prevents duplicaThe functions of aristosEWI at a glance: „„ Reconciliation of names, attributes and links for ECAD objects and Windchill objects

tion and leads to greater efficiency in the engineering process. Another practical benefit: important information can be exchanged quickly and easily with developers in the other discipline. The use of aristosEWI achieves a high level of standardisation and consistency for company-specific product data, information and catalogues. It also reduces the number of variants for designers, as only the data which is actually required is available. This rules out duplicate orders from different design areas to purchasing from the outset and allows exact planning of costs.

Changes are traceable immediately One example: the final product contains an electric motor which has both electrical and mechanical properties (attributes, models, symbols, etc.). Both specialist departments, electrical engineering and mechanics, can view the motor and process the project at the same time. The challenge lies in identifying these components clearly and uniquely for subsequent assembly so that the right orders are placed and the motor can be fitted in the correct place. aristosEWI automatically reconciles and adds to the information from EPLAN Electric P8 and the 3D system

PTC Creo. Therefore, all those involved in the development have consistent insight into the development of the entire system. The value added for product development is clear. Components fitted into mechanical and electrical systems are clearly visible to developers in both departments. There is no need for timeconsuming queries and agreements. Changes can be traced immediately by both sides and considered at the relevant state of development.

Mechanics and electrics moving closer together: Automatic synchronisation of ECAD and MCAD objects.

„„ Free configuration of attributes and structures „„ Availability of database attributes in the project „„ EPLAN objects are available in the Windchill PDMLink as independent object types „„ Change monitoring of individual items across the workspace and windchill projects „„ Generation of visualisation objects „„ Search and open EPLAN projects from PDMLink „„ Workspace for ECAD users similar to MCAD „„ Memory images to save current drafts „„ Available as of PTC Windchill version 10


Start and finish: Automation In 300 seconds: Generate schematics for standard control cabinets automatically


t is only logical that a robot manufacturer would automate the design and production of its products – after all, robots represent industrial automation. Kuka Roboter GmbH is very advanced and now generates all schematics for electrical design completely independently, i.e. without intervention from a design engineer, unless the customer only wants standard options. This innovative, time-saving way of working is made possible by the EPLAN Engineering Center (EEC) which is linked directly to the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system at Kuka. Starting point: The control cabinet configurator As the leading robot manufacturer in the German and European market, Kuka Roboter GmbH is working on a range of projects – which all involve electrical design. Three years ago, the Augsburgbased company decided to accelerate its workflows and simplify enclosure design. In line with the migration to EPLAN Electric P8 and the EPLAN Platform, they implemented the EPLAN Engineering Center (EEC) which – in simple terms – stores ECAD data for all relevant modules and assemblies. The Kuka engi-

volved in designing the enclosure for a standard robot – the enclosure virtually designs itself. "We have saved all the modules and functionalities we have designed with EPLAN Electric P8 in the EEC, along with their links," explains Alexander Rottmair. The modules are selected, accessed and linked together based on the robot configuration required by the customer. Generated automatically: The schematic Alexander Rottmair: "Our sales engineers and customer advisors work with a SAP-

entered." This process only takes about five minutes, so in theory the customer can view the complete schematic before the ink has even dried on the contract. As soon as the EPLAN Engineering Center has generated the individual schematic, the data is sent from the EEC to the SAP system. This means that the Enterprise Resource Planning system has all the data, e.g. the part numbers of all materials and can order or incorporate them into production planning.

system, can be entered into the cabinet configurator at the touch of a button. When it comes to the standard tasks, the EEC works in almost exactly the same way as robots automating production. Objective achieved But it should not be forgotten that thorough preparation work is required to make full use of the benefits of automatic enclosure generation. Kuka first defined a basic control cabinet to provide a basis for configuration. 500 options modules were defined and entered into the EPLAN Engineering Center.

"Our sales engineers and customer advisors work with a SAP-based electronic sales configurator into which they enter the robot types and standard options. Thanks to the link between SAP and EEC, the schematic is generated automatically as the data is entered." Alexander Rottmair, Electrical Engineer

neers had a good starting point, all the robot models and sizes are controlled using a shared series of control units with the designation KR C4. Since then, the electrical engineers are no longer in-


based electronic sales configurator into which they enter the robot types and standard options. Thanks to the link between SAP and EEC, the schematic is generated automatically as the data is

Just one touch of a button Kuka has come so far with the automation of control cabinet generation that even those options which have a fundamental impact on the entire electrical engineering

Alexander Rottmair: "We no longer have to worry about the actual design process, i.e. the implementation of individual options and functions." Standard tasks are automatically carried out by the system.


dvanced Machine & Tool (AMT) actually had no plans to switch over to a new CAD system. But a large customer from the automotive industry insisted on them using EPLAN. Luckily for AMT! Once they had carried out the first order with the new software, they analysed the productivty improvements of all projects. The result: Time-consuming product development stages such as device tag recognition, wire numbering and mechanical engineering standardisation, were simplified and accelerated. The consequence: Now they use EPLAN for configuration, saving them considerable time and improving efficiency.

Engineering = 30% time saving US mechanical engineers AMT achieve high levels of potential savings by switching systems Good swap: engineering instead of drawing Advanced Machine & Tool Corporation (AMT) of Fort Wayne (Indiana), USA specialises in the production of coil and winding machines and machines used in the production of electric motors and generators. Customers are mainly OEMs from the automotive industry or other industries.. One of these automotive industry clients was the reason why AMT swapped from its previous solution, AutoCAD Electrical to EPLAN. Three years ago, the customer insisted on EPLAN plans being used for the machi-

the creation of accurate and well structured documentation. Automation of most timeconsuming tasks At AMT, the engineering phase of an order can last between three days and 60 weeks for very complex projects. But generally, a typical order consists of producing just one machine that the customer needs for the production of a new motor. For an order which took perhaps two weeks to process in AutoCAD, a huge amount of time can be saved using EPLAN. A total of approximately

Pure time saving: Reduction of a 2-week project time by 23-28 hours – more than 30%. nes it ordered. The aim was to accelerate document production and improve accuracy. System switch paid off AMT then checked whether EPLAN really was the better option by analysing projects for productivity increases. Gradually, all electric and fluid power designs were produced using the EPLAN Platform. Today, the technicians are pleased about the switch. "I thought we were comfortable with our old CAD system, but I sure wouldn’t go back to it now,” reports electrical engineer Mark Lohrman. “Now we are at a point where regardless of what is being released, we do it in EPLAN.” The switchover to EPLAN has considerably accelerated

Short and good – hard facts on time saving „„ 4-5 hours time saved Device tag labelling and wire numbering was previously a manual process. This step is now automated together with the generation of device tags, wire numbers and terminal designations. The AMT technicians use internal EPLAN functions for printer setup by transferring an Excel spreadsheet containing all the data. „„ 5 hours time saved Error-free terminal diagrams and bills of materials are generated automatically. „„ 8-12 hours time saved Standard circuits are archived and can be reused for every project. „„ 6 hours time saved Fluid schematics are integrated into the projects to avoid problems with device naming or missing components. „„ Total: 23-28 hours time saved

23 to 28 working hours were saved in four areas, representing a time saving of over 30% (for details, please see box). The savings even increase proportionally for larger projects. "Automatic numbering is a big thing for us," explains Lohrman. "I can go to the parts list and pick out a part. If there is a macro associated with it, I am set.” The benefits are gained through the archiving and reusing standard content as content is saved as EPLAN macros. This currently applies to over 300 processes and over 500 components. In brief: Engineering in record time!


Integration in huge style 350,000 data sets available now around the world


ittal currently operates a consistent configuration solution based on the EPLAN Engineering Center (EEC). While product control knowledge is gradually reflected in EEC, production control information is managed in SAP. In order to provide the technical data required for the product description and for production, Rittal installed Autodesk‘s PDM solution Vault Professional for around 500 users across the company. Production sites including Italy and the USA were included in the biggest Vault roll-out in Europe.


Information and management basis "We are talking about managing over 350,000 technical data sets – mainly 3D models, 2D drawings and bills of materials" explains Bernd Lehnert, Head of R&D at Rittal in Herborn, responsible for Technology and Support. "This requires a PDM solution as a consistent information and management basis for all technical product data." In the future, once product know-how is stored in the EEC, Rittal can configure its products efficiently and process orders on a largely automated basis. "Our aim is to generate all technical order data automatically," Lehnert goes on. "Initially, this goes through the EEC – the heart of the configuration logic. But, of course, the PDM system needs to provide the basic data." This includes bills of materials and work plans, as well as CAD and NC data for production. The same applies to the option of mounting accessories. "This should reduce the manual effort involved in order processing by means of the number of variants approved." CAD model, drawings, bills of materials, work plan, calculation and NC data are all generated automatically – leading to significantly more efficient processes." In the future, it will be possible to generate drawings for production and quality control containing the important dimensions completely automatically. The accessories to be fitted can then be clearly assigned to the relevant openings.

IT integration as a challenge There was also plenty to do from a CAD perspective, as there was no standard system in the company before the start of 2000. This primarily involved using Autodesk‘s AutoCAD, as the 2D editing was sufficient for the various sheet metal parts. Autodesk Inventor, Catia and Pro/

to Rittal that EPLAN was already involved via the installation of EEC and migration of the old data. The plan was to import the 350,000-odd data sets into the new PDM solution with the highest level of automation possible. "Preparing the CAD data was very time-consuming, as the old data was not necessarily in-

"We use the PDM as a database from product development through change and revision management to product discontinuation." Bernd Lehnert, Head of R&D and responsible for Technology & Support

Engineer were also used – especially for the more complex products such as IT racks with air-conditioning. "The result was a very assorted system environment" Lehnert explains. "We therefore decided to use the Autodesk products Inventor and AutoCAD as standard. They offer the Rittal designers all the functions they need relative to the product range, so that they can achieve good value for money. Currently, the data for current catalogue products is standardised in Inventor, while other systems are only retained for OEM customers and old data, in case any changes are required. CAD and PDM closely linked Opting for Autodesk products also meant deciding on the PDM system in advance. "This always requires a good interface to the CAD solutions in the company in order to achieve a high level of acceptance," explains Bernd Lehnert. It was beneficial

cluded in every move to a new release – as there is no added value in that itself," reports Bernd Lehnert. "In the migration to Inventor, it became clear that the existing models were consistent and, for example, missing references in the models needed to be created as part of the migration process – which means a lot of work for the developers." As a result, through Vault Professional and Inventor, Rittal will now have access to a development platform which can not only be perfectly controlled from the EPLAN Engineering Center, but also allows good networking of international development and production sites. Although the majority of the products are developed in Herborn, they are produced in various locations around the world. "The aim is to achieve a single data source so that all technical data is available in its most up-to-date form at all times," Bernd Lehnert concludes.


ngineering for the plant construction industry can be extremely demanding. For large, complex plants, there are no off-the-peg solutions and no prototypes. The first draft has to be right: this requires specialist knowledge and reliable engineering tools. Höckh Metall-Reinigungsanlagen GmbH in Neuenbürg/Germany switched to EPLAN Electric P8 for the electrical and fluid design of a major project. They continue to use Autodesk Inventor and Vault for mechanical engineering and product data management with the support of EPLAN consultants. The result: Maximum integration and data consistency with software support provided from a single source.

The BIG push Maximum data consistency: ECAD, MCAD and PDM from a single source

Consulting at its finest Höckh had obtained its knowledge for the development and production of perfect-fit solutions for parts cleaning and degreasing over its forty years of production. The mediumsized family-run company has 50 employees and an developed and exceptional reputation as a reliable supplier of quality plant engineering. An example of the service portfolio is the large plant for deep-drawn stamped sheet metal parts recently produced on a 3,200 m² production area. The plant has ten enclosures and over 700 pages of schematics; with a total of 16,800 parts to be processed in CAD. In order to keep this complex project under control, and: with the order books full, the electrical construction was switched to EPLAN Electric P8 with the EPLAN Fluid add-on for pneumatics construction. Fabian Camek, head of electrical design, reports that, with EPLAN’s support, the step took just a couple of months: "We brought EPLAN Consulting in several times for P8 and EPLAN Fluid, twice for a whole week at a time; whilst also being supported by the helpdesk. This meant we could make the transfer in a total of two months.”

design is now completely integrated thanks to EPLAN Fluid. Support from a single source At this stage of integration, Fabian Camek and mechanical design manager Josip Heger did not want to stand still. They used the up-coming switch to EPLAN Electric P8 as the "big solution" allowing them to optimise

PPE via the EPLAN Platform alongside electrical and pneumatic design. The idea behind it is to make all changes consistently visible across all software tools – "we are working on this with EPLAN". Data flow – totally consistent Bill of materials for all projects and orders can be generated from the EPLAN database. For Fabian Camek, this not only means quicker, more accurate project implementation: "We can also produce sensible recalculations using our ERP

"We opted for EPLAN because they can provide a one-stop shop. If the system is maintained by a range of different providers one always blames the others when things go wrong." Fabian Camek, Head of Electrical Design

Enormously easier with EPLAN Data Portal Naturally, it took some outlay to redesign all the materials and intelligently build the parts database. Things were made much easier with EPLAN Data Portal components, for example Siemens, can be easily imported as macros in edz format, with multilingual parts data and consistent, uniform product diagrams. This eliminates error sources and significantly accelerates configuration and design. The macros only needed to be defined specially for a few specialist parts and the pneumatic

tools for mechanical design. Höckh now uses Autodesk Product Design Suite with the Autodesk Inventor 3D CAD solution and the Autodesk Vault PDM system. "We opted for EPLAN due to their ability to offer ongoing service and support of these systems because they can provide a one-stop shop," underlines Josip Heger. If the system is maintained by a range of different providers, "one always blames the others when things go wrong," so a one-stop shop is a single responsible contact. In the medium term, all EI&C planning is to be integrated with EPLAN

system, because every single part appears in the documentation." Has the effort paid off? Definitely, according to managing director Michael Höckh: "A huge amount of time and effort and a not insignificant investment has gone into technical equipment and training – if you do it, you need to do it right and consistently in accordance with our company philosophy." In brief: Process optimisation also pays off in the special plant con­ struction industry.


"Fair" play EPLAN at shows & events around the world


s an international solution provider, EPLAN has the world in its sights. EPLAN is ­represented in over 50 countries and so it is only logical that many international fairs – from Moscow through Mumbai to Turin – are in the event diary. Visit us all over the world – here is an overview of many of the planned fairs and events we will be attending in 2013. Date






São Paulo




Den Bosch



Affidabilità & Tecnologie (A&T)




Energetika SPb

St. Petersburg



















All Energy 2013




Swiss T Fair Moutier




Expo Pack

Mexico City



Design Engineering DMS








ISA Expo Control

Mexico City



MAKS 2013




Off-shore Europe 2013








ATX – Midwest








IEAS 2013








Pack Expo

Las Vegas



Automation 2013












SMART Automation




MSV International Engineering Fair


Czech Republic

Phone: +49 2173 3964-0







Los Angeles


Fax: +49 2173 3964-25 .


China Wind Power 2013




ODT Oil, Gas & Energy








ISA 2013

São Paulo



System Control Fair








Automation Fair




SPS IPC Drives



Imprint EPLAN Software & Service GmbH & Co. KG An der alten Ziegelei 2 D-40789 Monheim am Rhein

Concept::Layout Images: Customer, istock, fotolia etc.

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