General Motors Chooses EPLAN As New E-CAE Standard | Automation.com

General Motors Chooses EPLAN As New E-CAE Standard

General Motors Chooses EPLAN As New E-CAE Standard
DETROIT, MI – MONDAY, JULY 22, 2002 – General Motors Corporation (GM), the world’s largest automotive manufacturer, announced today its decision to implement EPLAN 21® as its standard software platform for electrical controls design throughout North America. The choice is the result of an extensive research and evaluation process spearheaded by GM’s Controls, Robotics & Welding (CRW) manufacturing engineering team. GM expects to roll out EPLAN as their new standard to its North American Operations units, as well as to equipment suppliers and engineering partners beginning 4th Quarter of this year. It will be used to create a common platform on a global basis.

GM’s project team stated: “Our major objective was to find a complete and fully integrated solution to automate our design and engineering process for all controls equipment. We were not merely looking for an elegant drafting solution to ease creation of electrical controls schematics. We intend to elevate the entire scope to a significantly higher level, thus achieving huge benefits in efficiency, accuracy, speed and reliability for both GM and our suppliers.” Standardization was one of GM’s key objectives. However, achieving significant efficiency improvements and thus dramatically expediting the design process for any manufacturing equipment or process was just as critical.

EPLAN is a true electrical CAE software system specifically designed for controls applications. The current release of EPLAN 21® is the culmination of almost 20 years solid experience, coupled with constant innovation in controls design software that has earned EPLAN a global market leadership position in this market.

GM chose EPLAN for its many integrated features, which significantly ease the design of complex controls layouts. It also offers automated project management functions for up-to-date and globally accessible documentation. Equally important are the advantages of the comprehensive component/parts database structure.

GM evaluated a total of 13 different software packages and selected the four best solutions for an in-depth assessment process. The GM team, comprised of application and design engineers, IT-professionals, database specialists, and controls experts, tested every facet of those programs over several months under “real life” conditions. In addition to the technical functionality and system reliability, naturally, GM scrutinized the commercial considerations such as return-on-investment and the overall improvement for GM’s and its suppliers’ efficiency and productivity.

Uptime, reliability and consistency are of paramount importance to the General Motors organization. In that respect, GM engineers emphasized that EPLAN 21® proved to be very stable and robust. Consistency of standards, central revision control and globally accessible documentation – standard features in EPLAN 21® – will also substantially improve the quality of the design process throughout the GM network while assuring that any authorized GM employees or partners – whether in maintenance, design, panel building or anywhere else – will always have access to the latest set of documentation on any control system.

“We are extremely excited about GM’s decision in favor of EPLAN. When the largest automotive company in the world entrusts its entire electrical design process to our platform, it represents a major breakthrough in the further penetration of the American engineering community for our software. We sincerely appreciate the thoroughness and professionalism demonstrated by the GM selection team. Especially due to the detailed analysis and thorough comparison to almost all of our established competitors performed by GM, we consider this an invaluable endorsement of our technology,” said Hans Haessig, President & CEO of EPLAN Software and Service Co.

Reiner Konetschny, EPLAN’s Key Account Manager for GM added: “We are proud that EPLAN came out as best solution to meet GM’s goals and objectives and especially about the fact that our system proved to be rock-solid. Believe me, we tried all kinds of challenging things – but we couldn’t get the software to crash. This kind of reliability and demonstrated up-time is crucial for our customers, especially when they expect to entice external partners to use such a tool with their endorsement and essentially standardize an entire segment of the industry on one software platform.”

GM Europe had already chosen EPLAN software several years ago, favoring the intrinsic benefits of the system. The decision for North America, as announced today and initially implemented at CRW, is also viewed by GM as a first step towards effective globalization of electrical design methodology and will allow the seamless integration of General Motors with its equipment suppliers and engineering partners worldwide. GM joins many other global carmakers that have standardized on EPLAN.

GM will also implement EPLAN’s Application Programming Interface (API) module. This innovative tool enables software developers to design and program proprietary interfaces, adaptations and connectivity paths between EPLAN 21® and the resident engineering software environment at any user.

The automaker and EPLAN have entered into a comprehensive project management agreement for the detailed development of specific GM parameters and integration of EPLAN into GM’s engineering environment. Konetschny explained: “Our group has worked very closely with the GM engineering evaluation team for more than two years. We are gratified by their decision to work with EPLAN. At the same token, we are very much looking forward to continuing this close collaboration from here on out in order to implement the system through GM and its partners. Being chosen as the best solution is only the first step for us. We are committed to accompanying the implementation all the way to successful application.”

EPLAN Software & Services Co. is headquartered in Monheim/Germany with its principle US offices in Southfield, Michigan. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Rittal, the world’s largest manufacturer of electrical and electronic enclosures and packaging solution for controls, automation and IT applications. EPLAN’s more than 350 professionals focus exclusively on electrical CAE software solutions for the automation, controls and process industry and are fully integrated into Rittal’s global network. EPLAN and Rittal combine more than 8,000 employees and are present in more than 70 countries with more than 200 locations throughout the world. EPLAN was established in 1984. More than 40,000 licenses are installed globally.
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