EPLAN helps design control panels at Bilfinger GreyLogix

  • June 02, 2015
  • EPLAN Software & Services
  • Case Study

June 2, 2015 - Bilfinger GreyLogix, based in Flensburg, Germany, is now working with the EEC One from Eplan – cutting the time needed for schematic creation in half.

With 650 employees, GreyLogix is among the largest experts in designing automation technology solutions. In business for the past fifteen years, the company specializes in large automation technology projects that require engineering expertise as well as industry-specific know-how. This is why their design teams are organized into various business units that each focus on specific market segments such as oil and gas, food and beverage and the chemical/pharmaceutical industries.

“We don’t have any standard projects, so there is no learning curve either,” says Thomas Besser, Team Leader for the CAE Centre of Excellence. “It makes expertise and experience all the more important.” This applies to programming, which constitutes the majority of the work, but also to electrical design and switchgear cabinet engineering. GreyLogix has always relied on a high degree of automation: “We recognized early on that we have to be strong in project and process management. We want to offer our customers additional value: be smarter and work more intelligently. We’re continually working on this.”

Eplan Engineering Configuration One (EEC One) is a recent addition to the tools that GreyLogix uses for electrical engineering. The software allows schematics to be generated automatically, based on an Excel interface. This requires a specific approach: the engineer enters basic parameters into a table, such as the voltage for instance. Next, he selects components from an individually configured list, such as “75 kW motor,” hits the “configuration” button, and receives the wiring diagrams.

Preliminary work pays off The diagram still requires individual adjustments, but it offers a good foundation and saves a lot of time. Thomas Besser explains, “You can generate 50 to 60 per cent of the project with the help of this automated design process. Engineers can now use the extra time to tackle creative tasks.” Components and structures must be defined in advance, but the effort pays off, which is why GreyLogix is gradually phasing in EEC One in all of its business units. Engineers have the freedom to use the system as they see fit. “You don’t have to handle everything in EEC One,” Besser says. “For instance, engineers can just as well set up all the device tags in Eplan Electric P8 – it’s their choice.” The advantages GreyLogix sees in automated electrical engineering are so big that the company is currently considering introducing a similar concept for software programming: as Besser notes, “We would be able to shave off an additional 10 to 15 per cent of the hours necessary for this very time-consuming task.”

For control cabinet manufacturing, GreyLogix does this without a warehouse. The available components are assembled according to the Kanban system. As the components run through the production process, each control cabinet panel is placed on a specially built assembly cart, which enhances flexibility. A large planning board at the front of the hall displays the current cycles in which the individual products are structured and work stations are staffed. Automation is well advanced here, too: sheet metal processing is performed directly from the CAE system – Eplan Pro Panel – on a Perforex machining centre from Kiesling.

Assembly design of control cabinets using Eplan Pro Panel are carried out by experts who are solely responsible for this task. “These three colleagues originally worked in production,” Besser says. “They know how assembly is done best. The engineers turn over the designs and are also responsible for initiating orders and printing out the wiring diagrams.” Both the customers and the sales department appreciate the 3D layouts generated in Eplan Pro Panel. GreyLogix follows the wishes of its customers in selecting the engineering tool: “We use nine different ECAD programs. But when we decide for ourselves which program we use, we choose Eplan. Assembly design however is always done in Eplan.”

EPLAN Software & Service develops engineering solutions, which accelerate the product development process. Interdisciplinary expert systems assure the highest degree of productivity and data integration. The solution provider develops customer-specific and tailor-made PDM and PLM concepts and provides comprehensive services such as customizing, consulting and training. Innovative development competence, a consistently practical approach, and international presence are the resulting success factors.




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