Eplan introduces Preplanning software | Automation.com

Eplan introduces Preplanning software

Eplan introduces Preplanning software

May 6, 2015 - Eplan introduces Preplanning software that manages a project's machine/plant system overviews and automation structures in parallel.

Preplanning allows users to define the automation structure for a machine/plant during the project’s earliest stages. For example, importing an initial list of drives from mechanical engineering that contains only basic information about what is being planned for use in a conveyor system. With Preplanning, the engineer can define what he considers to be the central automation structures for the machine/ plant and position the drives within this structure. In basic engineering, the I&C engineers pass on the information about sensors and actuators until, in the detail engineering, they can create or derive the schematics from the information at hand.
Typical automation process procedures are also professionally supported, for example, defining field instrumentation. Until now, the most commonly utilized tools, i.e., excel, have not yet been sufficiently integrated into the engineering process. Preplanning enables the collection, recording and template-based managing of initial, rough requirements all the way through to detailed specification data for designing field equipment.

Additional advantages are created by embedding devices within the preplanning structure because machine and plant hierarchy information is also transferred. If, for instance, the ambient temperature must be adjusted for an area in a metal finishing plant, this updated change of environmental conditions is automatically assigned to all device specifications within this area.

Designation changes for machine/plant areas are also automatically inherited by their underlying components. Since the project data has been acquired in an integrated manner, meaningful and detailed evaluations, such as requirement specifications for device manufacturers, can be generated at the push of a button. Based on this documentation, the appropriate device technology will be selected further along in the engineering process, and will be stored in the project as a defined component with the corresponding supplementary device data.

Due to the comprehensive possibilities for configuration, Preplanning allows users to customize the working environment to their own needs. So-called segment definitions serve as established identifiers for the individual structural levels. Whether the structural levels are for production lines, sections of conveyor systems or tank areas, the matching nomenclature is systematically stored in the templates, which simplifies handling of these structural objects. The same principle holds for planning objects – all the way down to the properties. When importing a list of motors from mechanical engineering, there is a 1:1 mapping of the delivered properties and information onto the device types.

For an I&C design task, Preplanning allows the creation of various measurement-point types that can easily be added to the machine/plant structures via drag & drop. Users decide whether certain properties should be entered as a reference or as a specific measurement point. Referenced properties can quickly be changed across entire projects via centralized template management. This working method is advantageous, especially in a project’s early phases, when fundamental principles for tank level measurement (of tuning forks, impellers or even continual measurement) might vary due to changing customer requests. This allows a determination of the number of field devices required along with the necessary automation components, or calculation of initial rough cost estimates.
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. EPLAN is part of Rittal International and thus of the Friedhelm Loh Group with 11,500 employees worldwide and generated revenues of about 3 billion USD in 2011. EPLAN is therefore synonymous with continuity and invesent security. Eight offices in North America and company presence in 50 countries support 45,000 customers with 110,000 installations worldwide. The corporate motto - 'Efficient Engineering' - underlines the proficiency of optimized, efficient processes, which keep companies competitive in the long term.