Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Highlighting engineering software extensions

More than twelve months have passed since Eplan Platform 2.0 was launched on the market, with over 1000 extensions some are still unknown. Reason enough to examine this major release from surprisingly new perspectives and learn about the convincing and exciting logic extensions for schematic generation, revision control and language management in practice.

The Machine Directive and high quality requirements are part of the reason for the increasing focus on adherence to standards and regulations when creating schematics. The Eplan Platform consistent answer: standardisation and repeated use. Required identifiers and additional component information can now be uniquely stored in parts management. The finishing touch for PE and N terminals: the requested additional function designation can now be stored directly on the part. When the designer uses a component, the designation is automatically transferred to the schematic, ensuring that the terminal is displayed in accordance with standards – on all schematic pages and with no extra effort. The automatic Eplan functions for numbering components prevent duplicate device tags, thereby improving documentation quality and speeding up design.

More logic included
Even more complex device technology requires that the wiring must be clearly represented in the schematic. That's where the Eplan Platform's potential transfer comes into play, which now goes beyond the connections placed in the black box. By assigning the connections colours according to the internal interconnections, it is considerably easier to track the signal. Starting in design and manufacturing and continuing all the way through commissioning and maintenance. Extra logic is also found in item properties,which can now contain detailed specifications for display and conversion and even complete technical SI units. The same holds for reports and calculations whose displayed values have been standardised. Eplan makes sure that all values have the same units in the calculation – no matter how they were entered in the schematic. Exact results are a given.

Perfect change tracking
Who isn't familiar with this situation? Just before the project is finished, numerous changes are made which have to be traceable. The powerful revision control in Eplan Platform 2.0 comes into its own here, significantly speeding up change management. Various types of changes are clearly marked with colours and symbols. All project members can see at a glance if project information has been added, changed or deleted. A table summarising all changes makes sure that all processes run smoothly – in engineering and especially in manufacturing, commissioning and maintenance. The direct result: faster starting-up phases and shorter machine downtimes.

Eplan Central Parts Management
A cost-effective alternative: Those who store and update part data centrally, separately from engineering, can now use Eplan parts management as a separate module. CPM, short for "Central Parts Management", is a stand-alone version that is the simple alternative for business departments. Data and component information created and entered here is available to all Eplan users. This provides simple, cost-effective data maintenance with the full parts management functionality.

Language management
That Eplan is Unicode compatible and designed for 16 international languages is not new. What is new is the setting allowing the user to differentiate between the source and display language in a project. The source language is the language in which the text was entered, usually the native language. The display language is the language in which the text is displayed in the schematic – this can be in many languages, at the same time. Entering text and dealing with translations is even more transparent and it is much easier to work with foreign languages in the design. A decisive advantage for global business – both in time and quality.

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