Wednesday 11 January 2012

Empowering energy solutions for Russia!

Boiler plant of Yamburgskoye gas field.
West Siberia
Russia relies a great deal on localised heat and power generation. For Impuls Industrial Boiler Plants, the opportunities for building or rebuilding large boiler houses that provide heat and power to communities, including remote industrial installations, represents a major growth market. Founded in 2002, the company has pioneered development of modular, fully automated industrial boiler houses that don’t require a human operator. A key reason for choosing EPLAN as the new design tool was the ability of the software to support electrical, process control and enclosure design on a shared platform. As a result, projects that typically took three months or more are now being completed in 5-6 weeks.

Design plays a crucial role at Impuls; over half the 100 staff are engineers. The company recognised that its old software tools were too constraining. Engineers were using AutoCAD to design power equipment, automated heating systems and instrument and control (I&C) systems, and using MS Excel to draw up bills of materials and other lists and tables. Engineers had to connect assemblies and control devices manually. There was no way for the different engineering disciplines to share content or work collaboratively and no way to archive commonly used content. “With so much manual processing, it wasn’t unusual for major errors to creep into projects that were a challenge to fix, especially when projects were to deadline” says Alexey Soloviev, head of the engineering department at Impuls

Designed by Impuls
Attracted by the concept
“Seeking to optimise design productivity, Impuls selected EPLAN for its vast automation features, and because its database-driven suite of products was unique – it being the only computer aided engineering product that supported electrical, process control and enclosure design on a shared platform. That meant data generated by one discipline could be shared by all” comments Soloviev.

Major time-savings
“This was a capability the company wanted. Before we decided to use EPLAN for our engineering, working in AutoCAD and MS Office meant all product stages were executed by the same engineer, because functions like cross-discipline designing and multiple users sharing data were lacking. Now, with EPLAN, the electrical and process control engineers have the chance to collaborate together on projects."

With the switch to the EPLAN Platform – Impuls acquired EPLAN Electric P8, EPLAN PPE and the 3D mounting panel layout module. Projects that typically took three months or more are now being completed in 5-6 weeks, and that was achieved within six months of switching to EPLAN. “Engineers are making the maximum use of EPLAN’s vast automation functionality, like automated error-checking and cross-referencing. Error rates are down, and it’s not unusual to have projects that are completely error-free” remarks Soloviev. An archive was created in EPLAN and now contains over 1,500 component macros and 2,000 function macros shared by all disciplines. Impuls expects that over time it can accelerate projects further by increasing the number of archived macros and recognising more ways to take advantage of EPLAN functionality during project development.

Customers benefit from results
“With EPLAN, there should be a maintenance benefit over time for both Impuls and customers since the documentation generated by EPLAN for each installation is a high quality. We have noticed that our customers now have far fewer questions with regard to completed projects and tend to grade the ones done in EPLAN very well.”

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