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Automation and robotics: change in design software

“EPLAN is well-designed user-friendly software. It has reduced the engineering time by at least 40 per cent. The quality and data consistency over the documentation is very good,” says Atul Patil, VP – Control Systems Engineering, Precision Automation & Robotics India Ltd.
Precision Automation & Robotics India (PARI) is a global automation solution provider of robotic products and technologies.  With over 850 employees and 6 facilities worldwide, PARI provides a complete range of automation solutions including conceptualising, designing, manufacturing, implementing and supporting of advanced factory automation systems.
PARI switched to EPLAN in 2004 and since then has never looked back. With a large market base in India, Europe and the US, PARI felt the need for an error-free design system to help cater to the high standards of quality expected. However, the software that was being used by PARI required that the work be done manually, which held a potential risk for errors at every step. Switching to the current solution gave PARI a host of advantages including generation of various reports, at click of button, generation of bill of material (BOM) automatically based on the schematics, automatic assignment of device ID’s and wire numbering and easy error detection (for example, not allowing two different voltage wires to be connected). The change also helped in the provision of different standard symbol libraries, customization when following different drawing standards, uniformity in the presentation of the wiring diagrams (the look is independent of the engineer), and in the creation of the internal component layouts of panels by using footprints from a library.“EPLAN is well-designed user-friendly software. It has reduced the engineering time by at least 40 per cent. The quality and data consistency over the documentation is very good,” says Atul Patil on the effectiveness of the change.
The transition brings desired resultsPARI experienced a smooth transition from the existing software to the use of the present solution. Before the launch of EPLAN, all engineers at PARI were trained to work on EPLAN through a series of training workshops that were conducted. The faculty especially focused on providing adequate training to all the engineers associated with hardware design.  The result was a successful setting up of standard part’s database, macros, templates, etc. making it easy for the engineers at PARI to do a better job in lesser time.
Commenting on the significant amount of savings in time, Mr Patil says, “We had not set any target in reduction of project turnaround time, when we switched over to EPLAN. Our focus then was to generate good-looking error free drawings of international level. We did not set any specific goals in this regards, but yes, it has reduced the engineering time by at least 40 per cent.”
Execution of a typical project at PARIPARI uses EPLAN in its design phase. In a typical project, the designing starts with the creation of a platform based on customer requirement. The engineering solution is used in designing plot frames, forms, symbol libraries, schemes, database etc. Based on this, the wiring diagram is created after which auto-ferruling, device numbering and PLC numbering is done to optimize time. PARI designs schematics in-house for the panels along with the field wiring. The production team at PARI use terminal/wire/cable reports and the wiring schematics during the production phase of the project, to wire up the panels/ boxes and the field wiring. After the design phase, the clients of PARI continue to use EPLAN schematics for maintenance purposes. For clients who wish for their schematics in software other than EPLAN, PARI further uses the engineering solution to produce an output in editable format as required by the client.
Impact on PARI’s engineering productivityAlthough PARI’s primary reason to change its design software was to generate impressive and error free drawings of international level, EPLAN has in turn provided a positive impact on PARI’s overall engineering productivity.  PARI reports a reduction in engineering time by a massive 40 per cent by reducing the engineering hours for wiring diagram preparation, checking and associated re-work. PARI is also planning to directly import the bill of material (BOM) generated via the software into their home grown ERP system – hence reducing the errors in ordering material and saving time in entering the BOM into the ERP. Overall PARI is very happy with the excellence in quality and data consistency in documentation. PARI succeeds in eliminating errorsThe successful launch of the engineering solution has encouraged best practices in PARI in four different areas, namely through the provision of standardisation of recurrent content, through faster and more reliable generation of documentation, through the reduction or elimination of errors and easier error-checking and through faster integration of data corrections and customer-specified changes. At PARI, the control design engineers use EPLAN mainly for schematic generation. More than 1,500 macros have been created, including DIN and ANSI type macros and corresponding parts database. The product has also enabled PARI to use DIN-based modularisation using the HLA+LOD concept. Engineers at PARI further use associated products like EPLAN Data Portal to pick up parts. The high-quality wiring diagrams produced by PARI are also found to be far superior to their international competitors, a fact that has been widely expressed by PARI’s various clients.
For more details about PARI, visit www.parirobotics.com

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