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EPLAN Pro Panel: Virtual enclosure layout in 3D [Jan 2012]

EPLAN Pro Panel Professional provides manifold possibilities for the field of integrative enclosure planning, pre-assembly and production. Automation technology as well as machine and plant design profit from this new interdisciplinary engineering tool for enclosure and switchgear design that covers all trade-specific requirements
EPLAN Pro Panel Professional convinces through its deep degree of integration in the EPLAN platform and utilises its manifold basic techniques such as the EPLAN device concept, the macro and options technology, access to the EPLAN Data Portal, etc. The design approach is individual: Optionally on the basis of a schematic or directly as layout of the enclosure in 3D. The devices provided for the mounting layout are displayed well-structured in navigators or lists. During placing the system checks whether the positioning is carried out on the correct mounting panel.
The innovative eTouch technology allows components to be comfortably aligned and positioned exactly. Installation regulations and minimum spacing to manufacturer specification are taken into account as are the correct positioning of devices, wire ducts and mounting rails, including collision checks. The overview of all the designed devices and components allows the items to be checked simply on the basis of the parts data. Reports and bills of materials contain precise information also about items that vary in length such as wire ducts or mounting rails. Exact specifications are therefore needed for manufacturing and mounting. Changes in the schematic or mounting layout are included in the entire project. The system informs interdisciplinary and updates the associated drawings, bills of materials and legends automatically if desired thus ensuring uniform and consistent data that are always up to date.
Complete consistencyThe software makes professional 3D layout planning easy even for the occasional user. Production relevant NC data for holes or cut-outs is taken account in the 3D model and can be further processed. In addition to associative mounting diagrams special drilling templates for manufacturing can, for example, also be created. Modifications to housings, doors or mounting panels are transferred directly to the NC production systems via an NC interface. The deep manufacturing integration is also continued in the virtual wiring of the enclosure. The results of the length-optimised virtual wiring and cabling can in turn be used to optimise the schematic. The new quality in enclosure engineering covers all the phases of product development. The realistic 3D representation ensures high-quality data for manufacturing, mounting and operation. It facilitates the consistent creation, provision and maintenance of the documentation and accelerates the product engineering process persistently.
Manifold possibilitiesEPLAN Pro Panel Professional provides manifold possibilities for the field of integrative enclosure planning, pre-assembly and production. Automation technology as well as machine and plant design profit from this new interdisciplinary engineering tool for enclosure and switchgear design that covers all trade-specific requirements. Planning, 3D layout, manufacturing, and mounting merge, through a uniform data basis, to form a fully integrated solution. This accelerates the product creation process – declining costs and rising added value are pre-programmed.
Workflow & integrationThe entire system can be configured using settings to meet the needs of the user, company, and project
MethodologyThe specific working method and methodology used by engineers is integrated in the CAE program, thus ensuring optimal effectiveness within the product engineering process.
Uniform data – automatic synchronisationIntegration is the keyword that combines all the processes of the EPLAN Platform
Reliable planning – correct manufacturingEPLAN Pro Panel Professional makes professional 3D layout planning easy even for the occasional user.
Flexible conductor and cable routingMore flexibility in 3D conductor routing: Aside from conductors, cables, too, can be routed within a 3D mounting layout.
Manufacturing integration for more efficiencyIn EPLAN Pro Panel manufacturing data can be created for NC machines and exported using appropriate interfaces.
Productive data – the be-all and end-all of engineeringWhere would engineering be without the right device data?
Added value at a glanceBenefit from numerous advantages for the virtual enclosure layout in 3D.
Modularisation – the tailored fit for your system solutionAdapt EPLAN Pro Panel Professional perfectly to your workflows in engineering, technical preparations, manufacturing and mounting.
Product videosGet an insight into EPLAN Pro Panel
System requirementsEPLAN Pro Panel Professional works with all standard Windows operating systems.
Interdisciplinary project data – consistent and up-to-date Consistency is the key word that brings together all parts of the EPLAN Platform. Devices that were designed in electrical and fluid engineering can now be used directly for the 3D mounting layout. The otherwise customary data synchronisation of the programs involved for example the complex feedback of bill of materials information between systems is now a thing of the past.
The processes of product development in control system design and enclosure engineering are accelerated significantly; after all, redundant data management has been eliminated and, thus, also many related work steps and the typical efforts in connection with “Reverse Engineering”. At the same time, potential errors in project synchronisation can be prevented right from the start.
Reliable planning – correct manufacturingFrom dynamic collision checking to automatic checking of relevant installation conditions: the software makes professional 3D layout planning easy even for the occasional user. Manufacturing-relevant data on drill holes or milling are taken into account in the 3D model and can be edited further. Flexible adaptation to the requirements of manufacturing – in addition to associative mounting diagrams, special drilling templates can also be created.
Another decisive practical advantage: In the creation of master data, manufacturing information is stored only once – even for length-variable parts such as cable ducts or mounting rails. Subsequently, components and NC data are integrated automatically with the respective 3D mounting layout; this ensures fast results and constant quality. Modifications to housing, doors or mounting panels are easily transferred to the appropriate production system via an NC interface – Steinhauer and Perforex are just some examples of the high degree of production integration and available interfaces.
Flexible conductor and cable routingMore flexibility in 3D conductor routing: Aside from conductors, cables, too, can be routed within a 3D mounting layout. Path networks can be defined in a space and connections routed intuitively – if so desired, independent of the defined wire ducts.
Definable routing ranges extend the variety of 3D routings and support virtual and automated wiring. By means of so-called “wiring cut-outs”, it is possible to route wires and cables, for example on the back of mounting panels, partitions, or other enclosure items – including short paths. The results determined by length-optimised wiring and cabling of components are used to optimise the schematic – keyword: net-based wiring.
Productive data – the be-all and end-all of engineeringWhere would engineering be without the right device data? EPLAN Pro Panel offers a number of options for accessing device data. Even 3D geometric data is not a problem. This is handled by the integrated STEP interface. Whether adopted directly from the component manufacturer, from any 3D CAD programs, or via various data portals and data CDs (such as RiCAD-3D from Rittal), the STEP data are imported in and, partially automatically or interactively, converted to qualified EPLAN macros for the 3D mounting layout.
Totally new in this context is the support for the EPLAN accessory selection. Selectively extended and adjusted to the specific requirements of the users working with the 3D mounting layout, the accessory components can be defined and stored, e.g., for enclosures or devices – including component know-how and permitted combinations.
With its deep integration, the version sustainably speeds up parallelised engineering on a uniform data basis. The bottom line is this: elimination of need for data conversion, data checking and “Reverse Engineering”; decreasing costs, rising quality, reduced “time-to-market”, and sustainable investment security.
Workflow & IntegrationThe entire system can be configured using settings to meet the needs of the user, company, and project. The result: The workflow is accelerated and the required work result achieved as quickly as possible. You also have access to an extensive online didactic help system which provides efficient work support.
A module for backing up data, archiving, and sending projects via email ensures the necessary security and transparency of work results. A compression function removes all non-essential data from a project on demand to ease the burden on the storage medium, simplify data storage and where necessary protect your company know-how when passing on projects. The XML, PDF, DXF / DWG with layers and PXF data formats are available as interfaces for exchange with other CAx systems or Microsoft Office products. The possibility of using existing data beyond engineering and the online provision of documents are the basis for simple service and maintenance processes.
Interfaces facilitate interdisciplinary cooperation. A standardised level of information with no redundancy or inconsistency ensures maximum speed with no errors.
The program can be optimally integrated into the existing added value chain. The information and work flow can be automated using scripts or API. An active automatic exchange of information simplifies integration into PDM and ERP systems. And this comprehensive approach doesn’t just help project engineers to achieve the correct result faster – other departments such as Materials Management, Production, Controlling, and Sales also benefit from transparent IT processes.
Methodology for engineersThe specific working method and methodology used by engineers is integrated in the CAE program, thus ensuring optimal effectiveness within the product engineering process. This should be differentiated as follows:

Graphical composition of mounting structures and the derivation of drawings for manufacturing and mounting

Start of planning in the schematic or optionally in 3D mounting layout, e.g. directly on the mounting panel or in the enclosure

3D mounting layout on the basis of electrical-engineering and fluid-power schematics or based on device and connection lists.
The working method often changes or is combined between individual projects or also during the project phases. The processing sequence can be chosen freely. The program is designed so that editing in the system can always follow the actual course of the project. The system makes it possible to view and edit the project at any time from different views. This releases new potential productivity in engineering, simultaneously increases transparency within designing and persistently promotes parallelisation of interdisciplinary engineering processes.
Manufacturing integration for more efficiencyNC machines are drilling, cutting, and milling robots which convert planning information into production processes by means of a control program. Mounting panels, doors, and other equipable enclosure components are mostly manufactured by NC machines when it comes to enclosure design. In the EPLAN Pro Panel module package manufacturing data can be created for NC machines and exported using appropriate interfaces.
The NC interface modules transfer the coordinates and dimensions of drill holes, cut-outs and locked areas as well as further manufacturing data for machining mounting panels, doors or side sections directly to NC drilling and milling machines. Outline data records matched to the machine used can be generated for NC manufacturing of customised outlines.
The EPLAN Pro Panel variant furthermore allows item-specific drilling patterns in a scale of 1:1 to be output to PDF files. This template – printed on a plotter or large-format printer in the same size – serves as a template for the manual drilling of the mounting panel.

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