Text Annika Thomas ––– Photography
It’s busy and noisy at the demonstration factory on RWTH Aachen University’s campus. A sorting system is noisily at work. “Eplan features heavily in this machine,” says Tim Oerter, Program Manager Digitalisation at Eplan. He’s presented his showcase in the European 4.0 Transformation Center (E4TC) on many occasions. He uses his tablet to scan the QR code on the machine. This lets him display circuit diagrams and the virtual prototypes of the system’s enclosure and he can then comment on them. Malfunctions can also be simulated.
By using augmented reality, it is then possible to display the components of the enclosure’s digital twin that need to be replaced. “I can showcase these sorts of pioneering technologies to visitors here in a matter of minutes,” says Oerter. “With the AR add-on for Eplan eView Free, part of the showcase has even found its way into practice now.”
CUSTOMERS BENEFIT FROM DEVELOPMENTS
This is just one of several projects in the E4TC (European 4.0 Transformation Center) in which Eplan is actively involved. The Eplan Partner Network, which was launched in late 2020, was formed to bring together and drive forward both corporate partnerships and joint activities with scientific institutions and research institutes. However, the heart of the partner network remains the same – collaboration with partners of all sizes from various sectors and business areas. “We develop connections along our customers’ value chain in cooperation with our partners,” explains Dr Marco Litto, Vice President Strategy & Corporate Program at Eplan. “Our shared customers benefit from this, primarily due to an increased level of integration and data consistency.”
The many members of the Eplan Partner Network include global key players in the area of automation – such as Bosch Rexroth, B&R, Endress+Hauser, Festo, ifm electronic, Mitsubishi Electric, Phoenix Contact, Pilz, Rittal and Rockwell Automation.
Eplan Projects in just a few minutes with web service
Finding the right Eplan macros for as complex a product as a valve terminal from Festo can be time-consuming, but it doesn’t have to be. The web service “Schematic Solution” can be used to create a complete Eplan project in line with the specific configuration of a Festo product in just a few minutes.
“Our web service ‘Schematic Solution’, based on EEC, helps our customers to create custom standardised Eplan projects quickly and easily.”
Product Manager Digital Business, Festo
Strategic collaboration for data consistency
In Rockwell Automation’s strategic cooperation with Eplan, one of the things the company is investing in is the development of bi-directional connectors between Eplan Electric P8 and Rockwell Automation solutions such as Studio 5000, Integrated Architecture Builder and ProposalWorks.
“Together with Eplan, we support companies through their digital transformation by enabling data consistency, improving efficiency of engineering processes and shortening time-to-market.”
Director, Digital Design & Visualization Rockwell Automation
Bi-directional exchange via AutomationML
The integrated solution between MELSOFT iQ Works and Eplan Electric P8 combines automation and electrical engineering. Based on AutomationML, data can be exchanged bi-directionally between the two software tools. This helps for optimising processes along the value chain and paves the way for Industry 4.0.
“We are looking forward to further collaboration with Eplan to bring customers more benefits in their digital manufacturing initiatives.”
Lead Global e-F@ctory Alliance coordinatorr, Mitsubishi Electric