Text Birgit Hagelschuer, Michael Siedenhans ––– Photography
Featuring more than 2,000 functions, the Eplan Platform is already a well-established fixture within the German mechanical engineering sector. “It is now becoming an even more attractive proposition for customers in the American and Chinese markets too,” says Eplan Product Manager Sean Mulherrin. He also knows how this is likely to happen. “Thanks to the new and improved user friendliness of the Eplan Platform, we are providing a convenient working environment and making it easy for new users to get started in engineering.” The new Eplan Platform 2022, which has been available worldwide since this summer, does exactly that. However, experienced Eplan users are benefiting from the features of the new software generation, too.
NEW USER INTERFACE
The highlight is an entirely new user interface that makes it possible to work intuitively. Boasting a simple and clear design, the new version looks and works like mobile apps and established desktop applications. The most frequently used and important functions, which were hidden away within menus in previous versions, are now instantly visible. “Users of the new platform will quickly find their way around the software,” promises Mulherrin, who goes on to explain a number of reasons for this: “It’s extremely easy to navigate within a project. The practical multifunctional toolbar provides a completely new and enjoyable user experience, complete with ribbon technology and a dark mode setting, and project work gets done faster.”
The new features appeal to anyone who is new to the software and impress both young users and experienced users worldwide. Powerful new functions ensure everything works smoothly. Features such as guided installation, a dashboard, eLeaning and various cloud applications are all accessed via just one master login, while the close link with the Eplan cloud also simplifies digital collaboration between colleagues and business partners.
FOR LARGE DATA VOLUMES
However, that’s not all. The new Eplan platform also responds to the growing need for powerful 2D graphics that are used, for example, when drawing up circuit diagrams, carrying out preliminary planning or developing building technology. The volumes of data required in situations such as these are growing rapidly, but this is no problem for the new platform. “Through its new 2D graphics module, the Eplan Platform 2022 delivers a strong performance, especially for large-scale projects,” says Mulherrin. This is because importing DXF or DWG files is now a much faster process. This not only improves performance when processing and visualising hundreds or thousands of pages of circuit diagrams in large-scale projects, but also saves huge amounts of time.
FLEXIBLE ARTICLE MANAGEMENT
The same can be said of the new central article management system. Thanks to integrated variant management, users can save all article properties with a custom variant and it takes only a moment to assign different macros to articles. As Mulherrin explains: “As far as our users are concerned, we’ve really hit the bullseye with our new central article management system. It offers excellent flexibility, which is a real asset for users, not only right now but in the future too, as digitalization progresses.” An additional plus point for everyday practical use is that it can be combined with Excel for processing external device data. The new Eplan Platform 2022 therefore impresses with its internal and external features alike. “The internal core – the very centrepiece of the platform – is the new article management system,” says Mulherrin and he is keen to stress that “as far as the external features are concerned, we’re offering our users a trendy new user interface that enables intuitive working and makes everything easier than ever before.”
SUBSCRIPTION MODEL AND ONGOING DEVELOPMENT
From 1 August 2021, Eplan has offered new licences exclusively on a subscription model. This model benefits from low entry- level prices and very flexible options for using the software more extensively. Reducing the investment risk for companies in this way is especially important during uncertain times. “What’s more, our subscription model promises that – in our role as market leader – we’re committing ourselves to ongoing development in line with the latest engineering requirements,” says Sebastian Seitz, CEO of Eplan. In years to come, existing and new customers can therefore be confident they are getting the best engineering solution on the market with Eplan.
Powerful performance, easy to use: Eplan Platform 2022 offers data consistency and intuitive features that appeal to new users and experienced operators alike.
THE NEW INTERFACE AT A GLANCE
1. Backstage view
The backstage view provides one central location where all aspects of an Eplan project can be edited.
2. Ribbon technology
The multifunctional ribbon combines various menus and toolbars in a single element. This makes it easier for new users to get to grips with Eplan and also supports experienced users in their day-to-day work.
3. Access to the Eplan Cloud
Central login data give users access both to the Eplan Platform 2022 and to cloud applications such as Eplan eManage, eView, eBuild and the new Eplan data portal.
4. Search function: “Tell me what you want to do”
This new and convenient function allows users to search for specific features without having to navigate menus.
5. Insert centre
The new Insert centre is a one-stop shop for all functions that enable users to insert the symbols, macros and devices that are needed for drawing up circuit diagrams efficiently.
6. Dark Mode
One click is all that’s needed to change the user interface to white font on a black background, allowing users to work in comfort, even in dark surroundings.
Better routing possible
“With Eplan Platform 2022, the technical features can be displayed with greater versatility and precision. In the case of routing, for example, auxiliary switch blocks of contactors whose connection point designations – depending on the base mounting – have changed their physical positions can now be correctly displayed.”
Eplan Administrator at KSV Koblenzer Steuerungs- und Verteilungsbau GmbH