Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Automation System Using Electrical CAD Software

The automation system designs, documents and drawings of machine builders are so intertwined that a small change in one design area can ripple through to multiple areas. Change a tag name in a PLC, and a host of other changes become necessary to electrical schematics, panel drawings and possibly mechanical drawings.

For that and a few other reasons, specialized E-CAD (electrical CAD) software has a home in many OEM toolboxes. The right software not only can produce documents and drawings automatically from spreadsheets or even web based order forms, it also regenerates drawing to accurately and automatically propagate changes throughout the design.

Eplan software and Services provides multi discipline design tools that are database driven. Electrical, instrumentation and fluid power, and control engineers can achieve maximum accuracy and efficiency with a single solution, both collaboratively and individually.

For instance, Eplan bi-directionally synchronizes controls configuration data with leading PLC supplier programming software products. It improves time to production and eliminates errors due to manual data entry. Other feature cut enclosure production time by transferring drilling automatically and cut out data to CNC machines, and wiring data to wire processing machines. Add to that the automatically generated point to point wire list, the 3D panel layout, BOM and the end result is built accurately enclosures in significantly shorter times.

The project builder template project consist all portions of the design common to any variations of the machine. The user defines options that specify which macros to place in the template project and on what pages. These options can contain of elements such as different motor sizes, PLC vs. manual control etc.

The automatic functions in the software for ID assignment, wire numbering and cross referencing eliminate the need for manual editing of the generated drawings. Part numbers are also assigned via the macros automatically, allowing accurate production of bill of material and other documents.

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