Software
20/10/20

Five reasons why you should be creating schematics with macros

Author: John Boynton

'We design our projects just as quick manually'. 'For us it is all about customisation'. 'Our office is too small and changing our way of working takes more time than it yields.'  These are just some of the common excuses we hear from electrical engineers when it comes to using macros to create schematics in EPLAN Electric P8.

No matter how different schematics may look, there will always be elements of the project which you have used in past projects. So why waste time starting from scratch? There is so much to be gained from using these read-to-use and already tested schematic parts, macros, in current projects. Here's five good reasons for using macros to create your schematics in EPLAN Electric P8:

1. 50% of schematics are not customised

Even if you design the most unique controls or control cabinets, the schematics will always contain fixed or frequently used elements such as motor starters, power lines or circuit breakers.  In practice, around half of a schematic can be assembled and copied for unique projects. You simply create the schematic as a macro and store all the possible technical data in its value set. Once this has been saved as a macro project, you no longer have to search through old schematics, thereby saving precious time.

2. Less chance of costly mistakes

At first glance, copying and pasting from earlier projects may seem to be a simple and convenient solution. In practice, however, it often proves to be tricky and time-consuming. In the stress of your everyday work, can you always be certain that you haven’t copied any mistakes into the new schematic? Did you choose the right variant? Are all the necessary components available? If a mistake does slip in and the wrong parts get ordered, that costs both time and money. Using macros helps minimise these sources of error.

A macro library filled with read-to-use and already tested schematic parts.

3. It's really easy: select, drag and choose variant

Using macros means you don’t have to reinvent the wheel for every schematic. You define just once which subcircuits you’d like to reuse and can additionally save different variants of these circuits. For example, you can save a motor control with different power ratings and include the appropriate circuit breaker and fuse for each one. Once set up, all you have to do is add the macro to a project and select the appropriate variant. The corresponding technical values are then displayed and the part numbers stored in EPLAN.

 4. Teamwork becomes easier

If you’re still using the “copy and paste” method: You probably know exactly which elements you want to copy and where exactly to find them for many of your projects. But do your colleagues also have this information if you’re on holiday or aren’t in the office for some reason? Are you familiar with the situation in which every individual in the
team maintains their own machine-specific device data – and even displays them differently in the schematics?

Make your teamwork even easier: Macros can be used by multiple users in parallel and display devices in a uniform manner.


Is video more your thing? Watch the pre-recorded coffee break session and discover how macros can speed up design, lower costs and nd allow you to produce higher quality work with fewer errors.

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5. Lower costs and higher quality

Time savings aren’t the only advantage macros provide. The standardised way of creating them means your schematics are of even higher quality. All identical devices and components all look the same in all schematics. This also ends up paying off downstream in assembly, procurement and maintenance.

EPLAN Solution

EPLAN Electric P8 has extensive functions and features that make creating macros very easy, allowing you to save any sections or snippets of pages or projects and reuse them in future projects. 

New to EPLAN and want to discover the benefits of the solution? Click the link below. 

Explore EPLAN Electric P8 

Already got a license for EPLAN Electric P8? Check out the Macro and devices training course to further deepen your knowledge in the field of macro technology and how to apply it efficiently. 

Explore Training Courses

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