More efficiency and professionalism in electrical design with EPLAN

Author: John Boynton

Long-established and very successful designer and manufacturer of high performance magnets and associated technology, Eclipse Magnetics, has recently experienced an
increasing demand for electromagnetic systems and solutions. To help the company deal with these emerging requirements efficiently and cost-effectively, Eclipse Magnetics has chosen computer aided engineering (CAE) software from EPLAN.

Eclipse discovers the magnetism of EPLAN!

With more than 100 years' experience, Eclipse Magnetics, who have their headquarters in
Sheffield, UK and dedicated offices in Canada, China and France, are part of the world
renowned Spear and Jackson Group. Eclipse Magnetics have a track record in the design
and manufacture of high performance magnetic systems and supplies mission-critical
equipment to some of the leading names in demanding industries such as food and
beverage, automotive manufacturing, aerospace and steel. The company prides itself on
offering products and systems that combine quality with performance and value. To help it
continue to do this, Eclipse Magnetics decided that it would be beneficial to further
improve its design and production capabilities, and approached EPLAN for advice and

The Challenge

  • Improved design and production capabilities
  • Achieve higher efficiency and professionalism
  • Simplified wiring process

The Solution

  • EPLAN Pro Panel
  • EPLAN Fluid
  • EPLAN Smart Wiring
  • EPLAN Data Portal

Design automation boosts productivity

"We were at a point where the electrical aspects of the business were getting more complex and we therefore felt the need for a powerful and versatile electrical design
tool," explained Harry Heathfield, Electrical Design Engineer at Eclipse Magnetics. "After carefully evaluating the options, EPLAN was selected over several other suppliers of CAD/CAE software, to bring more efficiency and professionalism to our electrical design work." In the end Eclipse Magnetics decided on EPLAN Pro Panel, EPLAN Fluid, Process Wiring and EPLAN Smart Wiring.

Eclipse Magnetics purchased EPLAN Pro Panel to aid their design process, as it enables users to design and construct control cabinets and switchboards in 3D. EPLAN Pro Panel covers the entire range of services - mounting layout in 3D, the virtual wiring of components to the individual design and also offers a comprehensive range of options for planning, documentation and management of automation projects.

The virtual 3D model of the control cabinet switchgear system helps designers make best use of the valuable panel space available. Integrated planning aids such as collision testing, adherence to manufacturer installation guidelines, minimum clearances and bending radii, allow quick and optimum positioning and installation.

"This powerful tool will allow Eclipse Magnetics to provide drawings and documentation to IEC standards, in multiple languages, and generate smart schematic PDF's, 3D cabinet models, calculate cable routing, pneumatic pipe routing and automated bill of materials, to name a few", enthused Harry. "The collection of this detailed data will provide consistent quality in manufacturing and increase productivity. The software will also bring standardisation and better workflow between mechanical and electrical personnel, both office and workshop based."

As there was a requirement to work with legacy drawings, Eclipse Magnetics opted for
the EPLAN Pro Panel STEP Export. This functionality allows them to transfer
seamlessly between packages and ensure that all drawing formats used can be made
compatible for the benefit of the end user.

Efficient, error-free engineering

The Eclipse Magnetics team also purchased EPLAN Smart Wiring, a new browser-based software solution that simplifies control cabinet wiring by visualising wiring and making all the necessary data 100% digitally available. Users benefit from a significant drop in error rate and substantial time savings. This applies to last minute changes in particular, as the software handles the complex task of comparing a project's new baseline with its old
actual state.

"EPLAN Smart Wiring's digital representation refers to the virtual model's 3D layout in EPLAN Pro Panel", explained Steve Graham, Regional Sales Manager at EPLAN. "However, the new application can be utilised to enhance productivity even without a 3D layout. And as an added benefit, it can also be used remotely or when on the shop floor via portable devices such as tablets and smartphones".

The company also chose EPLAN Fluid for their projects. EPLAN Fluid is an engineering tool for the automated design and documentation of circuits in fluid power installations in
hydraulics, pneumatics, cooling and lubrication and complies fully with current standards such as the mechatronic standard EN81346. Fluid-specific engineering is connected with all other engineering disciplines through the EPLAN Platform so that different engineering tasks can be carried out in parallel and the overall engineering process is accelerated.

Having added a wide range of EPLAN products to its manufacturing systems, the Eclipse Magnetics team felt that in order to get the most out of EPLAN they ought to attend
specialised training days.

Massive time improvements

As a result, the team followed the standard eight-day training course for EPLAN Pro Panel, and subsequently EPLAN Smart Wiring and Process Wiring courses. At present, the company has also purchased extra days to be used for EPLAN Fluid.

"Buying all these EPLAN solutions helped us become more organised and standardised, and our customers love it", said Harry. "EPLAN offers a professional and streamlined view of our design. We have seen massive time improvements and reduced errors from the design stages. EPLAN Smart Wiring has greatly helped our shop floor staff irrespective of their level of experience, freeing up important resources for the rest of the team. Overall, we are extremely pleased to have gone 'whole hog' with EPLAN, as every single element allows us to add extra quality for our own customers."


What the customer needed: EPLAN

Eclipse Magnetics also benefits from EPLAN Data Portal access, which is a web-based resource that provides access to detailed component data for more than 830,000 electrical, mechanical, fluidic and pneumatic components from more than 230 global manufacturers. The data can be dragged and dropped directly into EPLAN documentation, thus reducing configuration work and increasing the quality of machine and system documentation.

In order to support their team of engineers on a day-to-day basis, Eclipse Magnetics also have access to EPLAN Global Support which provides the team with access to EPLAN experts, an online ticket helpdesk, access to online FAQ's and a dedicated telephone service.

Do you want to see the EPLAN software in action? Why not request a free demo and discuss with an expert which EPLAN solutions will deliver the biggest efficiencies not just for your team, but the whole business. 

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