An engineer wearing safety glasses and gloves as he uses EPLAN's Smart Wiring virtual assistant to make the task easier and faster.


Simon Knibbs Simon Knibbs Simon has been working at EPLAN UK for 3 years as an EPLAN Applications Engineer. He started his career in building, services, and moved on to designing and programming early robotics. He then became involved in mechatronic design and PCB layout. Since joining the CAD industry he has always been at the forefront assisting customers. He is a great advocate of value for money and hates to see customers’ investments underutilised through lack of knowledge, configuration skills or investment. He is a firm believer that a consultant’s role is to aid the customer in doing things better, easier and faster. So automation, standardisation and integration into other workflows are his interests.

EPLAN's step-by-step wiring solution: A game-changer for panel building efficiency

Author: Simon Knibbs Time to read: minute minutes

Wiring an enclosure can be a time-consuming and daunting task, even for skilled panel builders and technicians. Depending on the setup, engineers may need to work in restricted spaces, where tool access can be difficult, and the risk of injury is heightened. In complex shop floor setups, they may need to coordinate wiring across several locations at once, adding to the complexity and duration of the task. However, electrical engineering software is now capable of automating much of the planning involved in control panel wiring. 

Increased Efficiency 


Virtual assistants like EPLAN Smart Wiring automate the visualisation of panel wiring. Traditionally, paper schematic diagrams would detail the connections required, but typically without any regard to the physical arrangements or nature of the components. This would leave wiring technicians with the difficult task of configuring wire routes and connections manually. 

Automated virtual assistants can save time by visualising the wiring configuration in full. This makes wiring engineer’s jobs much easier and less time-consuming. Indeed, the software can remove the need for technicians to consult schematic diagrams directly, with significant time and labour savings.


Improved Accuracy 


When working on complex projects with only schematic diagrams to follow, wiring technicians will usually need to make ad-hoc decisions on routing, cabling, and connections. Even with the most experienced engineers, such practices inevitably involve a greater risk of error. It also makes fault finding difficult, as apparently identical panels wired by different technicians may contain great variations in their wiring. By visualising the wiring environment in detail, smart wiring apps can cut out this level of variability. Virtual assistants work with CAE software, schematic diagrams, and panel layout drawings to produce detailed panel representations with full routing and connection information, greatly reducing the risk of human error and inconsistency.  

Discover how to avoid electrical mistakes getting through to production

Cost Savings 


As well as boosting efficiency and accuracy, the automation provided by virtual assistants lessens labour costs for expert wiring technicians. Smart wiring apps work with all available information to provide a detailed plan for the wiring setup, including tool requirements, device information and step-by-step instructions for routing and connections. The whole process can be conducted without engineers needing to follow schematic diagrams, though these are still available for reference. And the wiring status can be monitored using a traffic light system. 




Even when in expert hands, the variabilities of manual routing from schematics alone can make scalability difficult. Inconsistencies and the lack of a full overview may lead to uncertainties and rework. Virtual assistants, however, can handle large volumes of data, incorporating all available project information. This allows the software to configure tasks of any size, with simpler scalability. 


Tackles The Shortage Of Skilled Workers 


Automated virtual assistants at the planning stage reduce the burden on your skilled wiring technicians, making better use of your existing staff resources. With a nationwide shortage of workers capable of reading 2D schematic diagrams, EPLAN Smart Wiring steps in to provide simplified instructions for consistent and high-quality results. 


Find Out More 


To discover the benefits of EPLAN Smart Wiring and how an engineering virtual assistant can help reduce errors and boost productivity among your team, please get in touch.



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