What is Eplan

Author

Ken Christie Ken Christie Ken Christie is the Country Director at EPLAN UK. He has been working at EPLAN for 9 years with his expertise in the electrical design industry.
9/07/24

What is Eplan?

Author: Ken Christie Time to read: minute minutes

Eplan provides software and service solutions in the fields of electrical, automation and mechatronic engineering. We develop one of the world’s leading design software solutions for machine, plant and panel builders.

 

"Efficient engineering" is our focus: Eplan is the ideal partner to streamline challenging engineering processes. No matter whether small or large enterprises, we strive to enable our customers to apply their expertise more efficiently.

Eplan is a world-leading electrical computer-aided design (ECAD) software solution for machine and panel builders, system integrators and plant operators. Our powerful and advanced electrical design software packages assist you with simplifying challenging engineering processes, saving you time, reducing errors and providing detailed documentation.

Electrical Engineers use Eplan to plan and design schematics, manage projects, create 3D layouts and panel designs, and work collaboratively. 

Manual, repetitive tasks like wire numbering, producing terminal schedules and repeatedly redesigning common circuit blocks can all be reduced using Eplan. Many of these tasks can be automated, saving money and freeing up time for engineers to concentrate on more creative work.

What is The Eplan Platform? 

Keeping digital data up-to-date is key for efficient engineering. The Eplan Platform connects all Eplan software tools, creating a solid foundation for your projects and ensuring clear, transparent processes. This connectivity allows you to work across different engineering disciplines and find the best solutions for any application.

The Eplan Platform helps optimise your engineering by enabling collaborative work and providing real-time information at every project stage.

Additionally, the Eplan Platform interfaces with ERP and PDM systems for seamless, bi-directional data exchange. This means you can transfer project data to mechatronic solutions and other software environments smoothly.

By using Eplan's electrical design software, you can transform your design process through seamless data integration, saving time, ensuring accuracy, and enhancing your credibility.

EPLAN Platform GraphicThe Eplan Platform Overview

 

CAD vs ECAD - Eplan helps companies to reach the next level

CAD is an individual software package that offers an electronic version of a drawing desk. It usually offers no more than visual information to the following team in the process, which creates data breaks in a company’s processes. Information is copied manually from one team to another, which can result in errors. In other words, it's not the ideal tool for modern electrical design.

On the other hand, ECAD systems are individual software packages that combine, edit and insert data onto a common platform. Each change made is instantly updated in the other software packages, meaning real time changes and true multi-user interaction is achieved. Information is exported into a multitude of formats to allow clarity of meaning throughout the process and giving everyone involved in their process their own view that is correct and error-free. 

Drawing board

Technology has moved on from drawing boards.  

 ©Inked pixel

It’s important for the electrical design world to use the innovative tools available to it.

Error detection and prevention is a feature common to all CAD applications. However, using generic CAD software not specific to electrical design makes the work more prone to errors and other issues. Having specific ECAD software enables a range of potentially expensive issues to be detected early in the design process rather than being discovered during the build process, which can be much more costly.

Electrical design software, such as Eplan, helps error reduction by providing visual representations of designs, which allows engineers to spot mistakes and make corrections at an earlier stage – reducing costs and downtime. With intelligent design automation, engineers can rely on built-in design rules and templates specific to industry standards, ensuring compliance and reducing the risk of errors. Eplan software also provides extensive libraries of standardised electrical symbols, promoting consistency and eliminating errors caused by incorrect or non-standard symbol usage. 

 

Change Processes - out with the old, in with the new

CAD drawings are difficult to update. For example, renaming pages or devices can takes several hours of laborious clicking and typing for even a minor change in design. However, with Eplan, cross references, device tags, wire numbering and page numbers are manipulated via the platform and capable of extensive, instant and error-free changes. Any change made is automatically updated in the system and everyone involved in the project is informed and kept up to date – making the change process seamless. Eplan software also has a revision management system, which tracks and reports all changes made with minimal effort. 

Just think about the amount of time that automatic change updates will save you. 

 

Comprehensive Product Database

Data is the backbone of efficient design and any ECAD system, but creating data can be laborious. Did you know that manufacturer-approved data is readily available in multiple platform formats? The Eplan Data Portal hosts component data from well-known manufacturers around the world. You can simply download the data straight into your project and use it immediately. Simple transfer of the components’ data in the project reduces the engineering effort and increases the quality of the machine and plant documentation – a win-win situation!

EPLAN Data Portal ManufacturersEplan Data Portal component manufacturers. 

 

3D Design Benefits 

Within the Eplan Platform, digital device data includes 3D models for placement in panel design. That sounds nice, but what are the benefits to designing in 3D, and the benefits to using Eplan?

  • Easily see if everything fits in the panel – avoid errors in the manufacturing phase and increase accuracy
  • See where potential collisions may happen and avoid them
  • Save space and purchase a smaller panel if you have lots of free space – saving costs!
  • Generate wiring lists and data to ensure efficient wiring – Take a look at Eplan Smart Wiring
  • Generate drilling patterns for automated machining – increases safety, productivity and efficiency
  • Create a digital twin – easier to work with, gives you a digital replica
  • Quicker service and maintenance because everything is clearer in the design
  • Accurate BOM and cable lengths – reduces scrap
  • See where cooling is required in the cabinet because of hot components

EPLAN Pro Panel - 3D design image Eplan Pro Panel allows quick and easy design in 3D. 

The Unique Eplan and Rittal Value Chain 

We believe in engineers, in their creativity and inspiration, so we do everything possible to help them make their ideas a reality. We also push them to become even more innovative and creative, which is key to a successful future in the digital age.

Our sister company, Rittal, is the world’s leading systems provider for enclosures, power distribution, climate control, IT infrastructure and software & service. The Rittal Automation Systems (RAS) division allows companies to automate panel building with machines and devices that make enclosure assembly easier, faster and more accurate. You can create a 3D panel in Eplan Pro Panel – a 3D software solution for designing control cabinets – and export the model straight to a RAS machine, like the Rittal Perforex, which will automate the drilling and cut outs in just a few clicks.

Header-Value-Chain-ENEplan and Rittal work together to create a unique solution from design through to manufacturing. 

 

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