LCA Group - EPLAN customer Software
1/09/20

Why companies such as LCA now rely on digital review processes

Author: John Boynton

Creating schematics using professional engineering software, but then using PDFs or printouts for fine-tuning and updates? This wasn’t an option for the LCA Group, which is why the British company depends on the cloud-based software Eplan eView Free.

 The LCA Group (LCA for short) has been successfully relying on the combined solutions from Eplan and Rittal for its automated processes – from engineering through to manufacturing. With Eplan eView Free, the company was even able to completely digitalise its engineering review processes. Here are the main reasons why innovative companies like LCA are relying on this free cloud service.

Eplan welcomes feedback – even before the software is released

Back in 2017, LCA Group management recognised that the company could considerably increase its productivity by growing its manufacturing and assembly capacities, so LCA began investing in new technologies and innovations. Since that time, Eplan and Rittal have been working hand-in-hand with LCA and supporting the group with their turnkey solutions for electrotechnical projects. One of LCA’s further objectives was to accelerate approval processes with customers and to improve communication internally between departments.

LCA then took the opportunity to test Eplan eView, the cloud-based reviewing tool, before its official release date. The company’s feedback flowed directly into Eplan’s agile development processes to help improve the service.

Collaboration: digital approval of schematics via the redlining function

Eplan eView allows cloud-based access to engineering projects created in Eplan Platform, meaning that all project participants and stakeholders with the appropriate authorisation can access the project data at any time and from anywhere. A key eView feature is the redlining function, enabling all those involved to add their suggestions for changes. It further allows electrical engineers to immediately access these comments and suggestions, to evaluate them and then to update their schematics accordingly.

At LCA, eView specifically ensures that time-consuming review process for schematics become a thing of the past, not only in engineering but also for stakeholders outside the company including customers, partners and service providers. In contrast to the majority of its competitors, LCA offers its customers the possibility for marking up schematic diagrams online and sending their comments directly back to LCA. The schematics can then be updated just a few minutes later – in a completely digital process without any media disruptions.

 

 

Always accessible: the availability of current schematic documentation

This charming video shows how using eView supports project approval processes for automation solutions providers such as LCA – without binders and binders filled with schematic printouts.

However, using eView offers even more added value when the planned control cabinet or machines are already in operation. Eplan Senior Director Cloud Business Software Thomas Michels explains using another example: “Even today, the majority of schematics are actually printed out and stored in the control cabinet or machine. But you can never be certain if the plans you have in your hands are actually up to date.”

Fortunately, eView offers a very practical solution for this as well. Michels: “When the design engineer has made a change to the schematics, they can make the schematics available in the cloud for other project stakeholders. A technician working directly on the control cabinet or machine can thereby access the schematic using eView – on a mobile device or via a web browser. If there is a QR code on the machinery, the technician can simply scan it and then directly open the appropriate Eplan Project directly in eView.”

A fitting overall concept: all solutions from one source along the value chain

LCA Group Managing Director Alan Sheppard is especially impressed working with Eplan solutions generally: “Working with Eplan has created new opportunities for our business. The company’s innovative tools are a good fit for our striving to position ourselves as an innovator and driving force on the markets we serve.” Working with eView is practically the “icing on the cake” since LCA utilises a broad selection of products from the Friedhelm Loh Group. The group has converted its entire control cabinet operations from manual production to end-to-end automation, including laser processing, and relies on a wide array of Eplan software solutions and systems made by Rittal.

 

 

Tip: Use Eplan engineering software for free

Yet another good reason to give Eplan eView Free a try: the cloud-based service is available free of charge. There are just two requirements: you must be using the current Eplan Platform, Version 2.9 or 2.8, and you must register for the Eplan ePulse cloud environment, also free of charge.

Register now for free

A quick overview of the features eView offers:

  • Digital review processes for schematics with redlining and greenlining functionality
  • Location-independent single source of truth, full project control in engineering
  • Schematics are always up-to-date, even for process steps such as manufacturing and service
  • Data security guaranteed, full transparency via the Eplan Trust Center

And one last reading tip: you can find more stories and background information about the Friedhelm Loh Group in be top, the group’s web magazine.

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