Eplan Smart Wiring


Andrew Mutch Andrew Mutch Having previously worked as an aircraft technician with HM Forces, Andy is one of our Professional Services Consultants and has been with EPLAN for 10 years. Part of Andy's role is to actively analyse customers processes, develop solution concepts and workflows for customer requirements. Andy is also our resident Harness expert!

How to easily wire control panels without diagrams: EPLAN Smart Wiring

Author: Andrew Mutch Time to read: minute minutes
Most control panels are still wired by referring to a schematic diagram, but this process is time-consuming and requires a high level of expertise. EPLAN Smart Wiring enables control panels to be wired quickly, easily and with fewer errors.

As long as control panels have been around, the traditional way of supplying information to the person carrying out the wiring has been to give them a paper schematic diagram. This does show them exactly which connections need to be made, but it tells them nothing about the physical arrangement of the components they’re wiring, how to make the connections to them, how to route the cables and, in many cases, the schematic may not even make clear what size and colour of cable to use.

Discover how the design and manufacture of control cabinets can be made easier  and more efficient.

This means that panel wiring from schematic diagrams is a very skilled job that requires a lot of experience. Even then, the wiring process is prone to error and a further disadvantage is that if two supposedly identical panels are wired by different people, it’s very likely that the wiring will be anything but identical. This may not matter functionally, but it certainly makes life difficult when it comes to fault finding or adding modifications!

For series production of large numbers of identical panels, these issues can be addressed by producing detailed wiring diagrams, but this is a costly and tedious process. In addition, the wiring diagrams are yet another layer of documentation that must be revised whenever modifications are made to the panels.

Where only a small number of panels of a particular type are needed – more often than not, just one panel – the expense and inconvenience of producing wiring diagrams is almost never justified. So what’s the solution for easier and more efficient wiring? Until now, there wasn't one, but recently an innovative smart wiring app has been made available as part of the latest upgrade to the EPLAN computer-aided engineering (CAE) software platform.

Working in conjunction with the CAE software used to produce schematic diagrams and panel layout drawings, the innovative smart wiring app produces detailed and comprehensive wiring information for the panel. Designed with simplicity and ease of use in mind, it offers step-by-step directions for the person carrying out the wiring, and through its clearly designed menu, it fully describes every single connection.

This information is augmented by a display on the screen of the computer or tablet running the app, which clearly shows, in graphical form, the components to which the connections are being made, the terminal points, and even the precise routing for every cable within the panel.

Smart wiringEPLAN Smart Wiring app - available on tablets or computers 

In addition, the app also provides information for each connection about the required wire diameter, the wire colour to be used and the way the terminations should be handled – for example, crimped or ultrasonic welded. Bundle affiliation is also shown, which means that every working step of the wiring process is presented clearly in a readily understandable form.

Those using the app log the completion of each connection with a simple mouse click, and when this has been done, the colour of the connection on the screen changes to green. This means it’s easy to see at a glance those connections that have been made and those that are still to be added. This is tremendously helpful if several shifts are necessary to complete the work: colleagues can confidently start wiring exactly where their predecessors left off.

Smart Wiring EN

The EPLAN Smart Wiring app also provides important benefits when last minute changes need to be made to the project. The changes are simply added in the CAE design software. Then, with the aid of the app, the project status before the changes is automatically compared with the status after the changes, and all of the differences are documented. This takes far less time than the traditional approach of making the comparison manually and there’s virtually no risk of errors.

The app clearly shows all the obsolete connections – those that have already been wired but must be removed – as well as the additional connections that are necessary to complete the changes. This means that those who wire panels no longer have to ponder how changes will affect the panel wiring; instead they can just get on with the job, safe in the knowledge that they are well protected against making mistakes.

The Smart Wiring app from EPLAN has the potential to transform the process of panel wiring. For those who are used to working directly from schematic diagrams it makes life easier and provides big time savings. And, those who don’t have the skills needed to work from schematic diagrams can now also wire panels competently, productively and with minimal risk of making mistakes. In short, whatever the situation, the new app means more efficient panel wiring, which means lower costs and increased profitability for panel builders.

Would you like further information about EPLAN can help you in control cabinet manufacturing? You download the Control Cabinet 4.0 case study below. 

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