September 24, 2014
EPLAN Software & Service has released the 2.4 version of its EPLAN Platform, the connection that integrates the EPLAN suite of process-oriented engineering solutions for electrical and mechanical engineering design, documentation, process and project planning. The company reports that the focus of this release is to bring greater efficiency to the engineering process.
Applications making up the EPLAN Platform include EPLAN Electric P8 for electrical planning and engineering, EPLAN Pro Panel for 3D enclosure layout, EPLAN Harness proD for wire harness design and documentation as well as nail board design, EPLAN Preplanning for drafting of machines and plants and EPLAN Fluid for the design and documentation of circuits in fluid power installations in hydraulics, pneumatics, cooling and lubrication. All EPLAN applications are available now in version 2.4.
Highlights of release 2.4 include simplified PLC (programmable logic controller) project planning in graphical overviews, subproject management and new navigational options to speed up project planning, according to the company. EPLAN 2.4 also provides extended support for IEC 81346 and IEC 61355 definitions through structuring principles and reference designations. For the first time, says the company, EPLAN Platform is available in a 64-bit version.
EPLAN reports that release 2.4’s simplified representation of PLC communication networks makes the documentation and management of PLC structures clearer and easier to use, adding that subproject management also enhances the overview. Specific sections can be extracted from a project, individually edited and merged back into a final project. This, explains the company, creates complete and high-quality documentation, enabling users to concentrate on their required tasks. A change protection option for areas of the project that have already been approved means that areas that are fully planned or parts already manufactured cannot be changed inadvertently.
In EPLAN Platform 2.4, accurate and predictable data entry can now be achieved throughout the entire platform with user-definable and configurable properties, including user-created default values selection lists for properties. Version 2.4 also implements additional check runs to automatically check and validate the parts management database to ensure the accuracy of managed data.
Navigation throughout projects has become easier and faster with all displayed cross-references accessible through hyperlinks, says EPLAN. The hyperlinks also are available in the export to PDF function, making it easier to create reference documents. Version 2.4 also sees a new report type for distributed devices that allows users to generate project information into simpler reports for the manufacturing and maintenance departments. A complete device report is generated where all of its data, such as placements, function texts or graphic symbols, can be displayed.
The EPLAN Platform supports multiple standards, including IEC 81346. With version 2.4, it is also possible to identify project pages according to IEC 61355 definitions, enabling users to employ object designations when structuring documentation. Users can also use this capability in conjunction with an interface connected to such enterprise systems as PLM (project lifecycle management) and ERP (enterprise resource planning).
Intelligent components such as communicating sensors, configurable drives and programmable actuators with varied communication protocols require clear documentation in a bus structure. In EPLAN Platform 2.4, the company says it created a new and easier way to manage PLC bus systems on the basis of simple single line communication network designs. Users can now integrate devices such as converters, motors or valves with bus connections into bus systems. Also, additional PLC manufacturers, such as ABB, Mitsubishi and 3S, have been added to the list of interface partners for bidirectional data exchange.
With version 2.4, EPLAN users can now install 32- or 64-bit versions of EPLAN. EPLAN 64-bit requires Microsoft Office 64-bit or SQL for the parts management database, the translation database and the project management database.
Among the other enhancements in the 2.4 version of the EPLAN Platform are more than 80 new measuring units for conversion, the ability to convert your units in EPLAN directly and additional layer information that helps users identify the current layer values. Extensions to the synchronize functionality provide better support for interdisciplinary collaboration in the 2.4 version of the EPLAN Platform, according to the company.
Current users with software service contracts can download EPLAN Platform 2.4 through the EPLAN support site.
For complete details on EPLAN Platform 2.4, go here.
Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.
About the Author
Anthony J. Lockwood is Digital Engineering’s founding editor. He is now retired. Contact him via [email protected].Follow DE