Drives and Controls Magazine
Schematics are generated ‘at the push of a button’
Published:  10 May, 2017

Eplan used the recent Hannover Fair to launch a software package that, it says, will generate electrical and fluid schematic diagrams automatically at the push of a button, without needing expert knowledge, programming abilities, or extensive training. The “unique” package, called Eplan Cogineer, does not require users to change their design methods, which “will simply become much faster”.

The software integrates with Eplan’s existing platform. Users simply select all the major parameters for a partial schematic – for example, a motor controller. Dependent parameters such as the size of connecting cables or the design of the drive are determined automatically, based on a stored rule set, and then transferred into the schematic. The software can be used for any method of design and project structure, and adapted to any size of company.

Once a rule set has been established within Cogineer, users who are not rules experts can generate projects. Company know-how no longer remains in the heads of specialists. Instead, it is stored and made securely available for the automated creation of full and partial schematics. The software’s interface adapts automatically to any working situation so that users see only what they need to see.

Conventionally, when designing a motor control system, users copy-and-paste from existing documents and projects. The disadvantage is that they must check and amend all project-specific information, component data and cable diameters. This represents considerable effort and risks errors being introduced.

With Cogineer, copying-and-pasting is a thing of the past, and the user simply selects the key parameters and the software inserts parts, cable sizes and other details automatically using the stored rule set. Users no longer need to worry about cable sectioning or selecting parts for a motor starter. The new software undertakes these tasks based on the rule set. The risk of making errors is eliminated, according to Eplan, and using a centralised library of templates and a stored rule set enhances project quality.

Eplan claims that Cogineer van reduce the time taken to produce schematics by 30-80%

According to Dieter Pesch, Eplan’s head of product management and development, the new software will result in substantial savings in time and costs. “Because schematics can now be generated automatically at the push of a button, time previously spent searching, copying and pasting is saved,” he says. “This drastically reduces the manual effort required in engineering. Depending on the level of the rule set, savings of 30–80% in engineering are realistic.”

Pesch reckons that users can become familiar with Cogineer in “just a few hours”. But to use the software’s capabilities fully, he recommends a three-day training course. “Users then become real professionals and can apply the system profitably and efficiently for day-to-day-business.”

Eplan is offering Cogineer as an add-on for its Electric P8, Fluid and Pro Panel packages. It is adopting a new approach to sales, offering the software on a rental-model, with costs being charged on an annual basis.