The new EPLAN Design Space Exchange (DSE) will be unveiled at SPS IPC Drives. DSE supports data exchange between mechanical construction and control system technology in control cabinet and switchgear construction.
The expansion module for EPLAN Pro Panel Professional, developed by EPLAN and MCAD specialists at affiliate Cideon, is available for the first time with EPLAN Platform 2.4 and compatible with Autodesk Inventor 2014 and 2015.
“Without the cabinet case, there is no mounting layout, and without the mounting layout, there is no final case design. This dilemma can now be resolved with the Design Space Exchange expansion module,” explains Thomas Weichsel, product manager at EPLAN. DSE is based on a fully parametric 3D geometric data model of the mechanical design that takes into account the particular requirements for the installation location of the mounting panel or cabinet.
DSE accesses the 3D CAD data of the control cabinet case design and makes it available to the EPLAN Platform as the basis for the mounting layout using EPLAN Pro Panel. The 3D mounting layout is created within this design space, referencing the automation concept from the electrical design. All electrical equipment intended for installation will be mounted virtually, taking into account spatial conditions and manufacturer specifications regarding minimum clearance.
Wiring on Virtual Prototypes
Installation holes, threads, slots and cutouts are automatically integrated for subsequent assembly. The virtual prototype of the cabinet is the basis for virtual switchgear wiring and for determining optimal wiring paths and appropriate wire lengths, among other things.
Once the virtual mounting layout has been completed, EPLAN DSE provides data on the necessary installation holes, threads, slots and cutouts for integration into the 3D mechanical engineering model, at the push of a button. DSE then interprets data and objects on the Autodesk Inventor page and creates a consistent product data model for mechanical design including all components, holes and cutouts.
The model is fully parametric and is in the form of native Autodesk Inventor geometry data, so that the mechanical design can integrate the manufacturing procedure including processing, BOMs and manufacturing drawings.
While the mechanical design lays the foundation for the manufacture of the cases, the electrical designer can compile complete as-built project documentation of the final product, for example the automated assembly of terminal strips and wire bundles, with all the necessary schematics, mounting diagrams, manufacturing drawings, BOMs, device lists, connection lists and data. As Weichsel notes in his summary of the advantages: “Interdisciplinary data synchronisation reduces potential sources of error and product development costs, saving time while improving quality.”
Filed Under: Rapid prototyping