Accelerating engineering projects

The Hannover Messe Digital Edition marked the kick-off, where solutions provider Eplan presented a first glimpse of the upcoming version of the Eplan Platform 2022. Those expecting a simple update were in for a surprise. There’s a new and thoroughly reworked version behind the Eplan Platform 2022 – it’s a complete package that is surprisingly easy to use with its new user interface while at the same time allowing workflow-based project planning, all at unprecedented levels of efficiency.

With a state-of-the-art appearance and functionality, and based on the latest apps for mobile devices and globally established desktop applications, the focus of the Eplan Platform 2022 is on simplicity and clarity. One highlight is a completely redesigned user interface that supports intuitive, workflow-based working methods. In future, users will have important and frequently used functions directly in front of them. Eplan Product Manager Sean Mulherrin explains: “Users of the new Eplan Platform 2022 will be able to find their way around the software with perfect ease. Navigating within a project is extraordinarily simple, and the user interface with ribbon technology and a dark-mode view gives users a completely new user experience. It simply makes project planning and designing more fun.”

 

Ribbon technology functionality – Quickly accessing common tasks

The practical multi-function bar using current ribbon technology flexibly adapts to the application – for instance when changing from 2D to 3D – all while combining different menus and toolbars. Mulherrin says, “The new design will make daily work even easier, and not just for experienced users. Even newcomers will be able to quickly master the software since the individual commands can now be accessed much more quickly. Users immediately have the functions they need right before them, accelerating project planning.” In addition, Eplan completely revamped the interface for designing in both 2D and 3D. The result is a modern application with an optimised look and feel, not least due to the support for dark and light mode.

 

New 2D graphics core – Strong performance, even for larger projects

When creating schematics, the demands for powerful 2D graphics are increasing both in preplanning and in the context of building automation. At the same time, the quantity of data is also growing significantly. Mulherrin says, “With the new 2D graphics module, the Eplan Platform 2022 offers powerful arguments in terms of performance.” For instance, processing is considerably accelerated when importing DXF or DWG files. This increases the performance for visualisation and processing of larger projects. Altogether, the level of detail becomes more manageable – which increases the quality of the graphic representation. This progress pays off with significant time savings, particularly for larger projects, which often contain many hundreds or thousands of schematics pages.

 

New centralised device management – Including variant management

Device data is some of the most important data in engineering. If well defined, it supplies important information for preplanning, engineering and for later manufacturing phases of the control systems. Here, too, the variety of information (images, 3D models, drilling patterns and connection data, not to mention commercial information) is continually on the rise. That’s why the management and use of devices in engineering is of particular importance. Thanks to its object orientation, the new centralised device management offers flexibility in converting and adapting device data. The integrated variant management lets users save all device properties with the individual variant, which then allows devices to be assigned different macros in no time at all. As Mulherrin explains, “We really hit the mark for our users with the new centralised device management. The possibilities for automation increase with the use of macros in a project. And the new device management’s high degree of flexibility will also accommodate the future requirements of users in the course of increasing digitalisation.” Another practical plus is the combination with Excel for the simple processing of external device data. Individual device properties can be freely configured in Eplan – this advantage in ergonomics, combined with a contemporary design, also makes it even easier to get started using the software.

 

Backstage view – A good overview at the project level

The new Backstage view facilitates the management of entire projects and all project data. Here users can create and print projects as well as set options. This allows users to edit all aspects of an Eplan Project in one central location – for instance, importing DWG files or exporting PLC or manufacturing data. A list of the most recently opened projects provides a good overview, as does the logical organisation of all project-related commands. The import, export or integration of API functions into the system’s own infrastructure is also clearly organised here. And this also gives users an overview of the project properties.

 

Insertion Centre: Quick access to symbols, macros and devices

The newly integrated Insertion Centre combines all the functions for inserting symbols, macros and devices, including a graphic preview, that are required for efficiently creating schematics. Frequently used components can be marked as favourites and tagged for individual workflows. All the functions for inserting symbols, macros and devices can thus be combined and used for specific workflows. This gives users fast access to components they use regularly to create schematics, allowing standard tasks to be completed even more quickly.

 

Systematically advancing engineering

The new Eplan Platform 2022, which is being launched in summer under the motto “It’s in your hands”, features many more innovations. One of them is the direct connection of on-premises solutions and cloud solutions. With Eplan eManage, projects can be uploaded from the Eplan Platform to the cloud environment, to be managed and shared there. The free version has been available since mid-March.

 

As Mulherrin sees it, the new Eplan Platform 2022 impresses both from the inside and the outside: “The inside – that is to say the heart of the platform – is the new device management. On the outside, users can expect a stylish new user interface for intuitive working that is easier than ever to use.” The CAE system thus makes comprehensive expert functionality more accessible and easier to grasp. To sum it up: the engineering of the future is being systematically advanced to meet the customer’s needs.