“Tra la! It’s May! That lovely month when ev’ryone goes blissfully astray.” Or so goes a song from the musical “Camelot.” Never much been a fan of the “blissfully astray” biz. Maybe that’s because with my poor project planning and management abilities things can go blisteringly astray whether it’s May, a random Tuesday, 2013 or whenever. At least I’m not, like a lot of you, planning, documenting or managing an automation project where the fates of organizations, your careers and innocent bystanders are possibly at stake.
Today’s Check it Out link takes you to an on-demand webinar that’s all about how you can make an electrical/electronic automation project efficient, cost-effective and as error-free as possible so that it’s less likely that anything will go astray. The key players in “Closing the Gap Between Hardware & Software Design” are the EPLAN Electric P8 solution for electrical engineers designing automation and control processes and Rockwell Automation hardware and software.
This hour-long on-demand presentation from EPLAN is almost entirely a demonstration of EPLAN Electric P8. The focus, however, is mostly on how EPLAN’s central database interfaces with software programs such as RSLogix5000 from Rockwell Automation and how this tight relationship brings data consistency, speed and a healthy bit of sanity to the design and execution of an automation project.
EPLAN Electric P8 brings electrical engineers a bevy of functionalities to help you plan, document and manage automation projects. It does things like produce detailed reports based on wiring diagrams automatically, interface with CAE software and help you manage data for all phases of a project such as production, assembly, commissioning and service. It has versioning features to keep data up to date, rights management to keep busybodies from messing things up and lots of automation to simplify project control and management.
This webinar gives you an in-depth look into what EPLAN’s integration with Rockwell Automation’s RSLogix5000, RSLogix Architect and IAB (Integrated Architecture Builder) design and configuration software for automation means for you. It shows you how EPLAN “understands” Rockwell Automation’s Allen Bradley line of integrated control and information platforms, intelligent motor control and industrial components.
One key here is the EPLAN Data Portal, a complimentary web service built into EPLAN. It gives you online access to device data from all sorts of sources that you can drop into you EPLAN project documentation. For Rockwell Automation alone, the EPLAN Data Portal offers something like 30,000 master datasets. The practicality of the data portal is that it minimizes the time you waste and errors you key in when manually entering data such as part numbers as you create a project. Consequently, using the EPLAN Data Portal can also improve the quality of the documentation you assemble on machines and systems as well as save you lots of time.
EPLAN integration with IAB is through XML export that lets you import hardware configurations from IAB into EPLAN Electric P8 directly. The RSLogix 5000 and RSLogix Architect integration delivers bidirectional synchronization. That means that data stays updated all the way from developing the control strategies through hardware configuration to electrical drawings and back in both applications. This creates a single set of consistent, controlled and communicated data across your enterprise.
The bulk of “Closing the Gap Between Hardware & Software Design” shows you how this all operates. The guy who does most of the talking really knows his stuff, and he really knows how to present potentially complicated scenarios in a digestible way. The overall effect of this adept presentation makes this webinar a quick and engaging hour. It also means that the 10-15 minutes of Q&A with the attendees after the main presentation are among the livelier ones you’ll come across.
In short, well done, EPLAN. If you have anything at all to do with ensuring that the design, planning or management of an automation project that includes Rockwell Automation hardware and software does not go astray come what may, time spent watching this webinar rebroadcast is time well spent. Hit today’s Check it Out link to gain access to this webinar.
Thanks, Pal. – Lockwood
Anthony J. Lockwood
Editor at Large, Desktop Engineering