Panel Builder System Integrator

EPLAN

November 1, 2017

Employees from AL-KO THERM GMBH were visiting an EPLAN stand at a trade fair and by chance came across EPLAN Engineering Configuration (EEC) – the system that enables simple and consistent configuration of mechatronics systems. They now use EEC worldwide as a configurator and benefit from significantly simpler instrumentation and control (I&C) engineering.

Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems are modularly constructed using filters, heat exchangers, ventilators and heat recovery units. This is clearly evident in the systems manufactured by the company AL-KO THERM GMBH located in Jettingen-Scheppach near Augsburg, Germany. Each function is in a separately housed module. When walking through the factory, visitors will be impressed by the number of systems as well as the size of the production facility. As a market-leader, AL-KO THERM annually supplies around 5000 individually designed systems.

Around 5000 "one-off" systems annually

Each of the 5000 systems are individually designed and constructed according to specific requirements and therefore a well functioning engineering process is necessary. At the core of this process is AL-KO's in-house developed software "Klim@Soft" for mechanical design. Nico Frühinsfeld, project leader responsible for I&C technology: "Klim@Soft is the main tool and links with EPLAN Electric P8 for electrical engineering as well as to SAP for commercial tasks." While a consistent and continuous process had existed here for some time, this wasn't case for I&C engineering. I&C covers the entire control and monitoring of all functions such as air flows, temperatures and humidity as well as the setting of a multitude of valves and flaps. It is down to the customer whether they acquire an integrated control system from AL-KO Therm, or use an on-site system integrator. Nico Frühinsfeld, project leader, explains the workflow: "A specialist designer determines all the necessary parameters and asks for a quote from us for the system via an installation company. We are really keen to provide the system with our AL-KO control technology – known as ART. However, the different system sections, including I&C engineering, are separately put out to tender which means we also have to provide systems without I&C technology."

Goal: Automated design of I&C engineering

As a provider of systems, AL-KO THERM aims to deliver as many systems as possible with I&C technology. However, this aim is hindered by sales and marketing procedures. During the quotation phase, I&C is too complex to be included in a quick quotation while an option is usually available to offer the systems without I&C technology. To overcome this, automating I&C engineering design was desired by those responsible at AL-KO. An initial idea for such automation was conceived in 2010 – and then quickly discarded. Although the in-house development of a configurator was feasible it was too costly especially due to the need for its continuous maintenance. A visit to a trade fair in autumn of 2014 then led to the "configurator" project being revived. While colleagues from design were discussing a specific project with EPLAN experts, Nico Frühinsfeld was looking around the stand and noticed EPLAN Engineering Configuration, or EEC for short.

A chance finding of the basis for an I&C configurator

It quickly became apparent that the solution fulfilled all the basic requirements AL-KO had from a configurator and was simple to implement because AL-KO was already working with EPLAN Electric P8. I&C engineering could then be easily integrated into the existing continuous process. EEC was therefore installed.

This module provides automation in I&C configuration at the highest possible level. It is also linked with EPLAN Electric P8 as well as with Klim@Soft – and hence also SAP – and is therefore optimally integrated into a continuous and consistent process. This enables a significantly simplified I&C engineering process. Nico Frühinsfeld: "Our version of EEC does much more than 'just' configuration. It is used for all control processes, and automatically generates schematics as well as bills of material in I&C design." For AL-KO THERM's I&C specialists, it was vital that configuration was made as easily and practical as possible: "Mechanical engineering remains the focus in our sector so EEC users shouldn't be required to be I&C experts."

"We have become significantly faster"

The configurator "reads" the components selected by the designer and the inherent logic from these as required by I&C circuits and components. The configurator thereby detects whether, for example, humidity control should or must be included. Users can of course also define and determine more precisely each type of control. An accessories list enables the selection of options at just a click – the system then integrates the option into the electrical and I&C plan.

When the configurator eventually transfers the I&C scheme to Klim@Soft, it includes the schematic and cable layout. Klim@Soft then forwards the I&C plan to SAP which either picks or orders the necessary parts. At this stage, the costs for the I&C components are already transparent.

The consistency and continuity of the process also means designers can work much faster. Nico Frühinsfeld: "I&C engineering used to slow down our design processes. It is now not only faster but we can also depend on it being free of errors." This applies also to special applications designed for specific control systems, e.g. for explosion prevention, the pharmaceuticals industry, hospitals and marine engineering – cruise ships also use AL-KO Therm systems for air conditioning.

Approximately 1000 users around the world in office-based and field sales

Meanwhile around 100 of a total 1000 active Klim@Soft users have been trained in using the configurator – not all of these are required to perform I&C tasks. Office-based and field sales use it on both fixed and mobile devices. A range of language versions are available. Chinese character sets are also supported due to AL-KO THERM having a China-based factory. The web-based version of EEC is used so from a users point of view updates take place automatically.

The question always associated with automation is how much can be saved? At AL-KO, this is not an issue. Nico Frühinsfeld: "In the systems being designed, we wanted to raise the share that included I&C technology – and that is what we have achieved."

Those responsible at AL-KO THERM also see other benefits which include the high level of design precision and transparent costs provided by links to Klim@Soft and SAP. Working together with EPLAN also made a good impression. It is therefore no surprise that AL-KO have further plans with the configurator. Nico Frühinsfeld: "We can well imagine that designers will also use the system to automatically configure parameters for our control systems. System control would then undergo parametrisation directly from SAP."

https://www.eplancanada.com/ca-en/company/press/customer-case-stories/detail/exampledetail/instrumentation-and-control-engineering-in-hvac-systems-configuration-instead-of-construction-1/

Changing Scene

  • Prev
  Beckhoff Automation is pleased to announce the promotion of Calvin Wallace to the ...
  If you keep customer service in focus all the time, you will not only meet your ...
  Mersen Electrical Power is announcing the launch of a new on line E-Learning portal ...
  Endress+Hauser, a global leader in process measurement and instrumentation, has concluded ...
  Machine builders can now get standalone machines to market faster using a newly updated ...
  Right on the heels of being recognized as one of this year’s Best ...
  ABB announced it has completed its acquisition of GE Industrial Solutions (GEIS), ...
  Schneider Electric, the leader in digital transformation of energy management and ...
  JMP Engineering today announced that it will now be called JMP Solutions. The company, a ...
  Schneider Electric, the leader in the digital transformation of energy management and ...

 

6 FAQs about HARTING Connectors on UL 508A Panels

Harting-PBSI-Mar28-ADVERTORIAL-6-FAQs-UL-508A_Ad_0078_Kerrwil_175x120_FEB2018 (004).jpg

Using connectors on UL 508A cabinets used to be a huge hassle for the panel-builder. As a result, they often chose the older hardwiring solution in the past. Now, HARTING, in partnership with UL, has made it possible to easily connectorize UL 508A panels with existing HARTING products. Get the asnwers for the six FAQs HERE.

 

 

 

anduit: Automating Safety Solutions Since 1955

 

PanduitPanduit is all about connectivity and has been a driving force behind this for over 60 years. Working within the manufacturing, education, healthcare, transportation, and energy sectors, to name but a few, Panduit is working to ensure each of the sectors has comprehensive, stable infrastructure solutions. The solutions offered by Panduit provide physical, electrical and network infrastructure that are leading their clients into the future. Not only are they providing system solutions but have a strong focus on developing connected safety options designed to protect equipment and workers.

 

Read More

 

Tools for the Trade

  • Prev
  The new Crimpfox DUO 10 crimping pliers from Phoenix Contact are perfect  when ...
  As easy as pick, slip and apply!  This intuitive multi-tool is designed to help ...
  Strong Hand Tools®, manufacturer of innovative Strong Hand Tools® Welding Clamps, ...
  Strong Hand Tools®, manufacturer of innovative Strong Hand Tools® Welding Clamps, ...
  Keeping your bins full just got a lot easier – and a lot faster. Each IRWIN ...
Using connectors on UL 508A cabinets used to be a huge hassle for the panel-builder. As a result, ...
  Delta Controls launches support page for CP2000 variable frequency drives and bypass ...
  ABB Automation Builder is the integrated software suite for machine builders and system ...
  Eaton's Power Xpert Branch Circuit Monitor (PXBCM) provides remote access to live energy ...
  The Fluke 438-II Power Quality and Motor Analyzer adds key mechanical measurement ...

Peers & Profiles

  • Prev
  Few industrial innovations have weathered the years as well as heavy duty connectors. ...
As our population grows and consumers continue to rely on technology for both essentials and ...
  Engineers play a key role in the advancement of our infrastructure and the development ...
  Kymera Systems is located in Leduc, Alberta and provides scalable IIoT solutions and the ...
  JAE Automation is proof positive that a cutting-edge, high-tech company can work with ...
  Nivek Automatisation is a forward-thinking company focused on providing advanced ...
Recently Panel Builder & Systems Integrator was invited to Rittal Canada’s Head ...
  New Electric first opened its doors in 1970, in Burlington, Ontario. The electrical ...
  Changes are coming hard and fast to the control and automation sectors, obligating a rise ...
  OPUS Automation was founded in 1998 in Ancaster, On and provides robotic and automation ...

Hannover Messe 2018

German Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel and Mexican President Peña Nieto set the tone on day one of the HANNOVER MESSE/CeMAT double-header. Asked to shake hands with a robot, they both went for the more casual fist bump – a symbol for the relaxed, natural interaction of humans with digitization, robots and machine learning.

"Technology is not about competing with us humans; it's about assisting us. That is the core message conveyed by this trade fair, which has again underscored Hannover's reputation as a global hotspot for the digital transformation of industry," said Dr. Jochen Köckler, Chairman of the Managing Board at Deutsche Messe, at the close of HANNOVER MESSE and CeMAT. 

Read More

 

ATS AutomationATS Automation Tooling Systems Inc. (TSX: ATA) ("ATS" or the "Company") an industry-leading automation solutions provider, today announced the receipt of new enterprise Order Bookings from Bruce Power valued at approximately CAD $60 million. ATS was selected by Bruce Power to design and deliver innovative automated reactor component removal tools for their Major Component Replacement (MCR) project. ATS' solutions will enable Bruce Power to safely and efficiently remove and replace each reactor's 480 fuel channels and calandria tubes to update the reactors for continued safe and long service.

Read More

 

CSAAs the industrial and manufacturing sectors continue the shift from centralized to decentralized operations, the world of production as we know it will change completely. This new era, commonly referred to as the fourth industrial revolution or Industry 4.0, is characterized by—smart manufacturing processes where a plethora of intelligent machines, systems, and networks independently exchange and respond to information to manage production. When it comes to industrial control systems, cybersecurity evaluation becomes a necessary extension of functional safety.

Read More

 

Product News

  • Prev
  The new sensor PRO safety limit switches (series SLS) from Wieland provide safe ...
  HARTING is making it easy to implement Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) solutions ...
  Emerson today introduced a cost-effective, easy-to-install and simple-to-operate ...
  Festo is addressing the desire of machine designers for more compact control cabinet ...
  With its compact size and flexible configuration possibilities, Festo’s new high ...
  Industry-leading industrial automation solutions provider Omron Automation Americas ...
  Phoenix Contact’s new VAL-US surge protection is Listed to UL 1449 and is available ...
  Balluff's industry-leading IO-Link master portfolio gets a power boost with enhanced ...
  Phoenix Contact is expanding the limits of safety and availability! QUINT POWER now ...
  Balluff's newest ceramic caps extend sensor life and minimize downtime by providing a ...
Kerrwil Publications

538 Elizabeth Street, Midland,Ontario, Canada L4R2A3 +1 705 527 7666
©2018 All rights reserved

Use of this Site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy Policy (effective 1.1.2016)
The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Kerrwil