Digital twin data spec for switchgear and control systems

Digital twin data spec for switchgear and control systems

Technology News |
By Nick Flaherty

A digital twin of switchgear and control cabinets can be simplified with a standardised data specification developed by EPLAN Software & Service GmbH & Co. KG (Monheim am Rhein, Germany).

The specification increases the quality of article and device data in Eplan Data Portal, a web service offering product catalogues from numerous component manufacturers. Several thousand data sets are already available and additional well-known component manufacturers are working on providing data that adopts the specification. These include ABB, IFM, LAPP, Phoenix Contact, Puls, Rittal, SEW-Eurodrive, Siemens, Schneider Electric, Wago, Weidmüller and Wieland.

The need for better data is essential when control cabinets or switchgear systems are being designed in 3D. This allows wire lengths to be automatically calculated, or mounting panels processed by machines, all using standardised component data, which dramatically simplifes the design process. This data is also the foundation for the digital twin, where a model of the control cabinet is bult in the cloud with all the components that were selected in engineering, presented with their characteristics in the schematics and subsequently assembled in the control cabinet in 3D. The control cabinet can then be modified in the cloud if any changes need to be made.

The Eplan Data Standard defines the type of component data required to automate and simplify processes in (pre)planning, engineering, manufacturing and maintenance. The Eplan Data Portal has more than 239,000 users and offers data of more than 91,300 products from 286 manufacturers.

All of the software embedded in the Eplan Platform can access this web service. The simple transfer of the available component data into Eplan documentation is via drag and drop, which reduces the effort required in design and increases the quality of machine and plant documentation. Manufacturers are also being optimally supported – the Data Creation Tool based on eCl@ss Advanced offers them an import option that significantly simplifies data provision.

Several thousand updated component data, with a focus on manufacturing integration, are already available in the new Eplan Data Standard. This includes, for instance, a schematic macro, a 3D file and connection diagrams for typical electrical components. Rittal, which is a sister company of Eplan in the Friedhelm Loh Group, has already integrated initial data for control and switchgear systems.

The optimised, standardised data sets can be used to create complete bills of materials or to reliably calculate the weight of the control cabinet using defined weight specifications as just two examples. ;

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