Table of contents:
- Avoid media breaks
- Picture gallery
- Digital data exchange in control cabinet construction
- The digital twin in control cabinet construction
- A logical model in the virtual control cabinet
- What the digital model contains
- Digital models enable the automation of production
- Paperless production thanks to smart wiring
- Missing interfaces in switchgear construction
- The same level of knowledge for everyone
Video: Future Opportunity Digitalization In Control Cabinet Construction
2023 Author: Hannah Pearcy | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-06-05 00:21
Whether series production or one-offs: classic control cabinet construction involves a large number of manual work steps. This makes the process time-consuming and expensive overall. The solution: an increase in productivity combined with greater flexibility and transparency promises consistent digitization along the entire value chain. Fully digitized process flows increase efficiency in production and planning by almost 40%.
Avoid media breaks
In control cabinet construction, the aim should therefore be to network the various processes with each other and to centrally manage the resulting data for all work steps. Media breaks, such as those that arise when entering new data in other systems or by transferring circuit diagrams in paper form, should be avoided. As a result, manufacturing companies benefit from significantly more efficient processes.
Picture gallery with 6 pictures
Digital data exchange in control cabinet construction
If the individual work steps from the electrical design in the CAD system to the construction planning to mechanical production, wiring and the final test are closely interlinked in digital data exchange, the effort for work steps such as the manual transfer of parts list data can be minimized.
Another avoidable additional effort is the manual multiple input of information already available from the design. These not only bind working hours, but also increase the susceptibility to errors. If the individual process steps are not networked with one another, changes to the original order must also be implemented in several systems.
Control cabinet 4.0
What the control cabinet construction of the future will look like
The digital twin in control cabinet construction
A high added value for the networking of operations in enclosure brings the digital twin.
- The model is created in the electrical construction and in the construction planning.
- The twin then accompanies the entire production process and provides the individual departments with the information they need.
- The special feature: customer, switchgear manufacturer and their suppliers work with the same model.
A logical model in the virtual control cabinet
“The device manufacturers, e.g. B. Siemens, Schneider or SEW, supply Eplan macros in which all properties of their products are shown. Our electrical designers insert these devices into their circuit diagram and thus create a logical version of the model,”explains Mathias Terstegen, production manager for switchgear construction at Unitechnik Systems GmbH. The construction planner then brings the model into a physical form by arranging the devices in the virtual control cabinet.
What the digital model contains
The finished model includes all dimensions and shows the individual devices inside in a realistic 3D representation. Also included are the entire wiring with all wire paths, cable ducts and top-hat rails (position and length) as well as all holes and cutouts. The haptic representation simplifies many activities, since individual positions in the trade are more easily recognized. As a result, production is less time-consuming and the susceptibility to errors is significantly reduced.
Digital models enable the automation of production
- The data stored in the twin has another advantage: The lengths of the cable ducts and top-hat rails are generated automatically. Measuring and subsequent manual cutting are no longer necessary. Instead, an automatic cable duct and DIN rail cutter provides the material for each cabinet.
- The exact data records from the digital twin also bring high added value in processing in further process steps. " For the exact position of the drill holes and cutouts, the automatic drilling and milling machine gets its data from the 3D model," says Terstegen. Automated plotting and printing stations additionally relieve the employees when labeling the individual components.
- Another example of the efficiency gain through digitized processes is the outsourcing of the terminal block production. Completely labeled and completely configured terminal strips can be ordered from suppliers: For this purpose, the fully designed terminal strip is sent from the digital twin to the service provider and is then produced fully automatically. "However, such a machine only pays off if large quantities are continuously required," says Terstegen. "Here, manufacturing companies have to decide for themselves which expansion of the machine park makes sense and what can be outsourced." Lines can also be pre-assembled according to the respective requirements.
Paperless production thanks to smart wiring
Another step towards paperless manufacturing is smart wiring. The technology makes it possible to visualize the entire wiring of the system via the digital twin. Printed wiring diagrams for the wiring are now a thing of the past. Instead, the work is done directly on the 3D model using a tablet.
Additional information on Eplan on the PLC: wiring made easy
At SPS 2019, Eplan presents the new version of Smart Wiring. Version 2.9 is intended to make the wiring process easier and clearer. The architecture and layout of the smart wiring monitor have been completely revised. The wiring status of projects is now displayed directly, including test mode. Dashboards can be customized and automatically displayed using the latest display libraries for web diagrams.
In version 2.9, the connection types have also been significantly expanded. Today's automation technology is traditionally composed of two topics - electrical engineering and pneumatics. Valve terminals installed in the control cabinet require both the electrotechnical control and the corresponding hose connection. From version 2.9, users can also integrate cables and hoses into their workflows. The different connection types are taken into account and available information on cables and hoses is automatically displayed. Incidentally, the display for cable data is more comprehensive than for wires: Additional information such as BMK (equipment label), cable length (overall length), stripping length or the number of connections in the cable - all of this can be determined with Eplan Smart Wiring 2.9.
SPS 2019: Hall 6, booth 210
Cable lengths, cable routes and terminal points can be read from the digital twin. The system takes into account the even filling level of the cable ducts. If several departments are working on the model at the same time, it is also possible to read the current processing status in real time via the digital twin. Changes are transparent and precisely documented for everyone involved at all times.
"An important aspect for us is that we can flexibly integrate changes by digitizing the processes," says Terstegen. When making adjustments, the electrical designer sees online whether the component in question is already wired and the change appears immediately on the tablet of the wiring device. Conversely, the wiring may notice an error. The change is communicated to the electrical designer in real time.
Integration simplifies mechatronic development
Missing interfaces in switchgear construction
A challenge with cross-company data transmission is the fact that so far there is no generally standardized interface for the 3D model of a control cabinet. In other industries, such as construction, the IFC interface standardizes the 3D representation of a building. With Eplan Pro Panel, Eplan offers the possibility of describing the digital twin of a control cabinet in 3D. On the basis of this model, all the information required in downstream processes can be provided via standardized interfaces. Customers and service providers can use the data from the digital twin in their own processes. Additional documents created for the exchange of information are no longer required.
The same level of knowledge for everyone
When working with the digital twin, all parties are always on the same page. The digital twin means that it is possible to work together efficiently across companies - be it in the exchange between customers and control cabinet builders or between control cabinet builders and suppliers. Another advantage for the customer is the good overview of the process and the progress of the project. Even the smallest details are available at a glance. This makes coordination easier, as aspects can be viewed and discussed together in the model.
Eight innovations for digital engineering
* Dirk Schütz, department and sales manager at Schaltanlagenbau Unitechnik Systems GmbH, Wiehl