Recommendation for Automation: “Think big, start small.”

EPLAN Head of Business Development Achim Potthoff explains: “Today, it’s not about ‘if’ to automate but ‘how’ to do it. It can be implemented based on modularisation and standardisation.”

August 22, 2023

Modularisation, standardisation and automation – these topics will dominate again at this year’s EF|A – EPLAN Forum for Automated Engineering. The need for action in machine building and plant system engineering is higher than ever, which also helps explain the great interest in the run-up to this international event, with participants from more than twelve countries. In practice-oriented presentations, companies will be showing the next steps they’re taking on the pathway to automated engineering. Their motto: Think big!

The key questions companies are asking themselves include: How do we manage to optimise engineering and downstream processes in a future-oriented way? How can we significantly increase our company’s order throughput? These aren’t easy questions to answer when the conditions in machine building and plant system engineering are characterised by supply bottlenecks, a shortage of skilled workers, and increasing customisation. Automation can improve processes and increase order throughput times. EPLAN Head of Business Development Achim Potthoff explains: “Today, it’s not about ‘if’ to automate but ‘how’ to do it. It can be implemented based on modularisation and standardisation – in many cases using the EPLAN eBUILD and EPLAN Engineering Configuration (EEC) solutions.”

Deep insights into how companies are achieving it

Experts from around the world will be comparing notes and exchanging ideas at the EF|A – EPLAN Forum for Automated Engineering in September. This hybrid event offers attendees the space to network with experts from around the globe, live in Düsseldorf or online. This well-established forum includes lively reports on companies’ experiences with these practices – with live presentations from Andritz Digital Factory Ltd., Vortmann Steel Machinery, Arburg, Schmitt & Sohn, and Atlas Copco Airpower. There are also plenty of opportunities for networking during the two days of extensive exchange. In the “Meet & Match”, people can arrange in advance to meet during the event and network with one another in a “speed-dating” format.

Another special highlight is the participation of the VDMA, the German Association of Machinery and Equipment Manufacturers: Thomas Riegler will be taking registered participants on a tour through variant management.

From configuration to machine cabling

Presentations, Dive-In Sessions and Hands-On Sessions will provide valuable impulses for management and users alike – here are some excerpts from the range of topics being discussed:

  • Siemens: Schematics configuration for Sivacon power distribution boards
  • VDMA: Insights on the topic of variant management in mechanical engineering
  • Arburg: Testing the digital cabling of machines
  • Atlas Copco: Automated documentation in compressor manufacturing
  • Schmitt & Sohn: Automated engineering in international elevator/lift construction

Exchaning practical experiences and ideas and networking with other decision-makers is one thing. Hands-On Sessions, during which users can experience the actual software, and Dive-In Areas on topics such as product structuring, standardisation or configuration are another. This allows practical questions to be answered directly onsite or online. EPLAN partner companies including Configit, Encoway and SAE will also be represented with presentations on further strategic orientations and also their own virtual partner stands.

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