Digital transformation

The Importance of Computer-Aided Engineering Software For A Connected Value Chain

More than any other time in modern manufacturing, production programs are driven by technology that takes what were once manual, tedious, and error-prone tasks and brings them into a digital, automated sphere. Before Industry 4.0 and IIoT revolutionized the control panel production landscape, planning and production networks were siloed and unable to communicate mission-critical information and data to avoid downtime or disruption in the design, engineering, or deployment phase.

In large part due to the advancements of Industry 4.0 and IIoT, time-intensive, manual tasks can now be completed in a fraction of the time in an error-free environment that helps stimulate faster turnaround times and superior quality. Today, manufacturers can achieve end-to-end visibility and insight via industrial automation software for a more unified, connected process that promotes efficiency, productivity, and growth across the entire value chain.

Rittal and EPLAN help today’s manufacturers leverage powerful industrial automation equipment, software and tools to simplify the design and engineering process with powerful computer-aided engineering solutions that unify the control panel production sequence. With each phase of the panel design and production process clearly visible, manufacturers can create a connected value chain to react with more flexibility to shifts in production.

Our emphasis on a connected value chain helps machine builders, panel builders, and systems integrators spec the right solution for the right application with speed and accuracy, and manufacturing partners in the automotive, food & beverage, and retail and logistics industries can experience unparalleled insight into their production processes for increased efficiency, speed to market, and growth.

Panel building and control manufacturing companies are driving digital transformation in a number of areas, but the complexity of many production systems is preventing a rapid transition in some cases. EPLAN’s computer-aided engineering solutions cut through this complexity and creates a unified, connected value chain based on ultimate visibility and transparency.

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Taking full advantage of the possibilities opened up by the convergence of our physical and digital worlds means harnessing new ideas and technologies including the IIoT in order to implement flexibly organized production systems. In this white paper from Rittal and EPLAN, you'll learn how smart value chain applications are made possible by moving from manually-intensive CAD-based drafting packages to modern computer-aided engineering (CAE) software.

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Understanding How Industry 4.0 and IIoT Unify the Panel Design Process

Before the proliferation of Industry 4.0, the design and engineering process for industrial automation systems was a laborious process with a variety of roadblocks in terms of collaboration, communication, and visibility into the process. However, with the introduction of Industry 4.0, Computer Aided Design (CAD) software as well as CAE solutions from EPLAN have provided engineers with real-time visualizations and insight into everything from material sourcing to the creation and alteration of panel and enclosure schematics. With EPLAN’s solutions, enclosure configuration data can easily be stored, retrieved, and shared to mitigate issues with downstream processes.

The connected nature of today’s industrial automation design software and networks via Industry 4.0 also provides a wealth of benefits in terms of project management. Gone are the days when machine builders, panel builders, and systems integrators were siloed from procurement or quality assurance teams. Today, with the ability to share data, insights, network notifications, and alterations in design or production, companies can work cross-functionally in ways that promote efficiency and stimulate long-term, scalable growth.

EPLAN provides automation architects with data-driven 3D modeling capabilities to reduce production line errors, account for potential variables in production or customization, and help to seamlessly integrate workflows and communication of schematics relative to change orders or other real-time fluctuations or modifications based on original specifications.

The digital transformation of industrial manufacturing is well underway. Fully automated production is merging with cutting-edge information and communication technologies. At the same time, the demand for integrated, intelligently networked solutions is growing. Together, Rittal industrial automation products and EPLAN solutions and services can help you meet these challenges head-on for an optimized design and engineering process.

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Understanding How Industry 4.0 and IIoT Unify the Panel Production Sequence

Industry 4.0 and IIoT have revolutionized the panel and enclosure design process and created a whole new state-of-play in terms of what manufacturers need from industrial automation design software. With automated design and production sequences working in lock-step, automation architects and automotive, food and beverage, and retail and logistics companies can understand in real-time the health and efficiency of their production processes for maximum optimization.

Industry 4.0 and IIoT have made a major impact on how industrial enclosures are configured, assembled, modified, and integrated. Product advancements now allow for interchangeable panels, variable wire configurations, and unique enclosure mounting capabilities.

Rittal’s innovative philosophy toward industrial enclosure engineering – combined with EPLAN's solutions – provides machine builders, panel builders, and systems integrators with flexibility and agility to respond to the variant-rich environment of control panel assembly. With computer-aided design and engineering programs like EPLAN Data Portal, EPLAN Pro Panel, EPLAN Smart Wiring, and EPLAN Engineering Configuration, manufacturers can simplify the entire panel wiring, building, and integration process into a clearly visible, communicable, and replicable set of fluid actions that feed off and into each other.

Industry 4.0 and IIoT have changed today’s industrial enclosure. Modular design and engineering have provided manufacturers with the ability to leverage previously untapped levels of flexibility and scalability, but the challenge now is understanding how to achieve superior flexibility and scalability via the right enclosure.

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How Industry 4.0 and IIoT Optimize Industrial Enclosure and Panel Modification

Modification of control panel and industrial enclosures is perhaps one of the biggest pain points manufacturers face in being as flexible and competitive as possible in a global marketplace. Modifications need to be completed quickly and efficiently and without disruption, though supply chain instabilities, labor shortages, long delivery times, and other complications often slow the modification process.

Industry 4.0 and IIoT have digitalized the schematic process and automated the modification tools necessary to complete sophisticated, error-free modification for custom applications. With the ability of EPLAN’s CAE solutions to connect each step of the design process including data sharing, digital twins, and more, and Rittal’s modular approach to industrial control panel design, today’s manufacturers have the ability to virtually eliminate the manual nature of the modification process and increase the end-to-end visibility of a previously obstructed element of enclosure customization.

Rittal Automation Systems provides automated panel and enclosure modification with state-of-the-art machines and tools to reduce costs, virtually eliminate errors, and all but remove manual interventions from the equation. EPLAN’s CAE design solutions provides ultimate insight into the design process from procurement to delivery, and RAS modification equipment like our laser centers and milling terminals perform custom panel and enclosure modifications for any industrial application. When you utilize the optional EPLAN CAE solutions you will streamline the entire process with your Rittal Automation Systems machines and provide visibility and transparency to each step of the process.

Our Rittal Automation Systems solutions are also used across our nationwide network of modification centers. Manufacturers can create panel and enclosure modifications with the same speed and accuracy even if they do not invest in an in-house RAS solution. Our modification centers also have warehouse and distribution centers to help source component parts and reduce the time it takes for your panel or enclosure to leave the production floor and arrive at your door.

Automating panel and enclosure modification is key to reducing errors from manual modifications and optimizing each stage of the modification process, including machining, assembly, wire processing, and more. Rittal Automation Systems (RAS) provides a state-of-the-art suite of modification tools to enhance your entire panel building and control manufacturing process.

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