Digital engineering: how to make it even easier

3D control cabinet planning: Lenze completely integrates the i500 frequency inverter into the EPLAN Data Portal

The Lenze i500 series of frequency inverters is now completely integrated into the EPLAN Data Portal. Before the data was included, Lenze and its customers discussed and agreed on the ideal way to present it in terms of quality, range and structure. Their work has paid off. Complete two-dimensional and three-dimensional datasets and detailed product master data help to design control cabinets more easily, more quickly and more precisely. This level of user-friendliness also extends to production, even with batch size 1. Thanks to the three-dimensional pictures of connections it is possible, for example, to customise complete cable harnesses with the correct lengths and connections fully automatically. 


There is genuine potential for improvement in the planning and construction of control cabinets – especially when you need to get the job done faster. A recently published study by the University of Stuttgart on the automation and digitalisation potential of control cabinets shows that a huge amount of time can be gained by using software-supported solutions, digital electric circuit plans and, most of all, three-dimensional CAD/CAE drawings. The study found that an average of 54 hours is normally spent on wiring a control cabinet, with almost one third of that time being spent only on the preparatory work – and it says that 80 per cent of this time can be saved with a completely software-based way of working. 

Working with Lenze’s i500 frequency inverters shows that it really can be easier and faster. The specialist in Motion Centric Automation makes all the necessary data available and with EPLAN it can be used easily and quickly from within the EPLAN Data Portal. Here one can find three-dimensional device data, for example, with pictures of their connections. The connections are clearly marked and the pictures also show conductor cross-sections and the space coordinates. Other useful features include carefully worked-out circuit diagrams, a list with appropriate power accessories, real image files, and documents for further reading. 


After the planning, details such as those mentioned above can be used as a basis for starting the precision cable routing straight from the circuit diagram – and for everything up to the automatic customisation, which can then also be done by a subcontractor. Another added value from the virtual representation of three-dimensional objects is that the positions of the bore holes on the mounting plate are set automatically and precisely. The positioning of the components is also made easier because, for example, the threat of collisions can be detected at an early stage. To sum up, the i500 frequency inverter series data prepared for use in EPLAN offers new opportunities in digital engineering. The goal is to provide a fast way of achieving a perfectly designed control cabinet. 

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