Schaeffler Sondermaschinenbau, a company focused on specialised machinery construction, is standardising its electrical designs across its numerous locations, and relying on its Eplan platform to get the job done.
The company develops customised machines and is globally active as an automotive and industry supplier. Amongst the most recent highlights are the development and realisation of complex assembly and testing lines for automotive hybrid modules and for the new electric axle drive systems.
As a Tier 1 supplier for the automotive industry, Schaeffler develops and manufactures very complex products such as roll stabilisers, 48 V drive systems and electric axle modules, all of which are produced to the highest quality standards and under intense cost pressures.
Software also plays an increasingly important role. IT production solutions are programmed for almost all automated assembly technology projects and the know-how goes much deeper. For instance, the developers created an app for condition monitoring to increase productivity and system availability in demanding production environments.
Until quite recently, the company served almost exclusively in-house projects. Now the division will be making its know-how accessible to outside customers. The focus is on assembly and testing systems as well as processing machines for grinding and honing in combination with product knowledge in the areas of robotics, vision and handling systems, and production IT.
This opening up outside the group was just one of the factors driving the standardisation of the electrical design software at the various company sites. The Eplan platform enables a standardised infrastructure with code-compliant templates that every employee can understand, including everyone in manufacturing. Basic information such as equipment identification and plant/location assignment are normed, and device management has also been standardised.
To simplify the design, the team created macros for frequently used devices with a clear goal in mind:
Standardisation on the device level also leads to components that can be interconnected with a minimum of effort. So, if, for example, a customer chooses a controller or an electric motor from another manufacturer, it is not a problem. Right now, the key users are testing the use of Eplan eView as support, for instance during commissioning. Two years after the project’s start, the key users don’t yet think they’ve reached their goals, but believe they are on the right track.
Contact Johan Reyneke, Eplan, Tel 011 609-8294, email@example.com