Manufacturing AUTOMATION

EPLAN: Reducing product design time

August 18, 2011

The Company: Polycontrols Technologies Inc. specializes in products and services related to process control and flow measurement. Its strength is designing gas mixture systems for applications that require precise concentrations. Today, Polycontrols operates the largest flow calibration laboratory in Canada at its headquarters in the Montreal suburb of Brossard.

The Challenge: For Polycontrols, having customers like the U.S. National Air and Space Administration relying on its expertise was a good reason not to let obsolete design tools keep it earthbound. With its business growing, Polycontrols came to realize that remaining competitive in custom gas panel manufacturing and other specialty gas and fluid applications would require improving its design efficiency, productivity and accuracy.

“We needed a new electrical design software package that would allow us to become more focused on our design process,” says engineering director Sylvain Desaulniers. “We knew our efficiency in getting our projects to completion was often longer than planned, and that our old CAD tool was slowing us down because of lack of accuracy in the information contained in the project documentation.”

The Strategy: In October 2010, the company switched to EPLAN Electric P8, along with the EPLAN Data Portal for importing component data directly from vendor catalogues.

The Results: Since adopting EPLAN Electric P8 and EPLAN Data Portal, Polycontrols has been able to reduce project design time significantly and eliminate common editing errors, leading to faster turnaround times. Many tedious tasks – like device wiring and numbering – have been automated, saving time and improving accuracy. Working in EPLAN has allowed electrical engineers to revise the sequencing of work by ordering components much earlier in the design process so production can start on schedule, even for orders that come with very little lead time.

This case study ran as part of the 2011 Software Case Study Guide in the September 2011 issue of Manufacturing AUTOMATION.

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