An integrated mechatronic approach is the new route to development in the machine manufacturing industry. This approach not only paves the way for more efficient parallel development of mechanical, electrical and software elements but also simplifies coordination between mechanical, electrical and software engineers.
As boundaries between these domains continue to blur, open interfaces are becoming an essential element of development strategy. This is why B&R integrates existing expert tools into the Automation Studio development platform via interfaces that ensure full transparency and functionality.
Automation Studio provides all the functions needed to develop and configure automation solutions such as those for creating control and HMI applications, linking motion control components, safety technology and more. Expert tools are integrated via open, transparent interfaces to provide specialised functionality such as EPLAN Electric P8 for electrical planning. The seamless interaction between EPLAN Electric P8 and Automation Studio allows development to occur in parallel processes.
Rainer Burgard, key account manager at EPLAN explains that their users can easily carry over hardware configurations and I/O mapping tables from B&R Automation Studio, reducing the time and cost of development by avoiding unnecessary input repetitions and redundant workflow.
With Automation Studio and EPLAN Electric P8, engineers can generate both the hardware tree and the I/O mapping table at the push of a button. The corresponding process variables are automatically aligned and merged with existing variables directly in Automation Studio.
An intelligent comparison feature provides a clear overview of specific components configured in the Automation Studio hardware tree and B&R components used in the electrical plan, allowing the user to synchronise the projects with only a few clicks of the mouse. B&R provides all the EPLAN macros needed to accommodate the various hardware components.
Intelligent import and export mechanisms streamline day-to-day workflow when using multiple software tools. B&R and EPLAN use round-trip engineering features to fully synchronise the electrical plan and automation project and ensure that both projects are always kept up-to-date.
According to Heinz Fürnschuss, the technical manager at B&R in charge of developing the EPLAN interface, automated data exchange prevents errors that might otherwise occur in the course of interdisciplinary communication, thereby improving the quality of the end product and also contributing to reduced maintenance costs later in a system's lifecycle.
is the Australian master distributor for B&R Automation.