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• • • ENCLOSURES • • •


EPLAN and Rittal add value for the LCA Group S


ecuring an engineering contract to supply work for the rail industry provides organisations with a breadth of opportunity, a chance to generate new business leads, network with major leaders and provide security in terms of a company’s own growth ambitions.


LCA Group was acquired in 2017 and right from the start the management team identified a need for furthering the company’s manufacturing and assembly capabilities. LCA Group invested in new technologies and innovations that aimed to speed up client approval processes and improve communication between departments. Since then, EPLAN and Rittal have worked closely with Hawarden-based electrical engineering firm LCA Group, supporting the company’s turnkey service for electrical engineering projects.


VERSATILE SOFTWARE


Underpinning LCA’s engineering and manufacturing operations is EPLAN Pro Panel software, which provides all necessary data for manufacturing like BOMs, drawings and flat projection drawings and integrates automation technologies perfectly in the processes of product development and manufacturing. This applies to the mechanical processing of the cabinet housing components and copper busbars, as well as for the control of machines in the cable and wire assembly. Even future-oriented automation technologies such as automated assembly of terminal strips or the robotic wiring of equipment are supported with the EPLAN Pro Panel package. LCA Group has piloted EPLAN Smart Wiring, a system that visualises the wiring and makes all wiring data 100 per cent digitally available. Users benefit from a significant drop in the error rate and substantial time savings. This applies to last- minute changes in particular, as the software handles the sometimes complex task of comparing a project’s new state with its previous baseline. EPLAN Smart Wiring’s digital representation refers to the virtual model’s 3D layout in EPLAN Pro Panel.


 SMART MACHINES


At LCA Group, the EPLAN software interfaces directly with Rittal’s manufacturing systems. These include the Rittal Perforex LC 3015 3D laser machining centre, a system for the construction of sheet steel panels which automates processes previously done by hand. Using the facilities provided by EPLAN Pro Panel software, which has integrated 3D modelling, the Perforex LC 3015 can be programmed to perform measuring and machining to an extremely high degree of accuracy while processing panels in a fraction of the time previously required for these operations. A Rittal Secarex cutting centre to cut DIN mounting rails, C rails and cable ducts is also used in the LCA production facility. This machine offers considerable cost savings thanks to improved quality and reduced waste rates and is far more efficient than manual cutting. The Secarex centre includes a state-of-the-art operating station with an industrial PC, an 18.5 inch monitor and a keyboard with trackball. It features pre-defined templates for various sizes of DIN rail and has an integrated label printer for project-related labelling of support rails and cable ducts.


CLOUD BASED SOLUTIONS


LCA Group was recently invited to trial EPLAN’s latest cloud-based products. The new cloud-based collaboration tool, EPLAN eVIEW, makes it easy for designers and customers to work closely together





on projects, helping to speed up the design review procedure as well as reducing the need for design revision and reworking, resulting in substantial cost savings. With EPLAN eVIEW, engineering projects generated using the EPLAN platform can be accessed directly via the cloud. This means that project data can be viewed anytime, anywhere, by anyone who has been granted access. One of the key features is a red-lining function that lets customers, employees on the shop floor and maintenance engineers add their suggestions for changes. These changes are then instantly accessible to the design engineers. For LCA Group, EPLAN eVIEW is already making lengthy design reviews a thing of the past. The company’s customers can mark-up drawings online and send their comments back within minutes rather than hours. In addition, using eVIEW means that there is no need to print any of the documentation, which saves money and helps to protect the environment as the need for paper is greatly reduced. It provides a full audit trail showing previous versions, and a full history of change requests including who initiated, approved and made them.


LCA Group has purchased two additional EPLAN


Pro Panel licenses, along with company design standardisation, onsite consultancy and training services from EPLAN. In the future, LCA is planning to also purchase EPLAN Cogineer and EPLAN Preplanning. LCA Group has also joined the EPLAN ePULSE customer advisory board. “Working with EPLAN has created new opportunities for our business,” says LCA group managing director Alan Sheppard. “EPLAN’s technologies bring important benefits for our customers, which is always a prime consideration for us. We are confident that working with EPLAN will help our company achieve even greater success in the coming years, especially as the cloud-based ePULSE services continue to develop and expand.”


EPLAN eplan.co.uk


Rittal and Eplan:


Your strong partners for sustainable panel building and switchgear manufacturing


◾ Reduce costs


◾ Shorten processing times ◾ Increase productivity


Learn more at eplan-software.com/industries/panel-building/value-chain


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