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Mitsubishi partners with Eplan to integrate new IIoT data exchange system

Industrial automation company Mitsubishi Electric is partnering with computer-aided design software provider Eplan to integrate a new industrial internet of things data exchange system.

The integration is made possible by industry association AutomationML, according to the companies.

The new integration solution from Eplan Electric P8 to Melsoft iQ Works by Mitsubishi Electric connects electrical engineering systems to automation systems. 

Data such as symbolic addresses, for instance, can now be exchanged bidirectionally with the current software suite.

The companies claim the results in Eplan Electric P8 are “impressive”, and include valid schematics, including bus wiring for components of a programmable logic controller – a type of industrial computer – amongst themselves, and “top quality” hardware configurations.

Bidirectional exchange of PLC data helps optimise processes in engineering and automation, say the companies.

With the new integration between Eplan Electric P8 and Melsoft iQ Works, solutions provider Eplan and Mitsubishi Electric claim they have taken this a step further.

AutomationML forms the integration’s foundation, which paves the way towards Industry 4.0 with its neutrality and openness for data exchange.

The dataset created in Eplan forms the basis for PLC hardware (rack) assembly and software programming.

What’s special, claim the companies, is that the data are transmitted along the whole product development process as a single source of truth.

Eplan Data Portal provides the necessary component data. Taken together, they accelerate component configuration and design planning, the companies claim.

mitsubishi electric and eplan 2 small
The software configuration is depicted in the Navigator of the Melsoft iQ Works suite based on Eplan data.

Melsoft iQ Works is an integrated software suite and includes the software solutions required to program Mitsubishi Electric automation products.

With the new integration to the current Eplan Platform, Version 2.7, users can exchange, later edit, and synchronise project data in any direction at all stages of the project.

Users no longer have to enter data more than once, thereby helping avoid entry errors.

It also makes cooperation between electrical design engineers and software developers easier, say the companies.

Users in electrical design even have additional benefits – the allocation of PLC assemblies is transparent.

Assemblies can be more quickly edited with system support, and last-minute changes are easier and more universally implementable.

As a non-proprietary, standardised and XML-based data format, AutomationML can depict design information with respect to system topologies and structures, geometries and logic.

To display the structural and topology information, AutomationML uses the CAEX (Computer Aided Engineering Exchange) format, an international data format standard according to IEC 62424/IEC 62714.

It offers fundamental object-oriented concepts that can be used to represent plant and system structures.

AutomationML additionally offers the possibility for transmitting system structures, for instance the rack assembly.

This allows for well-structured, end-to-end documentation, even for servicing and maintenance.

Data from various software tools – for example, device information – can be exchanged between manufacturers and users and easily integrated into the documentation, claim the companies.