Control cabinets are the core of every plant. Today the planning and engineering of control cabinets is already completely supported digitally. The digital workflow has numerous advantages. Tasks that used to be performed successively can now be done at the same time, which dramatically reduces project time.
Digital panel building
The core of every plant
Digitalization has arrived in control cabinet engineering. Virtual planning and digital processes throughout the entire lifecycle create unimagined competitive advantages for control cabinet manufacturers.
Digital twin in control cabinet engineering
A digital twin allows the e-engineers to virtually double-check almost every step of their plans. This saves time, ensures quality, and reduces engineering costs: For example, when changes that will have an impact on subsequent steps in the workflow can be simulated virtually beforehand.
An added bonus, thanks to digitalization in control cabinet engineering, is that all data are stored and are reliably and permanently accessible, from technical product data, simulation data, and results to analysis and diagnostics data.
Every process step can be digitalized
The digital workflow in control cabinet engineering includes three major process steps: mechanical design, automation, and electrical design. Mechanical design determines what actuators and sensors will be used in production. In automation, the control and communications components are selected and the process logic is programmed. And finally, in electrical design the circuit diagram and the switching and protection components are defined and the mechanical setup of the control cabinet is planned. There are efficient software tools for optimizing the progress of the individual phases for every one of these process steps.
Digitally from one step to the next
“We see great potential mainly in the transition from one project phase to the next,” says Heiko Schielzeth, who is responsible for distribution and marketing at Siemens Control Products. Thanks to the digital forwarding of reliable data, the effort necessary for data collection and the subsequent changes are reduced. “That is why Siemens supports control cabinet manufacturers with software and interfaces to build an end-to-end digital workflow, not only in control cabinet planning but also throughout the whole lifecycle of the control cabinet,” Schielzeth explains.