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How EPLAN's Data Portal helps Omron stay ahead of the competition

28 August 2018

Omron was one of EPLAN’s first Data Portal partners and the company has, over the years, offered more and more functionality to its customers via the portal, supporting better and more efficient engineering design. Lars de Bruin, Marketing Manager Panel Solutions EMEA for Omron Netherlands, who was already working for Omron when the relationship between the companies started ten years ago, explains how it came about.

“I started working for Omron in the Netherlands as a sales person and in those days we had lots of requests from customers not only for products and components but also for detailed product data”, he recalls. “So it made sense to try and answer those additional requirements and provide the best possible service to our customer base. And, after careful consideration, we decided that the best way to do this was by supporting EPLAN 5, which was the first dedicated electrical design package to reach the market.”

In 2006 EPLAN moved to EPLAN Electric P8 and Lars became more and more involved with projects that addressed the concept of added value for the panel building process.

“We looked at the whole process from pre-engineering to implementation, and tried to add value at every step. We believe that you can put a complete digital layer on top of your design and that this will benefit the overall project”, he explained. “Designers are empowered by having facilities to document equipment easily, efficiently and accurately, and they see big benefits in being able to produce detailed drawings and documentation for their panel builders. And, when the panel is finished and shipped to the end user, it is just as easy for them to generate the drawings and documentation that need to go with it.”

“A decade ago, just as today, the quality of the data the engineers use is key to the success of the project. Which means that Omron, as a component manufacturer, has to guarantee all the data it makes available to its customers is spot on. Within Europe, we chose EPLAN as our European partner to help us achieve this. And it’s a measure of how successful this relationship has been, and how it has developed, that we now have detailed data covering more than 40,000 parts available via the EPLAN Data Portal. That’s about as many product lines as you’ll find in a typical large supermarket!”

The EPLAN Data Portal is a web-based platform with information from major suppliers of electrical, mechanical, fluidic and pneumatic products. It is expanding constantly, but at the time of writing it contains data for more than 793,000 components from over 220 manufacturers.

Omron has even supplemented the power of EPLAN by creating a routine that customers can use with it which enables them to optimise their bill of materials for a project. This saves time and makes life much easier for designers who choose to accept the suggestions.

So what’s next for this productive collaboration between two forward-thinking companies? Omron’s current plans include providing more 3D data via the EPLAN Data Portal and establish an Omron-EPLAN plc interface to the products covered, along with a whole host of new innovative automation solutions that will be released in the very near future.

In 2016, EPLAN opened up the Data Portal to non-EPLAN users who now have the option of downloading commercial and graphical device data (DXF format) from the EPLAN Data Portal, free of charge.

The EPLAN Data Portal can be accessed here: eplandata.de/portal/
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