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The Eplan Partner Network (EPN), launched at the beginning of the year, defines binding common goals for the further development of integrations along the value chain. In the first stage, Eplan is primarily targeting technology partners in the fields of PLM, ERP, PLC and simulation. However, weighty strategic partners are also involved from the beginning.

At the beginning of 2021, the Eplan Partner Network (EPN) will be launched, which is based on binding targets defined together with the partners regarding the further development and support of interfaces. Sebastian Seitz (source Eplan), CEO of Eplan, explains that in addition to the Eplan software, customers use a large number of software applications from different manufacturers in the environment of ERP, PLM, PLC, simulation, etc.. For them, the efficient interaction of the various applications is particularly important. The focus of the EPN should therefore be on the joint further development of integrations and their quality assurance and support.

Phoenix Contact, Rittal and Rockwell Automation have been strategic partners from the very beginning. But also a number of industrial companies such as Bosch Rexroth, B&R, Endress+Hauser, Festo, ifm electronic, Mitsubishi Electric and Pilz.

Incidentally, Eplan is primarily targeting technology partners as a first step. Specifically, suppliers of industrial software for the central value-added processes of planning, engineering, sourcing, build, commissioning and operation of products, machines and systems are named (cf. The following software partners are already on board: configit, Contact Software, encoway, Gain, ISD, ISG, keytech, machineering, Procad, Quanos and SAE. Eplan is currently in talks with numerous international and national companies regarding participation. Korea’s UDMTEK is the first Asian company to become a member.

Dr. Marco Litto (source Eplan), Senior Vice President Strategy & Corporate Program, explained in a telephone conversation with PLMportal: “Interfaces to systems used by customers together with our software are becoming increasingly important. To simulate a machine operation, the simulation software must have the correct circuit logic data, to name one of an infinite number of examples. To achieve this, the customer wants to be able to rely on the interface to the current versions of the EPLAN and simulation software being jointly coordinated and maintained by both software suppliers. This is exactly what our new framework does. We conclude a contract with each partner that is tailored to the joint offer. It lays down the technical details. But the main thing is how the cooperation is structured: What frequency of updates is planned, what security precautions are taken, who is responsible for what steps, and more. We ourselves have installed a partner management system that takes care of the entire framework and partner connections centrally. If applications move more and more to the cloud in the future, this issue will become even more important. We are prepared for that with the EPN.”

Steffen Winkler, Vice President Sales at Bosch Rexroth, brings a concrete example of the benefits the company expects from EPN: “The configuration of automation solutions and the dynamic provision of accurate device data are essential with regard to Industry 4.0. The Bosch Rexroth ctrlX Configurator makes it easy to configure complete automation solutions. Thanks to the direct integration of our configurator into the Eplan platform, users receive all device data of the configured plant topology, including detailed product lists and CAD data, at the push of a button.”

The start has been made. But the first 22 partners are to be followed by others. And there will be others in addition to the technology partners. A more detailed outline of the envisaged step-by-step plan for the expansion of the EPN is not yet known at present.