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With pre-planning, you can realize initial planning activities regarding technical aspects in the engineering process early on in the EPLAN platform. The engineering process of a machine / higher-level function consists of individual phases through which the concept is adjusted and specified from initial rough drafts and ideas, until all documents and information have been created that are necessary for the manufacture and construction of the machine.

In the project phase of pre-planning, concepts are worked out for the technical scope of machines / plants and estimates are done on initial quantity structures. The goal is to determine the concept that is most advantageous technically speaking, and to define the defaults for the subsequent detailed planning. Based on pre-planning, later on schematics can be created and details of the plant worked out.

Typical tasks in pre-planning include:

  • Defining and describing machine / higher-level function areas to divide into meaningful structures and units.
  • Preparation of initial graphical overviews as a general planning foundation.
  • Definition of "rough placeholders" for functions or items that cannot be defined yet in detail at this time.
  • Definition and estimate of initial quantity structures (drives, sensors, PLC inputs / outputs, etc.)
  • Creating initial bills of materials in support of calculation and capturing of long lead time components.

In pre-planning, the rough structuring of the machine / plant is designed. The central pre-planning dialog of the EPLAN platform is the pre-planning navigator. In this dialog, you create and edit the machine / plant structure. The structure used in the pre-planning, however, does not have to be identical to the subsequent project structure. Rather, this structure maps a manufacturing structure that corresponds to the sequence / process of manufacturing. But it can also correspond to the subsequent (functional) project structure. In the subsequent detailed planning, pre-planning serves as a template for the schematic creator.

The following is possible:

  • In the pre-planning navigator, the structure segments and planning objects defined in the project can be displayed and edited, while new segments can be created as well.
  • You can use links in the tree of the pre-planning navigator to reference existing segments in other structures.
  • The data entered at the segments in pre-planning can be output in reports, and can thus be used, for example, for bills of materials or for calculations of price and expenditure.
  • You can define specific parts or only function templates.
  • You can create pre-planning macros that contain an area of the structure.
  • A macro can be assigned to a planning object. Such a macro usually contains placeholder objects. You can select properties of the planning object in the placeholder object.
  • Via Drag & Drop, you can create the detail planning (the schematic) from the pre-planning.
  • Properties of the linked planning object can be displayed at the component in the schematic.
  • Properties of the linked planning object can be edited at the component in the schematic.
  • Pre-planning can also be done graphically on the "Pre-planning" page type.
  • On the basis of a project setting, functions can be protected if they are linked to planning objects.
  • You can define user-defined segment definitions and properties, and thus adjust the pre-planning to fit your requirements.

See also