At the Hannover Messe 2017 in April, Aucotec AG will publicly introduce its Project Status Manager for machine and plant design. The module of the database-driven CAE platform Engineering Base (EB) can both automate workflows within the system and exchange data with all types of external systems. The Status Manager ensures that the central documentation is always up-to-date and that versions are not confused, according to Aucotec AG, which claims that interface handling and release mechanisms are greatly simplified, and the data quality is significantly increased.
"Integration competence is the key to being able to realize the concept of a complete digital twin in the engineering process," explains Uwe Vogt, executive officer for engineering at Aucotec AG. For many years, the software developers have focused on the particular
openness of EB—both for cross-disciplinary, collaborative work as well as for close connections to more specialized engineering or ERP tools. Vogt says, "We want planners, designers and project managers to always be able to use the optimal tool for the respective discipline; an all-round tool can only ever be a compromise."
With its central-data model, EB already combines inherently diverse disciplines, for example, basic and detail engineering. However, Aucotec's integration package also provides links to different ERP, 3-D or automation systems, as well as predictive maintenance, simulation or production.
Here, Aucotec uses several integration approaches. A whole series of ready-made interfaces can be easily inserted via plug-and-play, for example, for 3-D, PDM or ERP systems. Some links to the offline editing of EB data by suppliers with third-party systems can be easily configured without any programming knowledge. There is also the option in EB of installing customized integrations such as web services for mobile maintenance via .Net.
"Openness for integration is crucial, especially in relation to Industry 4.0, but it is the automation of data integration which completes the solution," says Vogt. The new Project Status Manager, which can be adapted freely in a future-proof manner to every workflow, achieves security and time-saving as a central management tool. "Users don't have to worry any more about forgetting steps or mixing up versions."
A large German machine manufacturer is already putting this tool into practice for data exchange with SAP.