E3.series 2021 Release makes Control Cabinet and Wire Harness Engineering Faster, Easier and More Dependable

E3.series 2021 delivers enhancements for connector handling, 3D control cabinet design and ECAD/MCAD collaboration
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August 3rd, 2021 – Munich, Germany, and Westford, MA, USA – Zuken announces the 2021 release of E3.series focusing on increasing user efficiency through extended functionality in connector handling, 3D control cabinet design and component database as well as API extensions enabling the creation of user-defined add-on programs and interfaces. The enhancements, many of which were initiated as part of joint projects with major global E3.series customers, have been designed to make electrical and fluid engineering more intuitive and therefore faster, easier, and more robust.

Improved connector handling during schematic design

In the areas of schematic and cabling, the 2021 release introduces additional online checks for manually plugging connectors, complementing E3.series’ automatic selection of mating connectors from the database. If a connector is assigned or modified manually, the error checking functionality now looks up eligible mating connectors in the database and issues a warning if an incompatible connector has been selected. The checks also prevent the manual connection of plug-on-plug or socket-on-socket (Fig 1).

Fig. 1: Enhanced error checks now prevent manual connection of incompatible connectors

Another important extension in the schematics application addresses the handling of connectors with inserts, which combine several different connectors into a single complex component. These complex connectors can be defined in the E3.series database or dynamically with more control when the connector with inserts is configured in the E3.series project (Fig. 2).

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Fig. 2: Complex connectors that combine several connectors within a frame, can be defined in the E3.series database or dynamically during the configuration of the connector with inserts in the E3 project

Enhanced 3D cabinet and wire harness design

In E3.panel, the 2D/3D cabinet design module of E3.series, the creation of cabinet and panel models now requires significantly less effort. The 2D and 3D graphical representations are created automatically from an imported STEP file. These include the various side views from the 2D graphical representation along with the model dimensions. DXF files are no longer required (Fig. 3).

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Fig. 3: From an imported STEP-file, both the 3D and the 2D graphical representations including the various side views the 2D graphical representation are created automatically.

A new highlight panel path command enables a quick display of the routing path of a wire throughout the cabinet. The highlighted path is automatically displayed on all sheets and 3D views where the wire is represented. If a sheet is not open or active it is automatically opened so the user will not have to spend time searching for the required sheet (Fig. 4). More sophisticated control of the filling limits for cable ducts now allows a differentiated definition of the available space in the various segments of a cable duct. In this way, the automatic routing algorithm can allow for reserves for future changes or additional wires.

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Fig. 4: The routing path of a wire can be displayed throughout the cabinet with a single command. The highlighted path will be automatically displayed on all sheets where the wire is represented.

The output of 3D information for 3D mechanical CAD systems has been significantly enhanced by adding the JT format to the previously used STEP output. JT is a format that all commonly used MCAD systems can read. In addition to the graphical representation of cabinet or wire harness designs it also supports the export of the content of the cabinet or mounting plate, including all devices, mounting rails, cable ducts, and wires (Fig. 5).

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Fig. 5: The adoption of the JT format enables the export of a comprehensive graphical representation of cabinet designs including all devices, mounting rails, cable ducts and wires.

Database accessibility, reports, and Application Programming Interface (API)

The relationships between components and symbols in the database can be displayed in an additional window to enable a quick and thorough overview. The new database relations window opens with a single click on a component in the database tree and displays all related information at one glance. This new display helps database admins understand the relationships between components and symbols in their database and manage them with ease (Fig. 6).

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Fig. 6: Database relations can be displayed in an additional window with one click. The window opens at one click on a component in the database tree and displays all related information at one glance.

E3.ReportGenerator is a new module within the standard E3.series configuration. With it, users can now create individual lists from E3.series without special programming or additional software. Via a graphical user interface, the layout and the content of reports can be created quickly and easily and the output can be generated in various formats. All lists can then be loaded into E3.series sheets along with their defined layout.

All new functions and commands in E3.series 2021 are also covered in the API that is included as part of the standard E3.series configuration. This interface offers many functions to access the existing data from an E3.series project and to modify or add new data. It is used by Zuken’s E3.series add-on programs and by customers and partners who use its functionality to exchange data with an E3.series project.

A powerful electrical engineering environment

E3.series is a true concurrent electrical engineering environment supporting advanced requirements for electrical documentation, cabinet and wire harness design, and manufacturing outputs. The tool suite facilitates an efficient and accurate design and manufacturing process for electrical and fluid planning, cable planning, and wire harness and cabinet layout. E3.series is widely used in the manufacturing industry to design large, complex electrical cabling, control cabinet, and wire harness designs for advanced applications in the machinery, power, automotive, transportation, and aerospace, and defense industries.