In our recent article we talked about digital twins among the various solutions that industrial automation 4.0 can provide to optimize production processes. As for the electrical panels, the “digital twin” is basically the 3D design of the same.
Who deals with electrical design knows that the scheme on which you work must be two-dimensional. However, this does not prevent you from moving on to the next step, especially when it comes to evaluating the overall dimensions in a limited space, which is what happens when an enclosure is built.
The two-dimensional electrical diagram therefore becomes the starting point from which it is possible to extract data and models on which to make calculations and simulations, defining exactly the spaces between one component and another, verifying interference, thermal dissipation, hot spots located in certain areas the need to light up the panel and assess which cooling system is needed to keep the enclosure “healthy”.
The 3D design of the panel also allows the evaluation of the drilling templates, the filling coefficient of a raceway and the complete mapping of the wires and connections.
From two-dimensional project to digital twins
What happens in practice? Each component is associated with all the properties useful for its use. It is not just a matter of moving from 2D modeling to 3D project, which is fundamental for the automatic routing of cables, but for all the information necessary for the treatment of each component.
The more complete the dataset of information attributed to each component is, the more the whole process can be automated. Geometries, dissipated power, installation constraints, codes, drawings, specifications for each component can be shared through exchange files with production equipment and simulation software to optimize the project from a dimensional, functional and thermal management point of view.
Digital twins and maintenance
Even the maintenance operations of the electrical panel can be facilitated by the creation of the digital prototype in 3D. The documentation of the 2D and 3D electrical project of the machine can in fact always remain accessible in the cloud and the operator, equipped with a tablet, can access the system where the fault was reported. Thanks to augmented reality, the cabinet is displayed in 3D which highlights the wiring diagram it refers to.
The limits to be overcome
Preparing a 3D model is now a consolidated and essential practice in mechanical design, but it is not yet in the electrical one. In view of this revolution, it is therefore necessary that the various professionals work in synergy, as the design of machines and the engineering of enclosures must be generated by a single team, so that this new approach allows to make the most of the digitization of processes.
The time dedicated to the design, in fact, will pay for itself largely thanks to the benefits obtained in the engineering, construction and maintenance phases, before investing further time and resources.
To learn more about the thermal management of electrical panels and about our products for enclosures, visit our website fandis.com, browse our blog or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Our staff will answer you as soon as possible.