Luc Morin

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About Luc Morin

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  1. Good morning, I was hoping for some help with e-plan... I have a pdf copy of an electrical schematic from a vendor that is installing some equipment for us. I was wondering how or if I could search to gather all I/O addresses? The pdf is a 1400 page document and am trying to build a watch table in my plc program but need to reference this print. id really hate to be forced and flip page by find all my addresses.


    Thank you for any help you can provide



  2. Hi all, I usually write small(ish) PLC programs, so the issue was "easy" to deal with so far. Basically, I always design my PLC program on paper using SFC(Grafcet) first. Then I translate it to ladder using the activator/killer pattern. I'd like to know how people writing larger programs, and also using SFC -> ladder, usually handle E-Stop conditions. For example, if you have a complex SFC with AND/OR branches, how do you bring the active step back to a know step ? Do you place killer bits at each step ? Do you use SET and RESET ? MCR instructions ? Please share your experiences/knowledge on this subject. Thank you. Luc
  3. Any users of Eplan P8 ?

    Kolonel, Quite frankly, if your employer is not willing to pay the very small training fee to get you up to speed, then you are right, you should use AutoCAD Electrical (and live with its limitations). We get to see that over and over. Companies, who will benefit from using a great tool, are reluctant to invest time and money to get there. Why do you think AutoCAD is so popular ? Because it was easy to pirate, and I'll say it again, a LOT of companies use those pirate versions. I think AutoCAD will see a decline in popularity as the new versions seem to implement a better protection scheme. Funny isn't it that AutoCAD will finally do what Eplan has been doing all along. As for AutoCAD Electrical, it is not such a bad product, but it has its limitations, and quite frankly, for the difference in pricing between AE and Eplan, one would be ill advised not to go with Eplan. One thing that never ceases to amaze me is the number of people/companies who think that they'll be able to pick up a highly specialized tool like Eplan, and teach themselves. When is the last time that you heard of a radiology technician who had to train himself on how to use an MRI scanner ? Would you accept passing the MRI test if it was handled by such a person ? Why do people think it's different with software ? As for a better forum for Eplan discussions, there is one if you have the maintenance agreement. Ask you local Eplan representative about it. Regards.
  4. Can not open Eplan project

    Hi, If I remember correctly, thos are Eplan 5 projects, which can be imported into Eplan P8, but not exported back afterward. It's a one way process. Look under the Project menu, you will see the EPlan 5 import options. Regards
  5. Any users of Eplan P8 ?

    Hello Designer. I'm sure glad to hear that you are satisfied with Eplan. Let me know if you need some tips & tricks. Regards
  6. Any users of Eplan P8 ?

    Ok, Let's try to backtrack a bit. You have been throwing a lot of dirt at a product that you have never tried. Thus my strong reaction. Let me now try to answer your concerns. I really wish you take the time to read this through, as I've taken some of my precious sleep time to write it. First of all, I've been in the automation business for some 15 years now. I've been using CAD software since then, and of course AutoCAD was the first one I learned in technical college. Along the way, I got to try Xelec and Promis-e in production enviroments. I haven't liked them. Then, in 2002, we started to look for a more complete package, and we tried Eplan 21. We ended up buying it, as it really saved us a lot of time and errors. In 2005, I started on my own, and got a license of Eplan P8 this time. Newer version, more functionalities etc. As a freelancer, I also gave training for both Eplan 21 and Eplan P8. So I'm both a user and trainer, but mostly a user, as training is not really my cup of tea. During that time as a trainer, I was introduced to a lot of people in a lot of companies. Needless to say that I've had to put up with a lot of noise from people unhappy to have to learn a new software. It's understandable. The one thing that really hit the spot though were all these false claims about Eplan being slow, bloated, expensive, hard to comission, you name it. What I've noticed is that the vast majority of those resisting change was the AutoCAD crowd. This is where the bad taste in my mouth came from. Eplan really revolves around 2 key concepts (to resume very roughly). The symbol libraries, and the parts libraries. Out of the box, Eplan comes with a full set of NFPA and IEC symbols, so you really have nothing to do to start editing the schematic other than learn the interface, which is very customizable. I used to say during training that whatever you can do in AutoCAD schematic wise, you can do in Eplan just as easily. And to top it all, you get Autoconnect wires between symbols. No more trim/extend to move things around. The real power comes from the "intelligence" behind the symbols once they have been inserted into the schematic. They become objects to which properties can be attached. I say "can" because you don't really have to fill them if you don't need to. But it's always nice to assign a Device Tag, Function Text and other common properties. By the way, these properties are very easily accessed through dialogs. Even assigning parts to those objects is a piece of cake. Of course, the parts database needs to be filled, but you'd still have to do that with any other system, wouldn't you ? On the other hand, as I alreay mentionned in an earlier post, if you don't want to bother using the built-in Eplan parts management interface, you can easily configure Eplan to use an existing database, such as an MRP/ERP or whatever you happen to have in-house. Now, all these properties and parts information can then be extracted to create reports such as BOM, wire lists, cable lists etc. On top of all this, you benefit from automated wire numbering, automated device numbering, online cross-reference between components (by online I mean real time) and a whole lot of other functionalities that would be too long to list here. All this out of the box, meaning that you don't have to rely on in-house tools anymore. Now, if you really need to customize more, then Eplan offers an API module that you can use to write add-ins in any .NET compliant language. I myself have written a lot of those to automate Eplan further more, for example automated dumping of a BOM into an MRP system. No more copy/paste of endless lists. You see, the driving principle behind Eplan is that "The schematic drives the show". If your schematic is done right, and all proper information entered, then everything else becomes a report of some kind. I know that for most people it's a radical switch in mentality, but I can honestly assure you that once you've understood it and embraced it, you can really start flying. It is true that the learning curve is steep, and that there's going to be a transition time where you will feel the need to go back, and by all means, there's nothing wrong in doing so. But the thing is, in just a few weeks of using the software, you can already produce fully documented projects, and not months as you suggested. I can't really answer all your concerns. I hope I have put things in their proper perspective. Again, I can only hope you'll give it a try some day. Regards.
  7. Converting Ialian schematics

    Out of curiosity, are those SIAT wrapping machines ?
  8. Any users of Eplan P8 ?

    Completely. Like I already mentioned, I've been using EPlan for more than 6 years now, and am very happy with it. All the excuses that you brought up are the same that we keep getting over and over from people using AutoCAD. Let me ask you a simple question. You critic the "lack" of parts database for EPlan. Can I please ask you where such parts databases are available for AutoCAD ? Or are you refering to blocks ? If you are indeed talking about parts data (part number, electrical characteristics, dimensions etc.), then where are those databases for AutoCAD ? How do they integrate with AutoCAD ? How do you extract a BOM from AutoCAD drawings ? The answer is that there are NO parts database whatsoever designed for AutoCAD use. You have to build your own. How is that any different than with EPlan, which at least has the advantage of offering an out of the box parts management interface + database ? Also, how is DRM a bad thing ? I'll tell you. In my experience, almost every business in north america use pirate copies of AutoCAD. The fact that EPlan is harder to crack seems to be a negative side only to those people who would actually ENJOY being able to use a cracked version and not have to pay for it. Of course you won't admit to it, but is your copy of AutoCAD legit ? You speak of more than one edition of the software as being a bad thing. Ever heard of AutoCAD LT ? Then you go on talking about the quality of the corporate web site as a decisive factor. Come on. And you are 100% wrong about EPlan installing in root of C: drive. Get your facts straight. I could keep replying to all your affirmations, but I feel it's a waste of time. I see that you'll never be convinced no matter what I say. Live long and prosper.
  9. Any users of Eplan P8 ?

    Hi Panic, A few points to be noted here. You mention a host of in-house tools that you (or someone else) developped to get things done right, ie the way EPlan (or other similar software) does it. Everyone knows that those tools are costly to develop and maintain. Be honest, and add up the cost of all those in-house tools. Not to mention what happens when the guy who wrote them goes to work somewhere else. Second, you say you find it hard to maintain the part database, but then you mention the purchasing database. Well, in case you didn't know, EPlan is quite happy using such a 3rd party database. All you have to do is map the fields once, and there you go. You are right that CAD is only a small part of the design process, and that's precisely where specialized tools come in handy. On the other hand, documentation is not a small part of the design process, and when you have an integrated tool that allows you to cut down on time and errors, well, why not use it ? I can understand people resisting change. That's part of human experience. What I have more problem understanding is people insisting on using a screwdriver to drive a nail I've used AutoCAD for many years to do my electrical CAD, and I've also used other software packages, such as Xelec, Promis-e and of course EPlan (both EPlan 21 and EPlan P8), and I never want to go back to using AutoCAD for that purpose. I've tried AutoCAD electrical a little bit, and it seems like a decent product also. I wish I had time to try it more, but I'm keeping busy with other projects. I guess I just want to conclude with this: what I like about those solutions is the fact that they are integrated, and save you from a lot of errors. Regards
  10. Any users of Eplan P8 ?

    Yes of course AutoCAD has its place in the Electrical Engineering department. What I was arguing is some other poster's assertion that he could probably work 3 times faster with AutoCAD versus a software such as EPlan. My experience, both as a user and trainer, shows differently. Anyway, I just wanted to know if other people on this forum were using Eplan. I didn't want to start an endless argument on AutoCAD vs. Eplan. My best regards.
  11. Any users of Eplan P8 ?

    Hi ElecPneuGuy, Not wishing to start a flame war, but I've been using EPlan for the past 6 years. In those years I've used the software, trained people to use it and developped custom solutions with the API. I think I can say I know the software. When I see comments like yours, I can't help but getting goosebumps. How can you possibly think that you can be any faster with a software where EVERYTHING has to be done manually, as opposed to a software that automates a lot of menial tasks ? As a concrete example, how much time do you spend on a project just updating component cross-references (such as coil/contact xref) ? And I'm not talking 2 pages projects. If that's your case, then by all mean EPlan is not for you. I'm talking hundreds of pages projects. Just try renumbering the pages and then make sure all the xrefs are good. Then what about updates to usual reports such as BOM ? Customer calls and says he wants to switch PLC supplier. You know the feeling if you've ever had to deal with fair sized projects. As with any software of this magnitude, there is of course a learning curve and a commissioning phase that requires time and commitment. After all, how much time did you spend customizing AutoCAD to the point where you have it today ? Same goes for any other software. Then you mention taking some form of training with GM. My understanding is that GM only offered those trainings to experienced EPlan users cause they wanted to train people on how to use the GM setup. This has nothing to do with basic EPlan training. If you went to this training without any previous EPlan exposure, then of course you will feel lost and overwhelmed. I hope you will eventually take the time to give the software a real test drive. Regards
  12. Hello all, I've just registered onto this forum, and I'd like to know if there are other Eplan P8 enthusiasts hangning out in here. Regards,
  13. Modicon Quantum

    I haven't had all the details yet. I've been asked if I wanted to quote on a job. So far, they only told me it was a Modicon Quantum PLC, but this doesn't tell us much. I've asked them to provide all the details. I just thought I'd start looking around for the software, as I kind of had a hunch that it would be expensive. But $6000.00 CAN ???? Give me a break !!!! I hope I can convince them to change the spec to AB. Thank you.
  14. Modicon Quantum

    WOW !!! This would translate to approximately $6000.00 CAD, which is highly prohibitive. That makes you wonder if this PLC manufacturer really wants to sell its products. Smaller automation contractors like me can't afford this kind of price level. And I thought Allen-Bradley was expensive !! Regards,
  15. Hi all, I'd like to have information on the software that I should buy to program Quantum PLCs. Are there different "levels" of the software ? I've never worked with Modicon PLCs before, and I'm being asked to prepare a quote for a project. Are there any pitfalls I should be aware of ? Are the software and cables expensive ? Thank you.