GE Grid Solutions develops solutions for transmitting current from power plants to end users. With its 70 industrial locations and a wide network covering more than 100 countries, GE Grid Solutions is a global market leader in power transmission and distribution.
The company previously operated under the names Areva T&D and Alstom Grid. Today, the company‘s 20,000 staff members concentrate on two lines of business: the development and control of increasingly complex power supply systems and the setup and operation of high and medium voltage installations. The engineers need complete and precise technical documentation to design such electrical systems.
In the past, each department had its own solutions for creating electrical schematics and technical documents. This lack of uniformity impeded communication between engineers in different countries. Furthermore, some of the tools were developed decades ago and were no longer sufficient to meet the demands of today. This reduced the quality of the technical documentation.
To eliminate sources of error, one department decided to automate their engineering processes and to provide its different locations with a common multi-user tool.
Before standardizing the work processes and CAD tools, the engineers thoroughly analyzed all requirements of the stakeholder units. The goal was to determine which software product designed for electrical engineering best met all of the demands.
It came down to four tools. “In the end we decided in favor of the Engineering Base solution from Aucotec,“ reports Olivier Hapetian, Electrical CAD Control Manager at the time. “The system uses Microsoft Office Visio. Moreover, it contains a quality management tool enabling us to create an error-free documentation.“
Engineering Base offers unique editing options. For example, it can design the model of an electrical installation using just the basic data – making it no longer necessary to generate a graphical draft in advance. Different objects can also be associated alphanumerically in the software.
Dieter Gellrich, sales director of Power Systems at Aucotec, articulates another advantage: “Many electrical engineering objects can be edited quickly and simply as in an Excel document using worksheets. The point is: The objects are immediately updated.“ It takes the technicians only a few steps to create complex schematics of components, circuits, or cable diagrams. In addition, it’s possible to automate changes and complex processes. Programming with Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications or Microsoft .NET Framework can be done via an integrated API.