Advanced Machine & Tool in Fort Wayne, Ind., designs and builds manufacturing automation systems, especially coiling and winding equipment that make it possible to manufacture electric motors, generators, automotive alternators, and comparable machines. By adopting a new plant automation system, AMT has achieved considerable improvements in its own manufacturing productivity.

The change involved implementing EPlan solutions in place of AutoCAD Electrical project planning, to develop strategies for time-consuming product development steps, like device tagging, wire numbering, and machine design standardization. The changes also included archiving and re-using recurrent content, and the switch has not only simplified manufacturing efforts, but accelerated them, too.

EPlan Software & Service designs engineering programs that speed up product development and data integration. It develops customer-specific PDM and PLM concepts and provides comprehensive services like customizing programs, consulting, and training, too. It estimates it supports 30,000 customers with 90,000 installations, worldwide. 

AMT adopted EPlan three years ago had an unusual origin. Most companies switch to EPlan after recognizing their existing CAD software isn’t sufficient for their current or future requirements. AMT engineers, working in AutoCAD Electrical, didn’t sense they were lacking anything until one of their important customers, an automotive manufacturer, stipulated it wanted EPlan electrical drawings for the machines it orders, to expedite the production of documentation and to improve their accuracy.

This set AMT engineers researching whether EPlan would be a better option than their current CAD program. Determining that it would be, AMT began a gradual process of switching all electrical and fluid power assignments to the EPlan Platform. Now, the engineers are pleased to have recommended the switch. “I thought we were comfortable with our old CAD system, but I sure wouldn’t go back to it now,” stated electrical engineer Mark Lohrman.

AMT specializes at manufacturing coiling and winding equipment, and other machines used in the production of electric motors, generators, alternators, and other devices for automotive and other industries, much of it for OEMs. The engineering phase of fulfilling an order may take as little as three days, or as much as 60 weeks for the most elaborate projects, but a typical order involves a customer that wants a single machine to produce a new motor or to augment or streamline current production. “It might be as simple as adding a machine similar to one they have now, or showing us a product they want to produce and asking, “How do we manufacture it?“ said Lohrman.