is there any documentation or comparision chart or information of solidworks electrical package vs eplan vs e3?
please do help .
It's important to note that SolidWorks Electrical and SolidWorks Electrical 3D actually use the same exact database.
When you are working in 3D and lay out a row of terminals, someone else can be in the project at the same time in 2D, remove those terminals, and they will disappear from the 3D.
In the application database, you have components and can have symbols and macros assigned as well as 2D and 3D layout objects. In fact, the dialogs are IDENTICAL between the 2D and 3D in terms of opening projects dialog, components dialog, etc etc. There are even similar component trees.
I personally found Zuken to be a bit temperamental. Interface is similar, but functionality is not quite the same. Plus SolidWorks Electrical is constantly getting updated and enhanced and at a fraction of the price.
You SHOULD consider it as 3 applications... 2D, 3D and Host App. Everything is in the Host app and the 2D and 3D apps talk to it.
I have used ePlan for over 2 years, now I use Solidworks Electrical and no experience with E3.
To use both efficiently you need to understand how the software works, which is not straight forward at the beginning and it requires setting up.
They both do the same - intelligent schematics, panel layouts, create/use macros and generate reports (I haven't tried pro panel or 3d with solidworks)
It is just how much effort it will require.
ePlan is much more efficient and flexible - the devil is in detail.
It comes at the price however.
I've also used both. Understanding the data is very similar in the background, but I did find EPlan a bit archaic. It uses the older windows menus/buttons similar to Autocad 14. It's harder to discern what does what. SolidWorks Electrical seems to be better at using the context menu for any situation.
Another important bar for me is how easy it is to return to the software after being away from it for a while. EPlan is very difficult from an interface perspective. You are also forced to create all variants/orientations of symbols when you know you'll only need the one. SolidWorks Electrical is a bit less restrictive and continues to add nice features each build. I could use SolidWorks Electrical out of the box, EPlan was a bit more "you better get training" before clicking here kinda thing.
Another issue with Eplan is backward compatibility. GM libraries/tools for EPlan require specific versions. These tools simply will not work with newer builds and you are thus held back if you do GM work. SolidWorks Electrical macros/tools have always updated to the newer builds.
A big difference between SWE and Eplan is that Eplan has been developed for a lot longer and therefore has added many features that SWE is still working on. Customizing reports in Eplan is much more powerful because it doesn't require knowledge of SQL queries to get information into a report. They've already added the functionality into the software.
Eplan does have a drawback however in that they're not "hungry" like SWE is and aren't developing new features and functions that change the software. They are just refining the features they've already developed. Also, the customer service and technical support are terrible here in the states.
I agree with what the others have said about SWE feeling less restrictive and being more modern. The feel of SWE is much better than Eplan which is toolbar based and requires you to memorize all the buttons or use menus which is such a 90's way to do things.
I'm not familiar with Eplan myself but I've talked with a few colleagues over the last few years and they've echoed that sentiment that customer service and technical support here in the States is terrible.
I'm convinced that good technical support is extremely valuable, enough so that it should be a serious consideration when evaluating any CAD software. Full disclosure: I previously worked as a technical support engineer specializing in SWE and PDM for a major VAR, so take my opinion on that with a grain of salt, but as always, do your research.
Let us know what you decide to go with.
EPlan is a pet project of one of the owners of Rittal Corp. (yes, the enclosure people.) If it were not for the pet project status, the owner WANTING it out there, it would have died a quick death YEARS ago. You can't get DEEP into it without thousands and thousands in training, then massive time spent practicing only to find out you don't have the right components of the product to do what you really need to do.. MORE money. Isn't a full package 4 times the cost of SolidWorks Electrical?
We use E3. I, myself, have NOT used E3 in quite some time. I have NOT used SWE either, but I have reviewed a number of marketing videos for it.
E3 and SWE have a very similar look and feel. In fact, when SWE first hit the market I thought SW had purchased E3. I am sure the devil is in the details of specific functionality. Unfortunately I cannot add anything relevant here.
Cost - When E3 was purchased by Zuken (I think from Cimteam) there were some positive changes in the development cycle, but negative in the cost structure. E3 was similar in cost to a seat of SW with only a few optional add-ons. Zuken has driven the cost of the base software WAY up and each and every add-on is $$$$. If you want an SQL back end version with the SW interface add-on you are probably looking in the $15K-$20K.
Interaction with SW - E3's interaction with SW was via SW routing with a handshake between the two to keep all the connectivity data aligned. Due to the cost, we exported the data via reports and imported into SW Routing. This worked, but was VERY temperamental. The names of components between the two systems had to be identical - right down to capitalization.
Today, we don't interface SW and E3. This has everything to do with lack of resources in the company and nothing to do with details of the software.
Two benefits I see with SWE - having a common vendor for two different types of software and having a common library between the schematic and the 3D parts of the software. With our setup, the problem always lies with the OTHER software. If a component is added to E3, then a parallel component must be added to SW.
Customization with SW is via the API. Although this may not be current today, customization with E3 was via a scripting language approach.
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