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EPLAN and Rittal add value for LCA Group

Author: John Boynton

LCA Group was acquired in 2017 and right from the start the management team identified a need for furthering the company‘s manufacturing and assembly capabilities. LCA Group invested in new technologies and innovations that aimed to speed up the client approval processes and improve communication between departments. Since then, EPLAN and Rittal have worked closely with the Hawarden-based electrical engineering firm LCA Group, supporting the company‘s industry leading turnkey service for electrical engineering projects.

Thanks to this excellent relationship, LCA Group was chosen to trial the new EPLAN eVIEW solution, which is part of EPLAN‘s rapidly growing portfolio of ePULSE cloud-based services. To complement its EPLAN software, the LCA Group has also invested in Rittal‘s laser Perforex, Assemblex and Secarex machines.

The Challenge LCA LASER

• How to improve productivity, accuracy,
timeliness, repeatability and quality.
• Delayed projects due to high error rate
• Manual working processes

The Solution 

• EPLAN Pro Panel
• EPLAN Smart Wiring
• Rittal Perforex LC3015 laser machining centre
• Rittal Assemblex
• Rittal Secarex

LCA Group is a leading engineering company and was recently named the most innovative business in North Wales. From this facility, the Group provides electrical services to businesses across the country, including project design, manufacturing, installation, commissioning and maintenance. It also operates the UK‘s first Rittal Automation Systems 3D laser machining centre, which makes it possible for LCA Group to provide class-leading 3D design and manufacturing capabilities for its customers.

Versatile Software

Underpinning LCA‘s engineering and manufacturing operations is EPLAN Pro Panel, which provides all necessary data for manufacturing like BOMs, drawings and flat projection drawings, and integrates automation technologies perfectly in the processes of product development and manufacturing. This applies to the mechanical processing of the cabinet housing components and copper busbars, as well as for the control of machines in the cable and wire assembly. Even future-orientated automation technologies such as automated assembly of terminal strips or the robotic wiring of equipment are supported with the EPLAN Pro Panel package.

LCA Group also uses EPLAN Smart Wiring, a system which visualises the wiring and makes all wiring data 100% digitally available. Users benefit from a significant drop in
error rate and substantial time savings. This applies to last minute changes in particular, as the software handles the sometimes complex task of comparing a project‘s new state with its previous baseline. EPLAN Smart Wiring‘s digital representation refers to the virtual model‘s 3D layout in EPLAN Pro Panel.

Do you prefer video? You can watch the video case study over on EPLAN UK YouTube:Watch Case Study

Efficient processes and smart machines

At LCA Group, the EPLAN software interfaces directly with Rittal‘s advanced manufacturing systems. These include the Rittal Perforex LC 3015 3D laser machining centre, a revolutionary system for the construction of sheet steel panels which automates processes previously done by hand. Using the facilities provided by EPLAN Pro Panel,
which has integrated 3D modelling, the Perforex LC 3015 can be programmed to perform measuring and machining to an extremely high degree of accuracy while processing panels in a fraction of the time previously required for these operations. See for yourself how much quicker the laser machine is in comparison to manual in the MAN VS MACHINE video.

A Rittal Secarex cutting centre to cut DIN mounting rails, C rails and cable ducts is also used in the LCA production facility. This machine offers considerable cost savings thanks to improved quality and reduced waste rates and is far more efficient than manual cutting. The Secarex centre includes a state-of-the-art operating station with an industrial PC, an
18.5 inch monitor and a keyboard with trackball. It features pre-defined templates for various sizes of DIN rail and has an integrated label printer for project-related labelling of support rails and cable ducts.

The combination of EPLAN and Rittal systems currently being used by LCA Group significantly accelerates the company‘s design and production processes, providing efficiency and productivity that are close to those achieved in mass production environments - even in batch sizes of one!

Cloud-based solutions

To gain even more benefits from the innovation design and manufacturing solutions it has adopted, LCA Group was recently invited to trial EPLAN‘s latest cloud-based products.
The new cloud-based collaboration tool, EPLAN eVIEW, makes it easy for designers and customers to work closely together on projects, helping to speed up the design and review procedure as well as reducing the need for design revision and reworking, resulting in substantial cost savings.

With EPLAN eVIEW, engineering projects generated using the EPLAN Platform can be accessed directly via the cloud. This means that the project data can be viewed anytime,
anywhere, by anyone who has been granted access. One of the key features is a red-lining function which lets customers, employees on the shop floor and maintenance engineers add their suggestions for changes. These changes are then instantly accessible to the design engineers.

For LCA Group, EPLAN eVIEW is already making lengthy design reviews a thing of the past. Unlike most of its competitors, the company‘s customers can mark-up drawings
online and send their comments back to LCA Group within minutes rather than hours... or days. In addition, using eVIEW means that there is no need to print any of the documentation, which saves money and helps to protect the environment as the need for paper is greatly reduced. Another benefit is that it provides a full audit trail showing previous versions, and a full history of change requests including who initiated, approved and made them. See for yourself in the MAN VS MACHINE 2 video.


Click here to sign up for eVIEW for free!

LCA Group has benefitted greatly from using the new EPLAN ePULSE cloud-based services, as a result, it has purchased two additional EPLAN Pro Panel licenses, along
with company design standardisation, onsite consultancy and training services from EPLAN. In the future LCA is planning to also purchase EPLAN Cogineer and EPLAN Preplanning.

LCA Group has also joined the EPLAN ePULSE customer advisory board. This is made up of carefully selected customers who help to guide EPLAN in the future development of cloud-based solutions, in support of the company‘s commitment to providing solutions that are driven by customer input.

New Opportunities

“Working with EPLAN has created new opportunities for our business and the company‘s innovative tools fit in well with our efforts to constantly innovate and lead in the markets
in which we operate, ” said LCA Group Managing Director, Alan Sheppard.

“EPLAN‘s technologies help us maintain our competitive edge and grow, and they also bring important benefits for our customers, which is always a prime consideration for us. We are confident that working with EPLAN and Rittal, will help our company achieve even greater success in the coming years, especially as the cloud-based ePULSE services continue to develop and expand.”

Discover how EPLAN and Rittal can deliver major productivity enhancements in your business, by requesting a meeting/demonstration. Get the opportunity to sit down with both companies to explore your winning combination that will not only improve efficiencies in your department, but through the whole business. 

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