More standards, more efficiency, more cooperation for decades
Sharing is in: whether economy, cars or knowledge, it brings added value to all partners when shared. The "makers" of the CAD classic RUPLAN had already realized this decades ago when what was then AEG received a major order from Preußen Elektra to build a transformer station with the associated creation of the complete wiring manual: AEG subsidiary Debis Systemhaus, responsible for the project planning, set up a committee of plant planners, operators and software professionals which, thanks to the know-how and idea sharing of the committee members, is still today developing efficiency-enhancing standards for the PTD sector.
We must not keep reinventing the wheel
Debis developed a module for the order for its then already experienced CAD system RUPLAN, which could take into account the special requirements of power supply companies (PTD). It became clear that not only the efficiency and quality of the work of Preußen Elektra, but also of all the other "players" in the power sector could benefit if there were more uniform standards. Until then, almost every company had its own rules and specifications, the PTD wheel was virtually constantly being reinvented.
This is how the PTD working group was created, which since 1997 has brought together various PTD experts several times a year under the aegis of AUCOTEC. AUCOTEC took over RUPLAN and the entire Debis development team that year.
Different perspectives, similar goals
"This working group is really something special", enthuses Michaela Imbusch, product manager for the power division at AUCOTEC and host and moderator of the meetings for many years. "This is networking as its best!" Ideas are exchanged and different perspectives on often surprisingly similar goals are discussed. On the one hand, this has significantly strengthened mutual understanding among energy producers, distributors and plant manufacturers; on the other, it has resulted in a whole series of uniform solutions and standards, which have also been incorporated into the software.
From transportable terminal strips to Industry 4.0
"One example is the equipment diagram but there are also many standard solutions for terminals, such as the transportable terminal strip - all from our working group," explains Imbusch proudly. "We all learn something new every time!" With this knowledge input and the joint, highly practical further development, RUPLAN has grown into the standard planning system for the PTD sector in Germany, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
Since 2010, however, work has also been done on matters relating to the special approach of the power characteristics of AUCOTEC's data-centered Platform Engineering Base (EB). It is the Industry 4.0-compliant younger sister of RUPLAN and is attracting more and more users with the result that EB's own PTD working group has met twice a year since 2015, while the RUPLAN experts meet once a year.
"Anyone coming from the PTD sector who wants to share a wide range of knowledge and make a contribution is welcome," says Product Manager Imbusch. In addition to the inner working group with very active members, who sometimes initiate a sub-working group for special topics, there is an "outer circle". Thanks to accurate minutes, it is always informed about all topics and decisions. "Nobody has to attend every time, that would be unrealistic," says the software expert. In AUCOTEC's password-protected download area all minutes of the meetings can be viewed, including those from the early days of the working group, long before the term "sharing" became a hype.