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The factor that makes isolated islands so seemingly wonderful is also their greatest shortcoming - isolation. And as the English poet John Donne said back in the early 17th century: "No man is an island". Isolated solutions don't simplify existence for humans or for machinery and systems - quite the opposite, in fact. Instead, an engineering system designed to simplify the work of plant planners should avoid isolated solutions, or at least be able to connect them using convenient bridges. AUCOTEC AG has thus created Engineering Base (EB), an exceptionally well integrated platform. The central, collaboration-enhancing data model simplifies work not just by minimizing coordination and correction and by function/template orientation - its special openness for connections to additional tools, such as 3D systems and the customer's own ERP, is also crucial.

"Integration competence is the key to realizing the concept of a complete digital twin of a plant in the engineering process," explains Uwe Vogt, Executive Officer for Engineering at AUCOTEC. Unless all data about a given plant is integrated, the vision of Industry 4.0 cannot be realized, he says. "We want planners, designers and project managers to always be able to use the optimum tool for the relevant field. An all-round tool can only ever be a compromise," stresses Vogt. AUCOTEC is unveiling its new Project Status Manager for machine and plant planning at HANNOVER MESSE 2017. This module from the database-based Engineering Base (EB) CAE platform can automate workflows within the system and supports data exchange with third-party systems of all types. "Users thus no longer need to be afraid of forgetting operations or mixing versions," says Vogt.