Free webinar on October 25, 2022 at 5 p.m. CET

Controlled MCAD-ECAD collaboration in PCB design

Automatic processes with intelligent PLM integrations facilitate cross-departmental engineering

PLM integrations version and log the iterations of the joint development up to release of the PCB

Register now

Get to the finished PCBs faster with a controlled ECAD-MCAD data exchange

Today, there are hardly any products without mechatronic assemblies that control and regulate certain processes. The fact that users expect ever more extensive innovations in ever shorter cycles requires interdisciplinary, iterative development processes from the manufacturers.

The exchange of data is important because mechanical and electronic designers have different priorities when developing a common product. For mechanical engineers, the PCB is one of many components that must be accommodated in the best possible way in the existing installation space. Here, weight, dimensions and assembly are the most important factors. However, electronic engineers cannot place the components randomly on the PCB so that it fits optimally into the housing. In order to ensure the desired functionality, they must exclude physical interactions due to heat or electromagnetic incompatibilities between individual components.

In principle, CAD systems allow direct data exchange via neutral format. IDF or STEP is suitable for the coordinated development of housings and PCBs. The problem is that the data exchange is not controlled, so that versions can be overwritten, for example,  in the iterative process. The incremental development process remains untraceable and individual versions cannot be recovered.

In contrast, the exchange of IDF or STEP data is regulated if controlled via a PLM system into which both CAD systems are integrated. Unlike with direct data exchange, the MCAD and ECAD connectors store the exchange data in the (common) data model and connect it to the associated product data versions of the two domains. Previous IDF or STEP versions cannot be overwritten, so that individual versions remain traceable and recoverable.

In this webinar, we will show what these coordination procedures look like.

Automatic processes with intelligent PLM integrations harmonise the mechatronic workflow and make the data exchange between ECAD and MCAD secure and traceable

Defining the product together in a transparent PLM process

  • Intelligent CAD-PLM connectors process native CAD data in standardised exchange formats and log each action
  • The data model shows the history of the result data, including developer comments
  • Time gained through parallel development
synchronization oceanblue circle

IDF and STEP provide PCB details for data exchange

  • The IDF and STEP data shows how much space the PCB needs and any expected collisions. The interlocking development of the PCB and housing avoids time-consuming and costly reworking after approval
  • Before uploading the parts list to PLM, intelligent CAD-PLM integrations show every change in the components compared to the previous version, as well as inconsistencies such as the lack of stored purchase parts
  • Purchasing can be involved in the process at an early stage, for example, for ordering parts with a long lead time or similar components at a lower price
  • The CAD-PLM connector prevents the overwriting of existing versions, so that the development process remains traceable