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PCB Designers are from Venus, Mechanical Designers are from Mars!

But they reside in the same solar system…..

And they need to collaborate….

So they need a way of collaborating efficiently and effectively….

The challenge of effective and efficient ECAD/MCAD collaboration is nothing new. This has been a challenge for some time that has been compounded over the past few years due to accelerated time to market drivers and global competition.

Over the past couple years the topic of “mechatronics”, of which ECAD/MCAD collaboration is a subset, has been one of the hotter discussions in product development.  In short – products are no longer just geometries but their electronics and software composition is increasing. I read somewhere that the typical automobile today is about 50% mechanical and the rest is electronics, software, and other non-traditional components.

Recognizing the need for better and more effective ECAD/MCAD collaboration, the ProSTEP iVIP Association formed a working group of industry players including academic members, industrial members, as well as solution providers of which Mentor Graphics was the only ECAD vendor involved. The challenge of this group was to form a better way of collaborating.

The basic challenge is that most changes tend to be incremental, yet the data transfer to communicate these changes tends to be massive exhanges. Visualization itself is insufficient since it is open to interpretation where data exchange is incomplete nor is the data consumed by each designers’ system.

So – the working group, over many meetings and with leadership by Mentor Graphics arrived at a standard and communications protocol called EDMD. This standard allows both sides of the product design, electronic and mechanical, to communicate incremental changes, like outline changes, within their own native environments and without the need to pass over massive amounts of data nor go through other types of data conversions. You can learn more about this standard by visiting the ProSTEP iVIP website.

Mentor Graphics has adopted this methodology in its Expedition Enterprise(2007) and Board Station (XE) flows. You can learn more about this standard via an on demand webinar.  PTC partnered with us on this web event and are a member of the ProSTEP iVIP committee. Take some time and review the webinar. We do believe that there is a fundamental difference in the ways and methodologies that EDMD enables collaboration. I hope you take the time to review for yourself.

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About Ed Goldman

Ed GoldmanEd joined Mentor Graphics in March 2007 and leads Mentor Graphics' marketing programs in its PCB division. Ed has over ten years experience in sales and marketing of high-tech software including CAD/CAM, PLM, and Digital Manufacturing and has worked at UGS (now Siemens PLM), Tecnomatix, and Tecnomatix Unicam. Ed is based out of Mentor's Longmont Colorado offices. Visit PCB Matters

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