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Blunt talking happens at the sharp end.

Developing global platform cars is not easy. The workload of engineers designing electrical interconnect and delivering a manufacturing BOM for suppliers is considerable. The reality of electrical and electronic feature proliferation in a vehicle platform is somewhere between harsh and vicious for electrical design and wiring engineers.

Not that I’ve personally tried to knock together a car to sell around the world as fast as hot cross buns at Easter on Radcliffe precinct. But I’ve seen teams of people engineering global car platforms, and been helping them to succeed by making a part of the activity pain free for them.

Most IT professionals prescribe cures for problems of data handling. Like the ones that plague automakers and their partners in engineering and manufacturing. Such prescription looks at taking out the manual steps, reducing reliance on the human element and providing more automation. Those of us at Mentor Graphics involved in electrical and electronic automotive design are no exception. When you are considering the possible combinations of the end-user features which goes into a modern global car platform the numbers are beyond the range of any one person to control without computational assistance. Management of the data is beyond any single engineer working independently or with a team of helpers to control within the project development timescale.

There’s an alternative to software tools. It is to increase other resource to the problem. This comes in various guises – throw more bodies in the way of the issue being one, and pay a supplier or sub-contractor to resolve the problem is another. Reactive and expensive – just the kind of thing your boss and the shareholders dislike.

Mentor Graphics Capital has unique advantages, e.g. with a generative design paradigm, understanding of production and functional modularization of designs, in terms of the integration with mechanical systems. I know the list – it is my job to know it – the technical and work flow benefits and superiority to alternative ways of working. Capital has processing algorithms which attacks the root of the problem of designing electrical interconnect complexity in diverse transportation platforms don’t you know.
Would you like to go on a picnic this weekend or use this pleasant array of software functions?

Would you like to go on a picnic this weekend or use this pleasant array of software functions?

 To have no help is bad. To think you have it in some software and then have the problem overwhelm the functional possibilities in your tool-set driving your organization is perhaps worse. Either way your company will invest growing amounts of time and expanding teams of people for data entry, data verification and data integration purposes rather than driving the profitability of your organization. The opportunity cost, the chance of expensive error in the design, the lack of cost visibility and control – I’ll stop thinking of this and move on.  My empathy lymph nodes or whatever it is that powers the emotions are draining rapidly. Must keep a few emotions in reserve for the weekend.

  It is a holiday weekend in most Western countries this weekend and over in my place of origin, the United Kingdom a wedding celebration of a famous family conjoins Easter festivities making an extended absence from work for many. Hopefully you’re enjoying some “life” part of the work-life balance too wherever you are, rather than having to process electrical design or CAD data or peering at spreadsheets and drawings.

The simplest explanation is often the best.  some time ago I visualized at a high conceptual level something like a Venn diagram to describe where the pain was going to be felt.  If you have experience in two out of three of these sectors you may be working extra hours this weekend.


When fuel heat and oxygen come together in sufficient quantity

When fuel heat and oxygen come together in sufficient quantity

 Ouch, it is hot in the middle. I can see an escape route.

Electrical Design Systems, Electrical Design, Electrical Distribution Systems, automotive wiring harness, Capital, Automotive Electrical and Electronic Systems Design, Electrical Interconnect Design, CHS, Wire Harness, circuit design software, Capital Harness, Wiring Harness, Capital Harness Systems

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About Paul Johnston

Paul JohnstonI help Mentor Graphics customers to be successful, accomplish a more rapid return on investment. My professonal focus is on the Capital product line. Customers need a good technical and commercial understanding when making software system purchasing and adopting decisions and in addressing issues through to best resolution. I am one of the team of experts Mentor employs to support the Capital worldwide. I was born just outside of Manchester England, am now resident in the metro Detroit area of Michigan USA. I have worked for Mentor Graphics for more than 15 years. Visit Paul Johnston's Blog

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