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Capital campaign

John Day

John Day

Posted Jun 20, 2011

I can scarcely imagine the challenge of dealing with the countless permutations and combinations possible in vehicle electrical systems. Somehow the word “complexity” seems a bit too small to fit the problem, but it’s a polite word and possibly as good as any.

At IESF earlier this month, Mentor introduced three software tools, two of which are intended to help automakers and suppliers manage configuration complexity. The new tools in Mentor’s Capital product suite (heretofore known as CHS) vault the company into new domains – beyond electrical system and wire harness design flow and into configuration complexity, harness manufacturing, and vehicle documentation and maintenance. Put another way, Capital now delivers an extended define-design-build-service capability, from product definition to maintenance service.

Tools in the Capital suite integrate with Mentor’s Volcano™ Vehicle System Architect™ (embedded software, network design, and electrical domains) and SystemVision® products (mechatronic system simulation), as well as with a variety of third-party tools.

Capital Level Manager and Capital ModularXC are the new tools for configuration complexity management. Capital Level Manager helps minimize costs by providing a quantitative link between marketing and engineering and delivering feedback on configuration complexity and costs. It supports simplification via the “give-away” process, and can be used during early stage platform definition or during production design, helping to assess the cost of new optional features. Capital ModularXC automates definition of harness fragments related to optional features and can also ensure that harness bills of materials are always correct.

The third new tool, Capital Publisher, focuses on electrical system documentation for vehicle service and repair. It streamlines the preparation of technical publications by assembling electrical design information (schematics, wire lists, location views, etc.) into formatted electronic documentation packages. Capital Publisher can accept electrical design data from Capital design tools or third-party products. It should simplify troubleshooting of complex electrical systems.

So if Mentor can manage vehicle electrical domain complexity, could they manage my to-do list?

Capital ModularXC, Capital Publisher, Capital Level Manager, Mentor Graphics

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John DayJohn Day recently launched John Day’s Automotive Electronics News ( to provide news and feature coverage of the automotive electronics industry. Earlier he wrote for Auto Electronics magazine, Auto E-lectronics, EE Times, and other business and engineering publications. Visit John Day

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