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Fully Integrated Harness Design Solution

TransDesign, a fully integrated harness design solution, is a complete electrical distribution design environment. Developed in cooperation with leading automotive engineers, TransDesign covers the design of an entire electrical system, from concept to manufacturing support.

It enables manufacturers to design electrical harness systems and packaging details concurrently, using a mechanical design (3D) environment. TransDesign eliminates the labor and time-intensive manual verification previously required during the engineering process, and allows engineers to share graphical data related to designs through common web browsers.

Benefits and Features

  • From logical schematics to wiring bills of materials
  • Full product layout automated design tool and wire synthesis
  • Automatic wiring diagram generation
  • Interfaces to 3D mechanical tools
  • Options and variants management

Comprehensive Solutions


Advanced Design Automation for Cable and Wire Harness Design


  • Enables design of electromechanical systems
  • Supports wire harness and cable components such as wires, cables, splices, connectors, and fuses
  • Performs custom electrical and physical design rule checks
  • Debugs large designs using wire and device navigator with automatic report generation
  • Identifies problems early in design process
  • Searches library database for qualified parts
  • Integrates with industry leading mechanical CAD systems
  • Provides for customization of design methodologies and flows

Product Overview

TransCable is a schematic capture tool for electromechanical systems. It is integrated with mechanical CAD tools through bi-directional interfaces. TransCable is also integrated with TransDataBook™ for component library management. View Datasheet

TransCable is a wire and net-based editor, which manages electrical signal connectivity between physical components. Logical nets may be automatically converted to wires and splices. Wires may be interactively routed between pins of physical components. Splices are automatically created when multiple wires are connected together. Multiple wires may also be routed to a common pin, which create a multi-termination. Cables types such as twisted, flat, or shielded may be defined. Shielded cable symbols have termination pins to support grounding of shields with a wire connection. Cables may also be defined within other cables.

TransDataBook Upgrade

TransDataBook is an upgrade product to TransCable. It provides library management of parts and can be synchronized with a company's parts information system. A designer may specify queries to search a library to select qualified parts. Component and wire attribute sets are annotated to generic symbols to create unique parts. Attributes on parts are used during simulation, analysis, and design rule checks.

Design Rules

Electrical, physical and manufacturing design rules can be customized and checked to insure that a company's best practices are followed. TransCable provides standard checks to verify that wires, splices and cables have been properly defined.
These checks identify problems prior to passing design information to the Mechanical CAD tools. Manufacturing reports such as bill of materials (BOMs) and wire "From-To" lists are automatically generated and may be customized with user defined formats.

Integration with Mechanical CAD Tools

TransCable is integrated with the industry leading mechanical CAD vendors. CAT/TransCable Interface™ integrates TransCable and Dassault Systemes' CATIA 3D Electrical Systems (E3D) environment. SDRC/TransCable Interface™ (see note at the top of the SDRC/TransCable file)integrates TransCable and EDS' I-DEAS Harness Design product.

Electrical connectivity and component attributes are passed to the mechanical CAD environment. Bundles are then routed in the 3D mechanical CAD tool. Wires, cables, and splices are assigned to physical bundles. Physical design attributes such as separation codes, gauge, maximum bend radius, and maximum wire lengths are passed to the mechanical CAD tool. These attributes are used to calculate wire and cable dimensions, which may be back annotated to TransCable. TransCable uses these dimensions to automatically generate manufacturing reports.


Wire Harness and Cable Design Using Interconnect Synthesis


  • Optimizes interconnect synthesis of electrical signals into wires and splices
  • Enables engineers to evaluate different architectures early in design cycle
  • Provides automatic calculation of wire cut lengths and bundle diameters to save money and space
  • Offers choice of compatible, mated connectors, compatible terminal and terminal codes
  • Integrates with TransCable™, an intelligent schematic capture environment
  • Exports design data to formatted file that can be loaded into Oracle database

Product Overview

TransLayout™ provides a design environment for complex systems from concept through to manufacturing support. Early in the design process, system and electrical engineers explore design alternatives for wire harness and cable systems and assess their impact on manufacturing cost and physical space requirements. View Datasheet

Target Market

The transportation (automobiles, trucks, trains), aerospace (planes, satellites), telecom, semiconductor equipment, and industrial machinery industries are experiencing an increase in the electrical content of their products. TransLayout enables design teams to plan the electrical distribution system within a simplified view of the physical package and estimate manufacturing costs as well as the complete development of the physical interconnect of a system.
Design Scenario

Logical schematics are created that capture the equipment, connectors, and pins that are electrically connected within a system. Multiple schematics may be configured together to define the electrical distribution system. The TC2TL utility will generate a netlist and may be used to automatically generate module symbols. A module symbol will have pins that represent the associated module side connectors.

A symbol representing the physical outline with scaled dimensions of the mechanical package may be placed within TransLayout to provide the context for the design.

After importing a netlist, the user will place either customized or automatically generated module symbols within the physical outline. Selecting signals highlights electrically connected modules.

The user may simply draw conduit segments between electrically connected modules to create wire routing channels. TransLayout may then be used to automatically synthesize wires and splices through the routed channels.

Synthesizing Electrical Signals to Physical Wires and Splices

The autorouter is used to synthesize wires and splices from electrical signals by adhering to electrical and manufacturing design rules. Design rules are specified as router cost values or router modes. Examples of router cost values include maximum number of wires per splice or multi-termination, cost per unit length of a wire, and minimum distance between splices or between a splice and a take-out. Autorouter modes may be used to allow or disallow multiple wires terminating on common pins or prioritizing router performance over design iteration time. The router will automatically assign the wire gauge for a signal. It may also be used to optimize the location of splices.

The autorouter will optimize the total wire cost while satisfying electrical and manufacturing design rules. The factors contributing to total wire costs include base wire, wire length, and the number of jumpers, splices, and multi-terms. Total wire costs, wire cut lengths, and bundle diameters are automatically calculated.

Inserting Inline Connectors and/or Junction Blocks

Inline connectors and/or junction blocks may be inserted within a bundle segment. The conduit will be split into two pieces. If wires were routed within that segment, they will be automatically cut and terminated at cavities within the inline connector. The wire cut lengths will be automatically recalculated. The signals automatically assigned to cavities may be swapped or deleted.

Compatibility Checks

TransLayout supports the assignment of compatible harness and inline connectors. The user may also change a terminal on the harness side connector with another compatible terminal. Terminal codes may be defined to insure that proper techniques are utilized with specified connector, pin, and wire configurations.

Report Generation

TransLayout is used to generate Wire From-To and bill of material amongst other fully configurable reports. The design may also be exported to a formatted file and loaded into a relational database. The design can also be loaded into an ORACLE database. Relational databases such as Oracle enable sophisticated SQL queries of design information and comprehensive report generation.

Design Changes

Changes made to the schematics will be imported into TransLayout by updating the netlist using the TC2TL utility.


Automatic physical schematic generator using electrical system layout and logical schematics


  • Automates the generation of physical schematics (wiring diagrams)
  • Uses logical schematics as constraint preserving component placement for readability and wiring information from TransLayout™
  • Can use a previous physical schematic as constraint to propagate electrical changes initiated in TransLayout
  • Provides automatic insertion of wiring splices and in-line connector terminal pairs
  • Preserves cosmetic changes present in the constraint schematic
  • Features "correct by construction" error-proof generation of physical schematics
  • Improved productivity by eliminating labor-intensive physical schematic generation
  • Improved quality by eliminating manual transcription errors in the physical schematic

Product Overview

TranSACT generates physical schematics (wiring diagrams) based on logical or physical schematics created using TransCable™, and wiring and connector information created using TransLayout. TranSACT uses component placement captured in logical schematics and the physical interconnects from TransLayout to create a set of schematics with the "look and feel" of the original logical design. The resulting wiring diagram includes all physical wires, splices and connectors and their corresponding attributes. TranSACT can also propagate changes made in TransLayout to electrical connectivity, and reflect these changes in the wiring diagram using the original physical schematic instead of the logical schematic. Cosmetic changes and annotations on the original physical schematic are preserved. TranSACT can save companies significant labor costs associated with developing physical schematics by hand. View Datasheet

Target Market

Companies designing products that require electrical wiring diagrams as part of a complete harness definition. These include, but are not limited to, automobiles, aircraft, industrial equipment, and defense industry products.

Design Scenario

The user starts with logical schematics representing the connectivity of the various subsystems and components that make up the electrical content of the product.
Using this logical connectivity in TransLayout, the user places the components using a 2D representation of the product. The user then defines the harnesses, in-line and module connector information, cavity and terminal assignments, and information for wiring synthesis. The wiring components synthesized include all wires and splices, along with all of their relevant attributes.

TranSACT uses the original logical schematics as a template for device placement. Wiring elements are then placed to reflect physical connectivity. Splice and connector symbols are automatically placed in the appropriate paths. All data regarding wires, splices, connectors, and physical attributes are imported from TransLayout. Since the logical schematic's placement of components and nets is used as a basis of the generation, the resulting schematics have a familiar look to their corresponding logical schematics.

The physical schematics generated by TranSACT can be viewed or edited using TransCable. This allows the schematics' graphics to be comprehensively annotated, if desired. Users can make cosmetic changes to make the schematic more readable or add notes and clarifying graphics and/or comments.

Revision Management

Changes occurring in TransLayout may require updated physical schematics. When TranSACT is run to propagate these changes, cosmetic modifications such as notes or graphics introduced in the previous physical schematics are preserved. Prior editing work is not lost.

In addition, TranSACT identifies the elements of the design that have changed between the old and new physical schematic, and can report mismatches. This listing can be used for design revision control documentation.

Simulation and Service

In current design processes, physical schematics have been primarily generated manually. This has been time consuming and error prone, adding weeks to the design cycle at several stages. TranSACT has been developed to automate the generation of physical schematics. These schematics may be used for design reviews, service manuals, and simulation.


Advanced Design Automation for Cable and Wire Harness Design

CAT/TransCable™ provides a tightly integrated bi-directional interface between TransCable™, Mentor Graphic's Design Capture environment, and Dassault Systemes' CATIA Electrical Design Solutions (CATIA V4) environment. Together, these tools create a design environment that enables concurrent engineering between electrical and mechanical design teams.


  • Passes electromechanical connectivity, attributes, and design constraints to CATIA
  • Provides back-annotation from CATIA to TransCable™
  • Provides for dynamic updates from either environment
  • Enables cross probing of components or wires to be selected in CATIA and highlighted in TransCable
  • Improves productivity by enabling concurrent engineering between electrical and mechanical design teams
  • Reduces costs by eliminating errors due to manual entry
  • Shortens time to market by intelligently managing design changes
  • Improves quality by automatically checking design constraints

Target Market

The content of electrical subsystems is exploding in system markets such as transportation (automobiles, trucks, trains), aerospace (planes, satellites), telecom (PBXs, routers), semiconductor equipment, and industrial machinery. The physical interconnection of these subsystems has become a critical design factor that affects system performance, time to market and life cycle costs. View Datasheet

Design Scenario

After a system has been partitioned, detailed electrical, mechanical, and software design may progress. Three-dimensional (3D) geometric models for electromechanical equipment are created in Dassault Systemes' Electrical Device and Support Modeling tool. These models are placed within the system structure for proper assembly of wire harness using Dassault Systemes' Electrical Wire Bundle Installation product.

TransCable is an intelligent schematic capture tool used to create system, logical, and wiring schematics at different levels of hierarchy. Electrical connectivity is consistently managed throughout the design. Electromechanical schematic symbols for wires, splices, cables, fuses, terminal strips, and connectors are correctly created both electrically and physically. Attributes uniquely define parts and enable downstream processes such as analysis and design rules checks.

Electromechanical Solutions

Together, Mentor Graphics and Dassault Systemes develop electromechanical solutions that bridge the gap between electrical and mechanical design domains. The integration between the products reduces manual errors, enables virtual prototyping of electromechanical systems, and helps identify potential design problems early in the design process.

Seamless Integration between CATIA V4 Electrical Design Solutions and TransCable

CAT/TransCable provides a direct interface that enables dynamic updating of design changes between TransCable and CATIA.

CATIA Electrical Design Solutions maps component references defined in TransCable with 3D models created in CATIA. Physical bundles may be automatically or interactively routed. Design constraints passed from TransCable to CATIA may be checked such as minimum bend radius. Wires, cables and splices are automatically assigned to routed bundles. Wire, cable, and bundle dimensions are automatically calculated in CATIA.

Wire and cable lengths may be exported from CATIA for dynamic updating within TransCable.

Cross Probing and Highlighting

CAT/TransCable provides cross-probing and highlighting between CATIA Electrical Design Solutions and TransCable. Components modeled in 3D may be selected in CATIA and the associated component symbol in TransCable will be selected, highlighted, and centered in the Edit Window. Wires routed in 3D bundles may be selected in CATIA and the associated wires in TransCable will be selected, highlighted and centered in the Edit Window.


The 3D bundles defined in the CATIA Electrical Wire Bundle Installation product are used to create a digital formboard mock-up in the CATIA Electrical Generative Formboard product.

TransCable may be used to generate Wire From-To and Electrical Parts Lists to user specified formats.


Concurrent design interface for electrical system design and EDS' I-DEAS 3D modeling


  • Passes wiring harness definition to I-DEAS Harness Design for packaging
  • Passes wiring diameters to I-DEAS, based on bundle-by-bundle wire content
  • Synchronizes wiring topology on connectors, bundles, and branching
  • Identifies and reports topology mismatches
  • Links every element of the wiring harness between the I-DEAS environment and the Mentor Graphics electrical system design tools
  • Provides a Unified Bill Of Materials (UBOM) that combines the most accurate mechanical information from I-DEAS and Mentor Graphic's electrical design tools (TransDesign)
  • True 3D lengths of wiring bundles are back annotated to TransDesign and reflected in the UBOM
  • Mechanical objects added to the wiring in I-DEAS are added to the UBOM for each wiring harness
  • UBOM data can be loaded into Oracle™

Product Overview

TransBridge provides the optimum linking between the electrical design world and I-DEAS 3D packaging. Electrical system design and analysis can be done in TransDesign, prior to the definition of solid models and then synchronized with the mechanical representation of the layout. In this process a topological comparison is done to ensure that the design in the electrical domain is indeed topologically equivalent to that in the mechanical domain. In addition, items mastered in IDEAS (mechanical support and harness dressings) are transferred into the TransDesign toolset and added into the Unified Bill of Materials. View Datasheet

Target Market

These tools are the best choice for companies that have adopted rigorous mechanical design processes that rely mainly on complete 3D digital packaging using UGS I-DEAS. In addition, companies whose products have complex electrical distribution systems, like automotive, aerospace, shipbuilding, and the defense industry will significantly benefit from the use of these tools. The primary area of benefit is the reduction in cycle time due to the concurrency in the design process enabled by TransBridge.

Design Scenario

The electrical design is captured using a combination of tools within the TransDesign environment. TransCable is used for schematic capture. TransLayout is used to construct the electrical design of the entire product. Early in the design process, before detailed mechanical constraints are defined, the electrical design is developed in TransLayout. Wiring paths and component placements are established. TransLayout synthesizes wires, splices, and multi-terminations. System interconnection architecture, including aspects such as system signal content, electrical equipment (module) positioning, the number of harnesses, interconnection of harnesses via inline connectors, and the topology of harnesses may be established based upon a plan-view of the system.

When product design is ready to package wiring, a topological definition of the harness is passed to I-DEAS. This process uses a bi-directional ASCII format interface. The connectors, bundles, bundle diameters, and branching nodes are passed to I-DEAS to synchronize the packaged wiring harness design with the electrical design. After the wiring paths are routed, each I-DEAS bundle length is fed back to the TransDesign tool suite. These bundle lengths are used by TransDesign to update the lengths of all the wires in the wiring harness. In addition, wire harness parts, such as protective coverings, retention clips, and brackets can be passed through the interface to the UBOM.

Electromechanical Solutions

Together, Mentor Graphics and UGS have developed electromechanical solutions that bridge the gap between electrical and mechanical design domains. This bi-directional approach promotes concurrent electrical/electromechanical and mechanical design. The integration between the products reduces manual errors, enables virtual prototyping of electromechanical systems, and helps identify potential design problems early in the design process.

Seamless Integration between Mechanical and Electrical System Design in TransDesign

The I-DEAS/TransDesign Topology Bridge provides an interface that enables regular updating of design changes between TransDesign and I-DEAS. Topology mismatches are identified and reported, ensuring the compatibility between the assembly of the end product and the content of the wiring harnesses.

Correct by Construction

The synchronization of design between 3D design and the TransDesign environment guarantees that the wiring harnesses that fit in the end product function as specified.


Advanced Design Automation for Management of Options and Variants in Electrical Wiring Harness Designs


  • Two tools in one - it provides a Feature Manager for creation and management of a product program option list, and an OV Manager for managing wiring harness families and levels and the options they support.
  • Captures complete product line option list.
  • Options tied to wiring harness content.
  • Easy to use spreadsheet format for harness-by-harness content definition.
  • Simple On/Off visualization technique automates de-population of maximum content wiring harnesses to create new wire harness levels.
  • Child wire harnesses dynamically linked to max-complexity harnesses.
  • Combines a wiring harness program management tool with a powerful top-level wiring harness design tool.
  • Greatly reduces manual creation and maintenance of individual wiring harness design levels.
  • Automates the creation of the bill of material (BOM) for each wiring harness.

Product Overview

TransOVM works in conjunction with TransCable, and TransLayout to automate the management of wiring harness content for an entire product program. Wiring design engineers and program managers use TransOVM to document and design the complete option and variant of the electrical distribution system of a product. All options and variants for all the wiring harnesses can be managed from this interface. Using TransOVM's spreadsheet format, each wiring harness is dynamically linked to the options it supports and the wiring content of that option. Using this dynamic linking the design manager can create new wiring harnesses simply by turning off options, and running the harness generation routine. View Datasheet

Target Market

TransOVM is the best choice for companies that need to design many different electrical distribution design configurations for a single product. The number of options and add-on design features usually drives this multitude of combinations. For products such as automobiles and airplanes, the use of TransOVM, in conjunction with the rest of Mentor Graphics's comprehensive electrical design environment, will have a significant impact on time-to-market and engineering costs.

Design Scenario

The Feature Manager is used to create a list of feature families and option tags, which apply to a particular product program. Starting from a list of all possible families and tags (the Global Option List), the user selectively removes those that are not used by (or do not affect the electrical content of) the product program. The resulting program-specific list is used within TransCable's Option Editor as well as OV Manager to ensure that option tags are used consistently throughout the process. (TransCable is Mentor Graphic's schematic capture tool.).

The OV Manager is employed by the user to capture the interaction of features with harnesses and product configurations. For each harness family, the tool will record which variant families are "complexity drivers" and which other feature families affect the harness build levels. Every level of each harness family can then be captured together with information about which features it supports. Similarly, particular vehicle configurations can be stored and later used to filter either schematic or layout data for documentation, design checks, and analysis.

These option assignments are then used to generate de-populated wire harness levels of the maximum complexity harnesses. The initial maximum complexity wiring is designed in TransLayout. (TransLayout is the Mentor Graphics 2D product design tool where the wiring design is synthesized.)

Option Lists

The available options are defined by the customer. This superset of product options can be the same for a wide range of products. Using this Global Option List, each product program selects the set of options that is right for that program. New options can be easily added to the Global Option List.

The TransDesign Tool Suite

  • TransOVM is designed to work with the other tools in Mentor Graphic's TransDesign tool suite.
  • TransCable is used to create the schematic diagrams for the product.
  • TransLayout is a whole product design tool that creates the complete electrical distribution system design in one place.
  • TransOVM is linked to all these tools and their design data. This integrated approach provides a self-documenting complete design environment.
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