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May 22, 2006
Mentor Graphics Integrates With UGS MCAD And PDM
Please note that contributed articles, blog entries, and comments posted on MCADcafe.com are the views and opinion of the author and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of the management and staff of Internet Business Systems and its subsidiary web-sites.
Jeff Rowe - Managing Editor

by Jeff Rowe - Contributing Editor
Each MCAD Weekly Review delivers to its readers news concerning the latest developments in the MCAD industry, MCAD product and company news, featured downloads, customer wins, and coming events, along with a selection of other articles that we feel you might find interesting. Brought to you by MCADCafe.com. If we miss a story or subject that you feel deserves to be included, or you just want to suggest a future topic, please contact us! Questions? Feedback? Click here. Thank you!

Mentor Graphics Corp., a leading provider of electrical design solutions to the transportation sector, today announced the availability of a range of integrations with its CHS tool suite and key UGS solutions in the area of Mechanical Computer Aided Design (MCAD) and Product Data Management (PDM) applications. CHS is the industry-leading electrical flow for the capture, integration, analysis and interconnection of systems into car, plane and train platforms. The CHS product suite is unique in both the scope of its applications and the sophistication of Capital Manager, the central design data repository supporting them.

Mentor Graphics and UGS have developed a tight integration between UGS TeamCenter and Capital Manager to allow electrical design and harness data to be published into TeamCenter. This integration exploits TeamCenter's role as a corporate engineering data repository and allows it to be used as a conduit for electrical data passing between organizations (e.g. from OEM to supplier) or between applications (e.g. between CHS and UGS NX). Publishing data into TeamCenter also allows customers to generate a complete bill-of-material, both mechanical and electrical, and enables better interaction between domains -- thus reducing errors and allowing early exploration of system architectures and
interactions between mechanical and electrical domains.

Mentor Graphics has also developed integrations between Capital Manager and the UGS NX and I-Deas applications to enable rapid exchange of data between these systems. The design of harnesses in complex electromechanical platforms such as automobiles, aircraft and trains requires tight collaboration between the mechanical and electrical CAD applications to reduce the design time, support concurrent engineering and increase design quality. Mentor Graphics has achieved this with a series of UGS MCAD integrations that can exchange wiring, topology and mechanical harness descriptions between the applications.

"Tight interoperability in the customer's electro-mechanical design environment is a mandate for successful electrical CAD applications," said Nick Smith, product director in Mentor Graphics Integrated Electrical Systems Division. "IESD has focused tremendous energy over several years to deliver best-in-class applications across the entire system-to-harness flow and its ECAD data management needs. The UGS-related products which we have released and the strength of our partnership with UGS further enhances our positions as leaders in this field."

If I had to name a major trend that is occurring in the mechanical design space, the Mentor/UGS integration would be a good place to start. Namely, the integration of mechanical (MCAD) and electrical (ECAD) tools, and now PDM is also getting into the act. Several other competitors are also realizing the importance of integrating MCAD and ECAD, including Dassault, PTC, and Autodesk. Is this development surprising? Hardly, because relatively few mechanical designs are exclusively mechanical anymore. There is almost certainly an electrical component involved in the vast majority of mechanical designs. As you can imagine, the integration is not a simple task, making electrical and mechanical
systems and their interconnects (wire and harnesses) come together, in complex platforms, such as cars, airplanes, or even computers or production machines.

Probably the biggest challenge is capturing and representing all the MCAD and ECAD data used in a design. This is not an easy task because data can literally be lost or rendered useless if either the MCAD and/or ECAD (or other, such as PDM) system used in the design process cannot properly represent or manage data received from the other systems. The moral here is that it is vital that all systems involved share and understand a common data representation. Just a sampling of the challenges that could be encountered include (and Mentor has a lot of experience here):
  • Wire length data may be read from or written to 3D MCAD systems
  • Electrical designs may be exported for assessment by electrical analysis programs
  • Harness component data may be loaded from PDM systems
  • Electrical design data may be used to drive automated test equipment
  • BOM data may be used to drive wire cutting equipment
  • Finished harness designs may be released to PDM systems.
  • So, as you can see, things can get pretty complicated pretty quickly. The core of the problem is that different types of systems often have different so-called "structural views" of the same entity in a design. For example, a computer system can be broken down into a physical bill of materials of component parts - enclosure, connectors, circuit boards, power supply, fasteners - as a typical assembly representation in an MCAD system. On the other hand, in an ECAD system, the same computer will be composed of functional/schematic representations that cross over the physical boundaries and structures of the BOM. Representing and using all of this in a comprehensive, yet cohesive,
    manner is a tall order.

    Integrating MCAD, ECAD, and PDM is a big deal today, and will only get bigger as the interdependencies become more intertwined. In fact, this is such a major ongoing development, we will devote an MCADCafe Weekly Commentary section to the merging of MCAD and ECAD from the perspectives of several different vendors. Look for this in the early part of June.

    The Week's Top 5

    At MCADCafé we track many things, including the stories that have attracted the most interest from our subscribers. Below are the five news items that were the most viewed during last week.

    Ford's Adoption Of CATIA V5 Increases Product Development Efficiency

    IBM and Dassault Systemes announced that CATIA V5 played a crucial role in increasing product development efficiency at Ford Motor Co. CATIA V5 was used on the Body-in-White (BIW) development of the Ford Fusion, helping Ford reduce its overall digital development time. Ford launched CATIA V5 in 2003 and used it for BIW development of the Ford Fusion, Mercury Milan, and Lincoln Zephyr vehicle programs. Leveraging CATIA V5 enabled Ford to take a top-down, functional approach to BIW geometric modeling. This included product & process associativity and integration. The deployment of CATIA V5 within the context of the associative
    design process yielded a significant reduction of geometric modeling time. This reduction was accomplished while delivering greater design fidelity and completeness earlier in the product development process. All the system/component geometric relationships including detailed transitions, blends, and fillets were delivered earlier and maintained throughout all of the subsequent design iterations. Changes to system specifications are now automatically propagated to the detailed design level across several disciplines, including CAE and manufacturing.

    Wipro Acquires Mechanical Design Services Firm, Quantech

    Wipro Technologies, the Global IT Services Division of Wipro Limited, announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire US-based Quantech Global Services LLC and the India-based Quantech Global Services Ltd. in an all cash deal. The consideration includes an upfront cash payment on the closure of the transaction as well as earn-outs on achieving agreed financial targets over a three-year period. Quantech is a leading provider of CAD and CAE services to several Fortune 500 companies, particularly in the automotive, aerospace, and consumer goods industries. Quantech undertakes design, analysis, development, and program management of
    products from concept to the pre-production stage. It has over 500 employees located in India and the US, and the revenue of Quantech for the year ended December 2005 was $12.7 million.

    SolidWorks Used To Create Womb-Like Incubator

    A leading Norwegian industrial design firm used SolidWorks to design an innovative incubator that nurtures premature infants in an environment second only to the womb. The PremaCare Incubator, designed by 360 Grader Produktdesign AS of Oslo in concert with pediatricians in hospital settings, employs a revolutionary dome that keeps tiny patients away from noisy mechanical parts and magnetic radiation. PremaCare's clear double-walled, temperature-controlled hemisphere gives parents and hospital staff a 360-degree view of an infant as well as five-door access. The device, which won the grand prize in the SolidWorks Design Contest 2005, will soon
    be mass-produced by U.S.-based Delphi Medical Systems in Troy, MI. 360 Grader Produktdesign last year surveyed health care providers who raised concerns about traditional incubators. The PremaCare incubator will deliver improvements in temperature, air quality, noise, and ergonomics.

    UGS Supports Diesel Land Speed Record Attempt

    UGS Corp. announced that JCB, one of the world's leading construction equipment companies, is using its NX digital product development system to design and develop the JCB444-LSR diesel engine which will be used by JCB in its attempt to set a new land speed record for diesel vehicles this August. The record attempt will be made in a nine meter long JCB DIESELMAX car, driven by Wing Commander Andy Green. Green, who set the first-ever supersonic world land speed record at 763.035 mph, will make the record attempt on the famous Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. The project will underscore the strength, performance and versatility of the JCB444
    diesel engine, originally created for use in JCB's construction vehicles. Two turbo-charged, high-performance versions of the JCB444, developed to produce 750 bhp, will power the JCB DIESELMAX.

    Informative Graphics Announces Brava! Support For Microsoft XPS Format

    Informative Graphics Corporation (IGC), a developer of commercial software products for content visualization, secure publishing, and collaboration, announced its line of Brava! content visualization and Net-It content publishing products will directly support Microsoft XML Paper Specification (XPS). IGC's Brava Enterprise and Brava Desktop products provide view, annotation, redaction and secure publishing capabilities for a number of file formats like TIFF, PDF, CSF, Microsoft Office formats and native CAD drawing formats such as AutoCAD DWG and DWF. Informative Graphics plans to provide annotation and redaction of XPS files in the next
    release of Brava. Brava enables users to view, compare, annotate, measure, and redact (block out) XPS document information. XPS files can then be published to Adobe PDF, TIFF, Autodesk DWF or IGC's secure CSF. Brava also opens over 150 file formats that can be saved to XPS and then viewed directly by Internet Explorer 7 in Windows Vista or by the Microsoft XML Paper Specification Viewer on most other Microsoft Windows platforms.

    Jeffrey Rowe is the editor and publisher of MCADCafé and MCAD Weekly Review. He can be reached
    here or 408.850.9230.

    This Week

    Lead Story
  • Mentor Graphics Announces Integrations With UGS Products
    Product and Company News
  • ALGOR Showcases V19.1
  • Autodesk Reports Record Revenues of $436 Million
  • Amerequip Boosts Performance With CoCreate's Model Manager
  • Sandvik Standardizes On UGS Teamcenter
  • Autodesk Global Collaboration Strategist To Speak At Institute Of Industrial Engineers Annual Conference
  • UGS' NX Selected By Indian Ministry Of Railways' Research Designs & Standards Organization
  • LightWork Design Acquired By Management
  • Altair Engineering Partners With Red Hat
  • Alphacam Introduces CRM Module To Alphacim Business Management System
  • 3D Systems Announces Stockholders' Meeting Results
  • Avatech Solutions Reports Q3 Results
  • New ReadySketch Parametric Sketcher Library Available in VX CAD/CAM
  • Mentor Graphics Adds Transient Simulation Capability To CHS
  • MSC.Software Chosen By Shanghai Automotive Engineering Academy
  • Delcam Helps Moldmaker Meet Deadline
  • Northrop Grumman Ship Systems Standardizes On UGS Tecnomatix
  • MSC.Software Announces Convertible Notes Call
  • IMSI Books Q3 Net Income
  • LightWorks Gives JetStream Presenter New Visualization Capabilities
  • Cimatron Returns To Profitability
  • CNC Software Educational Competition Was a Success
  • Smith & Nephew Deploys Batch Printing MatrixOne Integration, printLogic
  • Delcam Upgrades ArtCAM
  • The SolidExperts Celebrate Company Kickoff
  • IMS Software Expands Eastern European Presence
    Related MCAD News
  • Fakespace Wins Contract For World's Highest Resolution Virtual Reality Room
  • SAP Delivers Industry's First Productized Enterprise Services
  • Selerant Attains Microsoft Partner Program Gold Certified Partner Status
  • Frost & Sullivan's Honors Automotive & Transportation Industry's Best
  • Comtek Expands Aerospace And Defense Manufacturing
  • Sun Microsystems Announces Support For SAP On The Solaris 10 OS On x64
  • Asia Pacific Manufacturing SMBs To Increase IT Spending In 2006
  • New IBM Software Brings Autonomic Computing To Grids
  • Injection Molding Simulation & Control Leader Expands Into India
  • Mercury Computer Systems Recognized For Product Innovation
  • Smiths Provides Thrust Reverser Actuation System For Boeing's 747-8
  • CSM Automotive Production Barometer - May 2006
  • Henkel Sponsors Automotive Engineering Students At 2006 Formula SAE
  • Visteon Receives $1.5 Billion In Secured Financing Commitments
  • Hamilton Sundstrand To Supply Major Systems For Boeing P-8At
  • Atmel Introduces AVR 8-Bit Flash MCUs Qualified For Automotive Applications
  • General Dynamics To Acquire Division Of Chamberlain Manufacturing Corp.
  • Two Raytheon Centers Receive Shingo Prize For Manufacturing Excellence
  • Technology Research Corp. Sued By Tower Manufacturing Corp. For Alleged Patent Infringement
    Corporate Moves
  • EDS Realigns Executive Team
  • EDS Names Six New Members To Its Fellows Program
    Upcoming Events
  • Prawel To Keynote International CAD Interoperability Conference
  • Right Hemisphere CTO To Speak At SME CAD Data Exchange Conference
  • Autodesk To Present At Upcoming Conferences
  • SofTech Announces Annual Meeting
  • DP Technology To Demo Latest Release Of ESPRIT
  • Kubotek USA Executives To Speak At SME's "CAD Data Exchange" Conference
  • Free Online Briefing: How Customers are Succeeding with a Customized Version of FloWizard
  • RuleStream To Present At Pro/E User Group
  • CD-adapco Presents CFD Topic At International ABAQUS Users' Conference.
  • Moldflow Showcasing Smarter Molding At NPE

    You can find the full MCADCafe event calendar here.

    To read more news, click here.

    -- Jeff Rowe, MCADCafe.com Contributing Editor.