MECODES – Mechatronic Collaboration Design Solution

Accomplishing the different worlds of MCAD and ECAD for an integrated product design and collaboration.

Electro-mechanical design gains in importance in product design processes because nearly all products contain electrical and mechanical systems. Traditionally, the design solutions of these two engineering disciplines have their own design methods, data formats and data management systems. Therefore electro-mechanical products designed with MCAD and ECAD systems represent as a result non-integrated and domain specific design & process methodologies.

With an conventional design approach using ECAD and MCAD authoring tools, electro-mechanical products are designed with many separate iterations in each tool. After the design is independently finished in each tool, the process continues with the common design phase where the MCAD and ECAD designers collaborate to produce the final electro-mechanical product.

MECODES overcomes the obstacles of mechatronic product design, making it faster and more efficient. It offers the collaboration support throughout the design process and enables vital communications among the PCB designers, electrical and mechanical.

MECODES working principles

MECODES is integrating the mechatronic approach into the two most frequently used CAD tools. The common tasks in each CAD tool are tracked at appropriate steps in multidomain collaboration. To establish an efficient collaboration environment it is necessary to introduce a version control system which is specific for the process of multi-domain collaboration. Since the mechatronic products are usually made out of components which have to be represented in both CAD systems, there is a common integrated library where such components are stored and which can be manipulated and synchronized. The common electro-mechanical tasks depend on the model exchange protocols which are based on standard industry protocols and they contain different model related information. In spite of common understanding between engineers it was also necessary to introduce a communication environment for efficient message exchange. The essence of this approach is to facilitate collaboration between the ECAD and MCAD domains in such a way that the users in one domain have access to all relevant information in the other domain. The improved flow of information means that iteration loops can be avoided, and thus the product development can be accelerated.