Mentor Graphics introduces cable harness engineering suite

Mentor Graphics introduces cable harness engineering suite

Business news |
By eeNews Europe

The existing software for cable harness design will be complemented by three components which extend the workflow to upstream and downstream segments. The complete tool suite covers cable harness complexity management, manufacturing, documentation and servicing of vehicles.

The move reflects the increasing importance of cable harnesses in today’s vehicles: The cable harness is not only the second heaviest component in cars today; it is also the lynchpin for the individualization and differentiation of the cars, which in turn is the key to the market strategy of many OEMs. The increasing number of car options and variants translates into an enormous complexity in the harness, since each option requires a different version of the harness. 


Define, design, build and service – these are the phases in a cable harness life cycle covered by Mentor’s new Capital software suite


Two of the new tools introduced by Mentor address the complexity topic. The first one, Capital Level Manager, helps designers to minimize the costs caused by the complexity of the configurations. It is based on a property-oriented design paradigm and produces a numerical feedback of the complexity and the resulting costs. Connecting marketing and engineering aspects, it aligns configuration and product marketing intentions. The Capital Level Manager is typically used in an early stage of the platform definition but it can also help to gain insight into the impact of new functions to the configuration complexity during the production phase of the product, explained Product Marketing Director Nigel Hughes.

The second new tool also addresses complexity. While it also supports conventional superset approaches Capital Modular XC focuses more on modular processes, allowing designers to generate several configuration options based on harness fragments. The tool will typically be used in the production phase. Mentor already announced to introduce further software tools aiming at this phase of the product life cycle.

Capital Publisher is another tool of the newly formed suite. It speeds the documentation of electrical systems as well as repair and service. It aggregates data about the electrical design such as circuit schematics, cable lists etc in comprehensive formatted electronic documentations. In this, it can read in data from upstream processes or from third-party suppliers. The system also can select the data to visualize according to the respective make and model of the vehicle. Aiming at service processes, Capital Publisher will strongly simplify troubleshooting in complex electrical systems, Hughes believes. Provided as "Zero Software Installation" product, Capital Publisher can run in very simple IT environments.

On top of this product roll-out Mentor announced to offer integration options for further existing tools into the Capital product suite.

In addition to the automotive industry, the software can also be used on other industries where cable harnesses and the diversity variants are business critical, Hughes explained. Examples are aviation and defense industry, commercial vehicles production as well as, to a certain extent, shipbuilding.


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