Part management software developer Cadenas has launched an update for its eCATALOGsolutions platform, a digital engineering component catalog, to enable part manufacturers to better serve their customers.
Specifically, manufacturers will now be able to provide both mechanical (MCAD) and electrical CAD (ECAD) data about their products from a single comprehensive source in the standardized ECLASS ADVANCED format. As such, digital product data can be kept up to date and ready to use by both mechanical and electrical engineers without having to consult multiple sources, which can be time-consuming.
Interdisciplinary design data
A digital catalog is used to centralize part data for electrical planning and mechanical design purposes alike. With such a heavy focus on digitization in 2020, both MCAD and ECAD data are now required to be provided, whereby outer dimensions are crucial for mechanical engineering, and circuit and connection data is a must for electrical design.
To date, providing both sets of data was only possible via a great deal of effort from the component manufacturers themselves. Simone Brinkmann-Tewes, Head of Smart Data Engineering at technology company WAGO Kontakttechnik, explains: “In the past, we have already supported our customers not only in CAD but also in CAE planning with extensive technical and commercial product data. These were created either in-house or in cooperation with external service providers. However, updating the product data was time-consuming and error-prone, since various data sources and output formats had to be supported.”
The eCATALOGsolutions platform
With the recent update, eCATALOGsolutions allows users to generate native formats for a wide variety of common CAE programs, including EPLAN, Siemens Automation Designer, and autoCAD Electrical. Manufacturers currently featured on the existing catalog can also automatically integrate electrical planning information directly into their components, provided the part is already classified in accordance with the ECLASS ADVANCED standard. This includes attributes such as the current and number of pins.
Josef Schmelter, Master Specialist Classification at automation company PHOENIX CONTACT, adds: “We have already classified our products in our PIM (product information management) system with ECLASS ADVANCED. We simply import this product data into the digital product catalog from CADENAS. This way we can generate our digital components for all CAD and CAE systems out of one database. The multi CAD capability of our digital product catalog ensures that we can provide a valuable service to our customers in both mechanical engineering and electrical planning.”
Even manufacturers that have not yet classified their component data according to ECLASS ADVANCED can now do so with ease. The platform allows for metadata and attributes to be provided in the form of an Excel table, which is used to automatically generate classified product data in the ECLASS ADVANCED standard. The classified components can also then be fed directly into the manufacturer’s own PIM system, enabling a great degree of flexibility.
Part and workflow management programs are often just as important as CAD software when it comes to product development. Just last month, 3D printing software company Link3D announced the launch of its first mobile Post-Production Management App. The program is designed to enable customers to streamline their post-production processes, allowing for the efficient end-to-end management of 3D printed parts.
Elsewhere, 3D printing software developer Authentise recently launched Material Management, a powder tracking feature update for its Authentise Manufacturing Execution System (AMES) workflow software. The new add-on provides simplified material traceability functionality that allows users to track all actions associated with a material, such as sieving, blending, testing and printing.
Looking for a career in additive manufacturing? Visit 3D Printing Jobs for a selection of roles in the industry.
Featured image shows a component’s electrical planning data and mechanical dimensions being exported directly into NX Electrical. Image via Cadenas.