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ECAD MCAD Collaboration

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HJ1
Garnet

ECAD MCAD Collaboration

Adding to the not so many topics dealing the collaboration of ECAD and MCAD with Windchill. To be more specific we’re working with EPLAN and Autodesk Inventor. The latter is integrated to Windchill with WGM, EPLAN to be considered.

Mechanical engineering needs the electrical component modeled. EPLAN can produce step-files, but Windchill doesn’t manage these as EPMDoc primary content.

 

What options and best practices are there?

 

 

How I see the basics, if there's no WGM for EPLAN, not necessarily in this order

  • ‘manage’ ECAD content as attachments to wtDocument, e.g. step-files
  • link these wtDoc to wtParts created which in turn are added to the wtPart structure originating from MCAD
  • mechanical eng. downloads the step from wtDoc, adds to MCAD assembly, associates with wtPart..

 

Make sense? Change management will be a lot of fun.

9 REPLIES 9

Re: ECAD MCAD Collaboration

EPLAN doesn't need the WGM since it has it's own Windchill integration. Ask your EPLAN sales to get more information about it.

Re: ECAD MCAD Collaboration

Yes... sorry for typing without thinking. I'm aware the integration is not WWGM, but whatever it is I guess the idea is the same when it comes to utilising objects on the Windchill side: You've got EPMDocs, wtParts, business as usual, right?

Re: ECAD MCAD Collaboration

Have you ever considered using IDX files to exchange data between mechanical and electronic engineers?

 

Somewhere in the community there is also a quite long presentation (70-80 slides) on this topic.

 

Marco

Re: ECAD MCAD Collaboration

Greetings,

We have Inventor and Orcad in the US and Inventor and EPLAN in Europe. We are not currently going to integrate EPLAN with Windchill, but do have plans for the future.  So sounds like our set up is nearly the same as yours.

 

We are also going to store our ECAD content as attachments to the WTDocument and a PDF as Primary Content. Then link to WTParts and so on, just as you indicate on your system.  Seems to be the most straight forward way to do it currently, and yes Change Management is quite a lot of fun, you have to manually update the WTDocuments to make certain all is correct. 

James Hall
Windchill 11.0 M030 CPS09
WGM 11.0 M030
Inventor Pro 2017

Re: ECAD MCAD Collaboration

Hi!

 

Thanks for the reply, very interesting. I'm not sure if I'm happy or not that I've understood it correct how it actually goes in Windchill   😄

What about you, are you using idx as Marco suggests?

Re: ECAD MCAD Collaboration

No, we do not use IDX files.

To try to be a bit more clear about our process.

We have WTDocuments that have a PDF in Primary content. The Gerber files are typically either all attached, or zipped and attached.  Since this conversation has started, I've discovered that our actual design files are not in that zip, and are not attached. (I'm not an Electrical guy, so I'm not clear what the difference is between Gerbers and design files).  Those are stored offline because some of our purchasing people have (in the past) sent them out to vendors, and this is a method of keeping them secure.  It's not a method that I think is really necessary, but there you are.

The WTDocuments are then used as Described By docs for the WTParts, and they go into the structure as always.  

I don't really like the manual upkeep of the WTDocuments in ECNs, but without ECAD integration, I'm not sure what else we could do.

James

Re: ECAD MCAD Collaboration

Amazing, just as I thought it would be, also the part about wtDocs with Described By Link. Thanks a lot for your input.

Anyhow, I know this approach is going to be hard to sell to engineering. Will be investigating the EPLAN integration. I'm still wondering how it would be better in terms of ECAD - MCAD collaboration.

 

I'm also not an Electrical guy so can't imagine yet what all there will be, but must pay attention to 'purchasing accidents'...

Re: ECAD MCAD Collaboration

Recently I had a meeting with EPLAN regarding integration. For the MCAD collaboration part their idea was to utilise .step-files attached to wtDocuments.

So, integration or not, you've got wtDocs to maintain.

Re: ECAD MCAD Collaboration

So if you wanted to add a CAD component to your assembly, you had to use a STEP file from a WTDoc?  That doesn't' seem very integrated at all.  I mean why even go beyond just attaching files?