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
Make sense? Change management will be a lot of fun.
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?
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.
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.
Windchill 11.0 M030 CPS09
WGM 11.0 M030
Inventor Pro 2017
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?
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.
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'...
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.
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?
Did you get further with the integration of EPLAN - Inventor - Windchill? And, if so, is it generally a positive experience?
We are having already Inventor and Windchill and are considering EPLAN for electrical system design and harness documentation.
I am not really expecting some full integration. What I imagine is, that MCAD 3D model is exported as STEP file into EPLAN Harness ProD, where the haness is then designed from EPLAN data and the STEP model. From this, the harness documentation should be derived. For the visual presentation, A STEP model of the harness may then be exported from EPLAN and back to the Inventor 3D model.
While I imagine we need this less integrated approach to develop the documentation, I still expect that Windchill will be able to organize this more stringent through the WTparts.
If you have comments to the above, it would be great.
No, we took a timeout with the whole thing. I haven't even followed up if there'd be something more sophisticated nowadays regarding the EPLAN integration.