Zuken moves beyond EDA tools to data management

EDA tool suppliers need to be more than tool suppliers.

Wolfgang Heinrichs

Wolfgang Heinrichs

This is the view of Zuken, which is in throes of changing its business to add data management software to its existing PCB and cable harness design tool.

“We recognise we are not just selling tools, we are helping the customer to be integrated into the supply chain,” Wolfgang Heinrichs, managing director, Zuken Contact told Electronics Weekly.

“Our tools are horizontal tool, but we see an increasing demand from our customers for vertical integration,” said Heinrichs.

Zuken believes this applies to the handling of design data within a company. It already has data management tool for PCB design data and now it has introduced its first software tool for managing data in cable harness, control system and fluid design.

“We offered our first data management tool for PCB design in 2004 and it took maybe four to six years to be adopted,” said Heinrichs.

The company recognised for the data tool to be effective there must be open interfaces with component data sheets and integration to the materials supply chain.

“Just throwing ZIP files and pdfs over the world cannot work,” said Heinrichs.

“There is not a closed approach, our systems are open; open APIs and software development kits,” said Heinrichs.

“The ERP system works with price and part number data only, this tool adds meta-data, schematics and electrical parameters,” said Heinrichs.

The firm allows the user to manage the E3.series design data for wire, harness, cable, control system and fluid design in its native format.

E3.EDM (Engineering Data Management) builds on Zuken’s E3.series and Contact Software’s CIM DATABASE EDM platform to provide data and process management integrated into E3.series.

According to Heinrichs, electrical and fluid design have specific requirements for data and process management that are not been covered by existing engineering IT systems.

“By using the native E3.series data model, designs are managed on a sheet and device level, which means engineers will not have to adapt their work process to the EDM tools,” said Heinrichs.

“This is a change in philosophy and approach to product development and practically will involve four or five processes working together,” said Heinrichs.

The management tools can be integrated into existing PLM and ERP systems, and is scalable “even down to a single licence”, said Heinrichs.

The E3.EDM has been developed by Zuken Contact, a joint venture set up to develop engineering data management software.

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