The increasing number of ICs and sensors, as well as electric motors and control units, in vehicles is having profound implications for automotive's once mechanics-dominated design flows. Design software helps, as noted by the Boston Consulting Group: "By adopting design and simulation tools, automakers will find that they can significantly improve product development processes."
But the services tool vendors offer alongside their products are becoming equally important in this dynamic design environment. A technical article from Mentor Automotive Services considers the need to integrate the two fields.
"Better together: tools and services solutions accelerate automative electrical design" addresses the challenge in two ways.
First, it describes implementation based on the Siemens Advantedge delivery model (Figure 1). This avoids "risky big-bang, mass rollouts" of new tools and methodologies. "Instead," write authors Scott Majdecki and Andrew Macleod, "we emphasize iterative scalable cycles that allow for flexibility of adoption, and that mimic best practices in software deployments from a host of other contexts." (Siemens acquired Mentor in 2017)
Second, Majdecki and Macleod describe three examples of tool-and-service integration based around Mentor's Capital suite for electrical system and wire harness design. The examples feature training, design flow homogenization, and the repurposing of an existing design process. In one case, the user found that Mentor's deployment program delivered annual savings of $350,000 and reduced harness cycle-time by 80%.
The paper also highlights Mentor's ability to draw on its broader tool portfolio and company expertise across IC and electronic system design.
"New methodologies long used in IC, software and system design are increasingly dominant in the evolving automotive supply chain," write Majdecki and Macleod. "Such methodologies include rapid platform design (software/hardware), simulation and test, and electrical architecture optimization - all enabled by advanced software design tools and the know-how to make the most of them."