The Design Collaboration Flow
The design of electrical systems in both commercial and defense aircraft is a unique challenge since the electrical design and physical routing are interdependent. The mechanical designers need to work with up to date information on the wiring systems in order to design the optimal routing paths in consideration of mechanical and physical constraints, while the electrical designers need physical routing information to organize the wiring into wiring bundles and harnesses and to analyze voltage drops and signal strength. Tight schedules, regulatory requirements and increased demand on the performance of electrical systems make ECAD/MCAD collaboration critical to the implementation and design of the electrical wiring interconnection systems (EWIS). HarnesSYS is fully integrated as an add-on to both CATIA and NX. The mechanical designer needs only to learn a few basic functions in the add-on to be able to transfer and receive electrical data from HarnesSYS and to interact with HarnesSYS from within the MCAD platform.
Knowing that detailed electrical design is often available relatively late in the project, HarnesSYS provides the mechanical designer with valuable data at the preliminary design stage, so changes and iterations down the road are reduced to a minimum. By transferring reliable data back and forth using the respective platforms, the design is synchronized, mistakes are kept to a minimum and schedule risks are averted. The mechanical designer can access HarnesSYS part lists and check that all applicable parts have been defined and are coherent with the electrical design. Since each discipline is the owner of different aspects of the harness physical dimensions, digital collaboration between them is a necessity. The electrical designer receives physical data including lengths directly from the MCAD model, while the mechanical designer receives the bundle diameter required to allocate the space and calculate bending radii, based on the wiring content of the bundle, from HarnesSYS.
HarnesSYS creates a layout diagram automatically using the electrical data from within its database and the physical data transferred from MCAD platforms. Mechanical users can view the harness design in NX and in HarnesSYS simultaneously, and navigate the individual objects synchronously in both programs. This allows the mechanical designer to review the HarnesSYS layout diagram in its native software platform, and share the comments with the electrical designer as necessary.