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July 2007 edition

Automating electrical systems and wiring design in today’s aerospace industry provides a complex challenge

By Martin O’Brien, general manager, integrated electrical systems division, Mentor

Integration of system electronics and design of interconnect wiring harnesses is a very challenging task in the complex platforms found in the aerospace industry. From commercial aircraft to satellites to military products, competitive pressures continue to drive up demands on electrical design processes. Safety and reliability are still key drivers, but other pressures continue to impact in the form of reduced cycle times and minimised engineering overhead. A critical question is “how can we accommodate increased market and globalisation pressures while maintaining competitive cost and high quality”? OEMs and suppliers seek dramatic productivity shifts to answer such questions.

Furthermore, electrical system design is itself becoming more complex. This is due not only to the sheer volume of electronic content but also a result of the changes to the electrical technologies deployed, such as digital bus networks. This is putting additional demands on the design engineer and consequently on the Electrical Computer Aided Design (ECAD) tools used by that engineer. Increasing attention is being paid to implementing ECAD solutions that facilitate modern electrical design and simulation, automate systems integration and assist in harness engineering and manufacture – with all this based on a solid backbone that handles complex data flows across the ECAD environment and beyond. Key ....

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Mentor Graphics Corporation Computer-aided Design

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