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Arena and EMA Renew Vows for Powerful Advanced Integration

Puzzle_PieceArena recently renewed its vows with strategic partner EMA, a company which provides a data management solution for Cadence® OrCAD®, with a powerfully advanced integration.

Many EMA customers are already using Arena PLM today. Manny Marcano, president and CEO of EMA, believes that — with this advanced integration — mutual customers can be assured their product and engineering data are in sync and work together as a unified system. We interviewed Marcano to get his perspective on the value that the Arena-OrCAD advanced integration offers customers.

Arena: The advanced integration provides the next level of connection between Arena PLM and the OrCAD PCB environment. It allows engineering to interact with and access PLM level data without having to leave the OrCAD UI. This is important because it reduces the number of systems an engineer needs to use and learn. How do you see this impacting the design process?

EMA: It allows the engineering team to get manufacturing and procurement in the loop earlier in the design process, which fixes the typical “throw it over the wall” manufacturing headaches that exist in most organizations. This enables the entire product team to collaborate and identify potential problems and cost saving opportunities earlier, ensuring maximum profitability for the product while reducing any schedule surprises due to last minute engineering or supply changes.

Arena: Competition is increasing across all industries, and time-to-market pressures are only getting worse. Companies need to not only innovate by delivering great products, but also by driving innovative product development processes to stay competitive. How does this more advanced integration help?

EMA: The new level of integration between OrCAD and Arena is unique in the market. It enables companies to accelerate the product development process and provide better products faster through a streamlined and collaborative process.

Arena: The original integration provided a connection between the OrCAD CIS library and Arena PLM. What is the biggest difference between the original and advanced integration?

EMA: Let me clarify a bit. The original integration provided engineering access to critical data like part availability, life cycle status and cost at design time, but it only delivered a one-way flow of data. The advanced integration expands on that by enabling a bi-directional flow of data between OrCAD and Arena PLM. Actions in the OrCAD environment can be populated into Arena PLM and the OrCAD user can dynamically query Arena PLM for critical information like “where-used” data. This gives engineering the ability to make fully informed design decisions based on all relevant engineering and corporate data. It also allows other impacted team members, that are responsible for various aspects of the product development process (like procurement), visibility earlier in the design cycle, ensuring design decisions are made with overall project goals and requirements in mind.

Arena: The advanced integration helps companies keep their product teams in sync. Many companies experience problems because key stakeholders often end up working in a vacuum without timely access to key information that is not made available to them until much later in the design process when the design is considered “done” and passed off to manufacturing. Can you give me an example of the problems this can cause in the design processes?

EMA: Sure. One example is during new part introduction. Often, the first time the purchasing department learns about new components in the design is when they receive the final bill of material (BOM) from engineering. The supply chain team needs to then quickly go qualify each new part to make sure it will meet all the criteria required for a successful product launch (e.g. cost, compliance, availability, obsolescence).

Just getting this information can take some time. But, what if the new components specified are not available or do not meet the compliance requirements? What if there was already a component that would have worked just as well in the corporate system and engineering just didn’t know about it? Both of these scenarios can result in a significant waste of time and money, and in the case where the component in question does not meet requirements — it can even result in a re-spin.

We here at Arena believe the bottom line is this: The advanced integration between OrCAD and Arena provides the next logical step in connecting the OrCAD PCB design environment with Arena PLM. For more information, read the press release and register for the August 19th Arena-OrCAD Integration Webinar.