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A Marriage Made in Engineering Heaven

Engineering HeavenThis post concludes our three-part conversation with Manny Marcano, president, and CEO of EMA. Throughout the series, readers have been transported across an operatic range of emotion with design stories that highlighted the benefits of the EMA and Arena marriage and tragic tales of engineers forced to toggle between siloed design systems. If you have not read Manny’s thoughts on design in our previous blog posts, be sure to check them out here and here.

Arena: Let’s talk about the actual user experience. The electrical data and approved components from Arena are conveniently displayed inside the OrCAD solution, correct?

EMA: Yes, that’s a big feature. If a part number changes in an engineering change order (ECO) on the Arena side, that information is simultaneously brought into OrCAD.  This gives engineering the opportunity to immediately see the part change and identify early on that the subject part is not recommended for new designs or the part is obsolete (EOL). Traditionally, that has never existed. Transparency and immediacy are the key takeaways.

Arena: You have a term “zero-touch BOM”, which means — when your design is complete — you push a button and it generates a bill of material ready to release to PLM. How do you achieve that?

EMA: We do a number of process assessments for customers, where we spend time with engineering, manufacturing, and other groups. We like to understand their design environment and specific processes to make actionable recommendations.  A standard-issue we find is that engineers are spending hours, or even days, trying to copy all related PLM data into their BOM and other clean-up tasks before they ever upload the BOM into their PLM system. By allowing OrCAD users to design with PLM component data and providing some smart BOM generation capabilities, we’re removing an enormous obstruction that keeps them from going to production sooner.  Also by removing the manual steps, we eliminate the possibility of mistakes due to skipped steps or copy errors.

Arena: To that end, you’ve probably heard your share of horror stories related to the complications that result when systems aren’t “tied together.”

EMA: Exactly right. I worked with a company that created a design based on a chip an engineer found a datasheet for on the web.  As usual, they were in a hurry to get the design done and get a prototype produced, but when they went to their distributor, they found that the chip was not stocked and becoming obsolete.  Since this was the anchor chip for the design, the result was pretty much a complete redesign and a significant hit to their schedule.  Designing with obsolete parts or non-stocked parts is probably the biggest problem we see that can be easily eliminated by using OrCAD and Arena PLM together.

Arena: What should manufacturers know about this alliance and the value it offers?

EMA: The notion that inside your OrCAD tool you could interact with a PLM system is a new concept to the market. There’s a common misconception that ECAD and PLM systems can’t be integrated without a significant investment in time, money, and lots of manual customizations that becomes a nightmare to maintain. Because of this many organizations think it’s simply too hard and stay with the old inefficient methods we have been discussing. What this alliance offers is an “out-of-the-box” solution to ECAD and PLM integration that can be implemented very quickly and at a relatively low cost.

We often hear of ECAD/MCAD co-design but I suggest, you’ve never heard of ECAD/PLM co-design. This is what we are enabling. Manufacturers today, can benefit from this integration in several ways: quicker time to market, better efficiency, and tamping down risk. For engineers, ECAD/PLM co-design is a game-changer.

To learn more about this exciting integration and how it can help you design products with fewer iterations, saving time, avoiding errors, and eliminating manual entry, sign up for tomorrow’s webinar.