MECODES is integrating the mechatronic approach into the two most frequently used CAD tools. As the primary integration platform for the mechatronic approach, the CATIA V5 or SolidWorks 2013 as the MCAD solution and the Altium Designer 10/12 as ECAD authoring tool have been selected. The common tasks in each CAD tool are tracked at appropriate steps in multi-domain collaboration.
To establish an efficient collaboration environment it is necessary to introduce a version control system which is specific for the process of multi-domain collaboration. Since the mechatronic products are usually made out of components which have to be represented in both CAD systems, there is a common integrated library where such components are stored and which can be manipulated and synchronized. The common electro-mechanical tasks depend on the model exchange protocols which are based on standard industry protocols and they contain different model related information. In spite of common understanding between engineers it was also necessary to introduce a communication environment for efficient message exchange.
The MECODES communication environment is an open and standard based XMPP protocol messaging system, and as such is supporting integration to the other messaging environments like IBM SameTime messaging system or Google Talk. Within the communication environment the user has the ability to chat with other users, transfer files back and forth and even to talk to other users if the sound equipment is available.
Typical examples of advanced functionalities
available in the MECODES are:
PIN Swap - electrical pin connections swapping within the CATIA V5 system
Component change within CATIA V5 or
SolidWorks followed by design synchronization with Altium Designer up to the schematic level
PCB library management - preparation and customization of the common components used within the collaboration system
PCB routes in CATIA V5 or SolidWorks – different types of electrical routes visible in the SolidWorks model
Multiple PCB board design - engineers can work on several PCB boards within the same project