Mentor Graphics introduces cable harness engineering suite

June 02, 2011 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Recognizing the importance of cable harnesses as a pivotal component in today's cars and aircraft systems, design software vendor Mentor Graphics has significantly enhanced its Capital Harness software suite to cover the entire product life cycle from definition to workshop service.

The existing software for cable harness design will be complemented by three components which extend the workflow to upstream and downstream segments. The complete tool suite covers cable harness complexity management, manufacturing, documentation and servicing of vehicles.

The move reflects the increasing importance of cable harnesses in today's vehicles: The cable harness is not only the second heaviest component in cars today; it is also the lynchpin for the individualization and differentiation of the cars, which in turn is the key to the market strategy of many OEMs. The increasing number of car options and variants translates into an enormous complexity in the harness, since each option requires a different version of the harness. 

 

Define, design, build and service - these are the phases in a cable harness life cycle covered by Mentor's new Capital software suite

 

Two of the new tools introduced by Mentor address the complexity topic. The first one, Capital Level Manager, helps designers to minimize the costs caused by the complexity of the configurations. It is based on a property-oriented design paradigm and produces a numerical feedback of the complexity and the resulting costs. Connecting marketing and engineering aspects, it aligns configuration and product marketing intentions. The Capital Level Manager is typically used in an early stage of the platform definition but it can also help to gain insight into the impact of new functions to the configuration complexity during the production phase of the product, explained Product Marketing Director Nigel Hughes.

The second new tool also addresses complexity. While it also supports conventional superset approaches Capital Modular XC focuses more on modular processes, allowing designers to generate several configuration options based on harness fragments. The tool will typically be used in the production phase. Mentor already announced to introduce further software tools aiming at this phase of the product life cycle.

Capital Publisher is another tool of the newly formed suite. It speeds