To establish an effective collaboration environment it is necessary to define a protocol which is specific for the process of multi-domain collaboration. The common electromechanical tasks depend on the model exchange protocols which are based on standard industry protocols and they contain different model related information.

The EDMD protocol IDX is developed in order to increase the level of interoperability between the ECAD and MCAD domains. It is initiated by Mentor Graphics and supported by a consortium of vendors worldwide and lead by the ProSTEP iVIP in Darmstadt.

Initial Baseline in Mechatronic product development

Picture: Initial Baseline in Mechatronic product development

The IDX (Interdomain Design Exchange) XML schema, replaces the two older exchange formats which can only represent parts of the required data; DXF (Drawing Interchange Format) and IDF (Intermediate Data Format).

An improvement in cost, quality, and time to market saves time and money
Picture: An improvement in cost, quality, and time to market saves time and money

The basic difference is that IDX ECAD/MCAD collaboration is based on incremental changes, which enable ECAD and MCAD designers to work simultaneously in their authoring tools and exchange only data which they have to exchange mutual data. The result is to dramatically decrease development time, improve the quality and time to market saves time and money.

Incremental changes when using MECODES
Picture: Incremental changes when using MECODES

MECODES made a step further where the model exchange is enhanced with features which make the collaboration much easier on top of EDMD protocol collaboration.  MECODES uses the EDMD/IDX data model for incremental design changes and synchronization is guided and further enhanced that the data from the logical ECAD model is transferred correctly to the CATIA V5 or CATIA 3DEXPERIENCE environment. Such synchronization allows the engineers to see detailed data from opposite domains which are used and are important for design.

This is tracing the EDMD collaboration history, unique ECAD/MCAD library management, multi PCB development with multi ECAD design in same time. For example, CATIA 3D designer can work simultaneously with more PCB at the same time and with more ECAD vendor at the same time. CATIA 3D designer can work for one PCB in assembly with ECAD engineer who uses Mentor PADS software and for the second PCB on the same assembly with ECAD engineer who uses Cadence Allegro and for third PCB they can collaborate with Altium Designer ECAD engineer. These unique capabilities enable MCAD designer in CATIA V5 or 3DEXPERIENCE to communicate and work much efficient with all ECAD engineers and avoid many mistakes and iteration in design. The result is much faster and cost-effective development, the product is much more reliable, and time to market is significantly shorted.

Multi ECAD development with MECODESPicture: Multi ECAD development with the 3DEXPERIENCE