New and smart: ECAD interface for SAP ECTR

SAP Engineering Control Center interface to ECAD – a new milestone on the way to efficient mechatronic product development, and fully integrated in SAP Product Lifecycle Management

The SAP Engineering Control Center interface to ECAD (Electronic Computer-Aided Design) has been on the market since October 2016: a standard interface for the simple connection of ECAD software to SAP PLM, developed jointly by the companies DSC Software and XPLM Solution. The new solution extends the interface spectrum of the integration platform SAP Engineering Control Center, which until recently was focused on MCAD. Thus the ECAD connection is an important step towards the fully integrated engineering environment – also with a view to mechatronics, in which mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, and information technology interact across many disciplines. That means: product data across engineering disciplines is merged in the SAP system and linked there with engineering processes as well as downstream business processes, including economic processes – for improved company performance and competitiveness.

In light of increasing digitalization, Industry 4.0, and Internet of Things (IoT), products are becoming ever more complex: through the combination of mechanical, electronic, and software components. Thus design data comes from different sources and is often maintained on several systems. That makes it difficult and expensive to keep data consistent and up-to-date on all sides. It also makes it difficult for developers and designers to have a permanently updated product overview as well as fast access to information.

Thanks to the new interface, electronics data can now be managed and updated completely consistently in the SAP system and linked with mechanics data – absolutely conveniently: both directly from the respective ECAD tool and also in the intuitive R&D cockpit of SAP ECTR. Designers now have at all times a consolidated overall view of their project data, e.g. on PCBAs with all their components and manufacturing data. That simplifies interdisciplinary collaboration in engineering, boosts efficiency, agility and process security, and shortens development and innovation cycles.

As a central SAP component for implementing digital transformation, SAP Engineering Control Center offers a flexible integration platform for all types of authoring tools. The currently available interfaces, which range from MCAD and ECAD to MS Office, are to be followed by others: such as for Application Lifecycle Management (ALM), Systems Engineering or Simulation (CAE). Notwithstanding, DSC delivers many lucrative add-ons for SAP ECTR. E.g., further-reaching links: from CAM and DNC to production planning to tool-data/lifecycle management. Or infrastructure modules for process automation, performance optimization, and cross-location data provision. Thus companies can profit immediately from the many additional benefits of consistently SAP based product creation.

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