The Rising Demand for Routed Electrical Collaboration

A couple of weeks ago, I published an article that focused on the need for collaboration between electrical and mechanical engineers called It Takes Two: Modern Circuit Board Design. In it, I wrote that the development of circuit boards really does require some tight work back and forth between these two types of engineers because there are constraints on both sides that need to be satisfied.

Well, circuit board design isn’t the only aspect of smart, connected products that require electrical and mechanical engineers to work in concert. Routed electrical systems, composed of wires, cables, and harnesses is another aspect. That’s what we’ll be diving into with this post.


Harness Design: On the Critical Path

If your organization is still getting its ‘sea legs’ when it comes to developing smart, connected products, then don’t worry: you’re not alone. Many companies are trying to figure out the intricacies of developing software code, integrating electronics into mechanical design, or figuring out what data to send to an Internet of Things (IoT) platform. Lots of folks are climbing up a pretty steep learning curve.

There is one area, however, that is a frequent stumbling block: the development of routed electrical systems. Those wires, cables, and harnesses deliver power to all electronics and carry signals between sensors, antennas, and embedded systems. Despite its critical role in smart, connected products, many organizations don’t see its development as a high priority. That’s a major oversight. In this post, we’re going to look at the timing of the development of harnesses, the needs of modern engineers to support concurrent harness design, and the technology capabilities needed to enable that change.

Let’s get started.

electrical diagram

It Takes Two: Modern Circuit Board Design

Today, the entire world is abuzz with the Internet of Things (IoT) and smart, connected products. These interconnected trends are affecting practically every industry, transforming business models, and impacting almost every phase of a product’s lifecycle.

At the center of these offerings sit circuit boards and the software that runs on them. Together, they act as the brain of the smart, connected product. They process sensor data. They send signals to actuated components. They communicate with IoT platforms.

Developing modern circuit boards, however, is no simple task for an engineer. In fact, it requires tight coordination between the electrical engineer and mechanical engineer on several fronts. We’ll be exploring those activities in this post.

Electromagnetic Simulation for Electrical Systems: Right the First Time

There’s no doubt about it: the world is moving into the era of smart, connected products. Alongside IoT, smart connected products are affecting practically every industry, transforming business models, and impacting almost every phase of a product’s lifecycle.

Unfortunately, many companies are finding that developing smart, connected products is no easy task. Sensors pick up the wrong readings. Harnesses don’t transmit signals fast enough. Processors produce errors. The source of these problems is often elusive. As a result, many companies experience significant delays in getting products to market.

In this post, we’ll look at a common problem in the development of smart connected products, Electromagnetic Interference (EMI), and how simulation can help you avoid it.