Today’s products are undergoing a fundamental change. They are increasingly connected, logging data into the cloud and communicating with other products. They are increasingly smart, reading their own operation and environment in order to react intelligently. Such changes are arising due to a sea change in the product composition, with an ever-growing number of sensors, antennas, embedded systems, and electrical systems.

Despite increasing product complexity, engineering leadership seeks to further shorten development schedules, including those of board systems in embedded systems. One way to compress the development of board systems is to enable earlier and more continuous collaboration between electrical and mechanical engineers. Such a change would resolve design issues earlier in the development cycle, allowing compression of the overall cycle. However, the established approach is too error-prone to accomplish this goal. Instead, engineering leadership must look to broader, more novel, approaches.

The purpose of this report is to provide more details on this issue and to introduce one such novel approach. It compares approaches for electrical and mechanical engineers to collaborate more closely in an effort to compress the design of board systems.