XPLM: Using PLM to Integrate ECAD and MCAD Data


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During AltiumLive in Munich, I met with Robert Huxel, XPLM’s director of business development for EMEA and APAC. XPLM offers data integration for some of the big EDA tool companies, and their tools can integrate ECAD and MCAD data into PLM systems. I asked Robert to tell us about the requirements of today’s PLM tools, the changing world of ECAD and MCAD integration, and whether these two types of data are ever going to converge.

Andy Shaughnessy: Good morning, Robert. Can you tell us a little about XPLM?

Robert Huxel: XPLM is one of the most popular providers of integration between engineering applications and PLM systems. And if I’m going to talk about engineering applications or authoring tools, we are talking about mechanical design, electronic design, electrical design, software, simulation, and some other tasks.

Meanwhile, you have the business world. We’re talking about the life-cycle management area. Product management means that these disciplines of the engineering side must somewhere come together to build up a project, and a project doesn’t consist of just an enclosure or a PCB or a cable; it is a combination of all of them.

Years ago, at the very beginning of this upcoming world of PLM systems, the integration from mechanical applications was popular. Every mid-range and high-end company wanted to have an integration of their ECAD data to MCAD to the PLM world. That’s where XPLM came from around 15 years ago—integrating those types of applications—followed by electrical cable and harness design. Today, many companies demand an integration from ECAD tools to the PLM world. For ECAD tools, we are talking about Altium, Cadence, Mentor, and many more.

Shaughnessy: I understand that you’re partnering with PTC also.

Huxel: Exactly. PTC is quite a special partner. PTC had their own ECAD integration and they “sunset” this integration. Now, XPLM is the qualified partner for making integrations between the ECAD world and PTC, the Windchill software PLM system.

To read this article, which appeared in the April 2019 issue of Design007 Magazine, click here.

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