We have a customer that has Altium Designer for their PCBs and will use STEP or IDF format to exchange data with Solid Edge.
He was asking if he can use Solid Edge 2D Draft environment to create their wiring circuits or does he need an external ECAD solution (like Zucken E3, Bentley promis-e or Mentor Vesys), as SE has a library for electrical components.
As we don't have much experience on the electrical area of CAD, could someone tell me if SE Draft is enough or what would be the advantages of using an external ECAD solution?
Electrical design is so far removed from mechanical I would expect another package to be involved. The main issues are inetration with curcuit design, controls, and part number systems. Talk with the people doing the electrical work and let them use what they want.
If you're talking about just electrical schematics, Solid Edge 2D would work fine. But if you are wanting to actually make PCB's, I don't think edge would be your best bet. It could certainly be used as well as say Autocad, but not if you're actually wanting to create PCB's and not just diagram out the electrical stuff.
For the PCBs, they are using Altium Designer. They just need another tool for the general wiring, and that's my doubt: is SE 2D enough or they need EPlan, Zuken, etc?
Pretty sure Altium Designer can create schematics, but as far as using SE, you can do that easy enough if all you need out of it is a drawing. ECAD apps have certain intelligence about circuits that result in able to use what was designed in downstream processes like generating a net list or even performing electrical and logic analysis. They are usually also easier to create/edit a schematic in because of special purpose automation of design standards.
When thinking about Ecad a good point is to exchange data between the Ecad and the Mcad.
This things are good to have with schematics and P&IDs too
See the Videos as an example:
P&ID with Solid Edge
ECAD with Solid Edge
They will use Altium Designer for PCB design. For schematics, they asked us if SE 2D Draft was enough or should they go for a 3rd party solution like Zuken E3, Mentor VeSys or Bentley Promis.e. With these solutions, they can export .con/.cmp/.xml files into Solid Edge Wire Harness Wizard to define the connectors and components of the circuit, and then SE could write those files in order for them to be imported back into the ECAD with the cut length info.
So I asked if SE 2D Draft was enough? If so, how can you pass the info from the 2D into the Solid Edge Wire Harness wizard so it creates the connectors and components defined in the circuit?
You can't. SE Draft does not have the intelligence that is needed for the export. You need information such as:
When imported into Wire Harness, this data then knows based on the equivalent 3D model with same Device ID and terminal IDs how to route the wire point to point and what kind of wire to use.
SE Draft is only good for a picture of the schematic and maybe a Component list using a Block Table.
If using Wire Harness, you need a real schematic tool that generates the "net list" and there is a fair amount of setup in it and SE to efficiently use it in Wire Harness.