Improve Design Efficiency

Electrical Design Validation Using E3.eCheck

Design validation

One of the fundamental requirements of an effective design process is its ability to produce high-quality products with the least input and overhead. A process without a robust in-design error and functional analysis will inevitably face quality and reliability challenges. The most successful product design teams in electrical or any other design stream all have a rigorous design validation process.  

Having said that, design validation, especially in the electrical stream, is not all that common. One of the main reasons for the lack of validation is the perceived overhead on engineering. E3.eCheck is a very low overhead design validation system built on the basic building blocks of a robust electrical design suite.

E3.eCheck

Under-engineering or over-engineering

The terms; ‘design validation’ and ‘simulation’ are often confused. A full in-depth simulation of a product design does add significant overhead. Although the overhead is justified in some cases, in a lot of scenarios, it is not feasible. Regrettably, the path of least resistance (pun intended) is to not validate the design. Engineering teams, sometimes unknowingly, either adopt the policy of being overly cautious or deal with misplaced overconfidence in their designs.

In other words, teams suffer from over-engineering or under-engineering. The results of under-engineering are apparent. They manifest as low performance, unreliable and difficult-to-support products. The results of over-engineering are more complex. Therefore, they can be seen in the form of higher costs, size, weight, and other competitive performance metrics.

Firstly, the effects of over-engineering are challenging to unearth and fix. Secondly, brute force trial and error methods of design are certainly undesirable. Thirdly, even the under-engineered product requires multiple incremental improvements to get the desired result. Unsurprisingly, not a very efficient or popular set of solutions. Therefore, neither over-engineering nor under-engineering is desired. Simply put, going back and fixing designs is much more complex than getting it right the first time around.

Electrical Design Validation

Circuit analysis

E3.eCheck provides a significant advantage to engineering teams. The interaction between the circuit and the key elements of the electrical function (voltage, current, load, etc.) is available to the engineer through E3.eCheck. The use of electrical checking of DC circuits within the electrical design fuel active design improvements. For example, the performance data about the effectivity of a power supply to support all the devices within operating parameters reduces the risk of on-field failures.

Similarly, the wire length and the current flowing through it informs the decision to select the appropriate values. Furthermore, it is important to know if the circuit functions as intended. So, when a switch changes state, it is invaluable to know if the fuse is ‘blown’ or the light is ‘ON’. The active and immediate feedback helps engineers course-correct on the go and get the designs right the first time around.

Circuit Analysis

Validation with E3.eCheck

In conclusion, it is important to clarify E3.eCheck is not a simulation solution. It is a smart electrical design validation solution. Remarkably, a lot can be achieved with a simpler design validation process without the excessive overheads of simulation. Since, manual calculations, discussions, and design reviews are labor-intensive. Therefore, they are not conducive to a fast-paced design cycle.

Conversely, software-driven processes speed up the design cycle. Hence, software-driven error checking, circuit analysis, and validation is the most effective solution to reap the benefits of analysis without the additional overhead. Successful engineering teams work extremely hard to strike a balance between over- and under-engineering. The combination of circuit analysis, design validation, and error checking is a powerful step in the right direction.

At ZIW Americas in April, we invite you to join our Electrical Circuit Validation with E3.eCheck class to learn more. In this class, you will learn the basic setup process, best practices and various design validation options available in E3.eCheck.

Written by

Sanu Warrier has been a product leader in the Electrical industry working with multiple solutions over the last decade. He has been helping customers find effective solutions to their design challenges, drawing from R&D experience in software, hardware and solutions development. He is a self-professed foody and loves to dabble in gastronomic alchemy as often as possible. The main focus for Sanu continues to be Eliminating inefficiencies, improving design processes and reducing costs to improve your competitive advantage.

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