Wiring system development is a multi-level, work-intensive process, in which a highly individualized, complex product is created. To provide effective support for this process, the Vehicle Electrical System Workflow Forum (VES WF) is defining the Vehicle Electric Container (VEC) as a complete digital product model and developing methods for cross-company, model-based development. In addition to further development and maintenance of the standards Vehicle Electric Container (VEC , PSI 21 / VDA 4968) and Harness Description List (KBL, PSI 19 / VDA 4964), the project group is developing implementation guidelines and use case-related tutorials to prevent the creation of dialects.
The ECAD Implementor Forum (ECAD IF) is a platform for system providers. It provides vendors and users with support for implementing and testing solutions based on the previously mentioned standards in the form of implementation guidelines and joint rounds of testing. The activities carried out by the VES WF and ECAD IF are closely related. Vendors will be involved early in the review of the implementation guidelines and in the discussion of open issues and planned extensions to the model.
Last year, the VES WF completed most of the work involved in implementing requirements for mapping criteria relating to automation capability in the context of wire harness manufacturing in accordance with DIN 72036. This will make it possible in the future to assess the ability to manufacture a wire harness based on its VEC description. Requirements regarding the cross-organizational exchange of digital changes were recorded and assessed. They provide the basis for mapping the development process for wiring systems in the context of Industry 4.0. At the VEC Day, which was held as part of the Wiring Systems Convention in Landshut, the project group made an impact with interesting presentations and a parallel workshop dealing with various aspects of the digital twin in the context of wiring systems.
One of the focal points of the ECAD IF in 2022 was a review of the implementation guidelines, which restrict the freedom of the VEC in several areas in order to make it easier for developers to implement interoperable solutions. The project group also worked intensively on the upcoming update of the VEC model to version 2.x. It contains numerous adaptations that are the result of the experience gained from implementations. This version marks a switch to a new versioning concept that makes it possible to identify backward compatibility based on the version numbers (semantic versioning).
One of the challenges faced was finding the right combination of face-to-face events and online conferences for the task at hand. The approach now established in the VES WF, which involves regular team meetings, worked well when dealing with more simple processes. In the context of conceptual work, on the other hand, the careful return to face-to-face meetings proved beneficial. Members of the ECAD IF are happy with the regular, bi-weekly hour-long team meetings. They do not miss face-to-face meetings for routine coordination activities but prefer them for hands-on workshops. The savings in terms of cost and the time spent traveling are generally welcomed.
The processing and implementation of VEC-specific issues and the creation of additional implementation guidelines will remain a key focus of the work performed in VES WF in 2023. It is intended that the VEC model be reviewed and expanded to make it possible to map the requirements for exchanging digital changes across organizations. The project group will also address new topics relating to the digital twin of wiring systems, wiring system development in the cloud and the Industry 4.0 administration shell, which resulted from the VEC Day workshop. The ECAD IF plans to conduct rounds of testing involving master data, circuit diagrams and wiring.
"The ongoing, active participation of project members in the workshops and online conferences has made it possible for us to continue our work on standardizing wiring system development without restrictions, despite the aftermath of the pandemic, and to achieve the goals we had set for 2022. The return to face-to-face meetings has facilitated and expedited technical discussions and the resolution of complex issues."
"What we hope to achieve this year is to develop technical and methodological solution scenarios for cross-enterprise collaboration based on the scope of the changes and to embed these scenarios in the context of initiatives such as Industry 4.0 and the administration shell. Our long-term goal is to create cloud-based development networks in which digital product models can be developed simultaneously by different stakeholders in an efficient and consistent manner."