How to solve the issues in library management

Jun 19, 2024

The design and manufacturing of electrical wire harnesses (EWH) is a detailed process that necessitates precision and compliance with global standards. The utilization of automated software solutions for validating EWH designs plays a pivotal role in identifying and rectifying common, preventable errors early in the design or pre-production stages.

In this article, we discuss the significance of maintaining a well-managed library with software solutions and the continuous efforts required to ensure its relevance and accuracy in the face of evolving standards and component obsolescence.

The importance of a managed library

A managed library in the context of EWH design is a comprehensive database that contains detailed information about components, materials, and standards. This repository is not static; it is a living entity that requires ongoing updates and management to reflect the latest developments in the industry. The benefits of a well-maintained library are multifold:

  • Error minimization: By having access to a reliable and up-to-date library, engineers can significantly reduce the likelihood of incorporating incorrect or outdated components into their designs.

  • Compliance assurance: Staying current with global standards is essential for meeting regulatory requirements and ensuring product safety.

  • Efficiency in design: A managed library streamlines the selection process of components, allowing engineers to find suitable parts quickly and accurately.

The challenges in library management

Despite the clear advantages, the management of such a library presents several challenges:

  • Obsolescence monitoring: Components can become obsolete, necessitating regular reviews and updates to the library to avoid the inclusion of unavailable parts in new designs.

  • Prohibited components: Certain materials or components may be banned due to regulatory changes, requiring diligent monitoring to keep the library compliant.

  • Standardization: As global standards evolve, the library must adapt to reflect these changes to ensure that designs remain compliant.

  • Data integrity: The accuracy of the library is contingent on the reliability of the data sources. Discrepancies between manufacturer and supplier specifications can lead to inconsistencies and errors in the library.

The reality of data discrepancies

Data discrepancies between manufacturers and suppliers can lead to significant issues in the design process. For example, a manufacturer's specification may call out a Chromel material, while the supplier's specification lists a different material for the same component. Such inconsistencies can result in incorrect setups within the design system, potentially leading to failures in the field.

The disparity between supplier and manufacturer data sheets is a common issue. Components may be listed as available from a supplier, yet the manufacturer's data sheet indicates that the part is non-manufacturable. These discrepancies highlight the importance of sourcing data from multiple, reliable sources.

The Solution: A Dynamic, Accurate Library

To combat these challenges, a dynamic, living, integrated and accurate software based library is essential. This library must be:

  • Attribute-Based: A huge attribute-based library allows for detailed specifications of each component.

  • Verified: Data must be pulled from suppliers and APIs to verify that the parts listed are actually available in the marketplace.

  • Normalized: To ensure homogeneity, it's crucial to transform attributes to a common language across different manufacturers.

  • Updated: Continuous updates to the library are necessary to reflect changes in the industry and the introduction of new components.

  • Engineered and Scaled: Expert domain engineers define the data mapping, which is then scaled using sophisticated software tools.

  • Data Model Capturing: A data model that supports form, fit, and function is developed to enable the integration of components and understanding of alternates.

Case Study: The Mighty Mouse Connector

Consider the example of the Mighty Mouse connector. Different manufacturers, such as Glenair and Amphenol, may meet the same military specification (D38999) but represent their data attributes differently. A dynamically managed library would capture these variations in form and function, allowing engineers to make informed decisions about component interchangeability.


The management of a library within EWH design software is a continuous and complex process that is essential for the production of reliable and compliant wire harnesses. The dynamic nature of standards and component availability necessitates an ongoing commitment to library maintenance. By leveraging engineering expertise and advanced software tools, it is possible to create a library that not only meets the current industry demands but is also equipped to adapt to future changes. The integrity and depth of the library are critical to the success of EWH design, and as such, it should be regarded as a key component in the design validation process.