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MAY 2019 I DESIGN007 MAGAZINE 79 "File-based methods of ECAD/MCAD collaboration are reaching their limits, and the negative effects on the prod- uct development process are growing," said Nikolay Ponomarenko, director of product management for Altium. "PCBs are core components of mechatronic as- semblies and design teams can no lon- ger afford to have them designed out- side of the whole product context." Ponomarenko continued, "By en- abling a direct integration between the ECAD and MCAD domains through a dedicated extension that lives and op- erates within the MCAD environment, designers and engineers can seamless- ly collaborate through a simple 'push- and-pull' operation. This eliminates the need to manage and exchange data via external files, such as IDF, IDX, or STEP to accurately communicate updates from one domain to another." How to Proceed First and foremost, take a look at your options and decide what is best for you. The format and process that works well for one organization might not for an- other. Also, be assured that the existing data exchange file formats are not going away anytime soon, so there is no need to rush your decision regarding what to do next. Once you've finally settled on what format you're going to use, you need to figure out your evaluation and implementation strategy. To ensure suc- cess, document the process and edu- cate the design teams to ensure every- one in your organization understands the methodology. DESIGN007 Linda Mazzitelli is the prod- uct management director at PTC responsible for ECAD design data management, visualization, and ECAD partner management. Viennese Scientists Develop Promising New Type of Polymers Organic polymers can be found in solar cells, sensors, LEDs, and many other technical applications today. One spe- cific type—S-PPVs—were previously regarded as promising, but were almost impossible to produce until recently. Now, a team from Technische Universität Wien has managed to iden- tify a new chemical synthesis process for the production of S-PPVs. PPV polymers have a long, solid hydrocarbon structure to which certain side groups are attached. By choosing differ- ent side groups, it is possible to set the electronic properties of the material. Until now, O-PPVs have been used for this. "If it is possible to replace oxygen side groups with sul- phur side groups, this creates a new polymer—an S-PPV— which has significantly improved properties," says Florian Glöcklhofer from the Institute of Applied Synthetic Chemistry at TU Wien. "We knew that this could lead to improvements in the transport of electrical current and would significantly im- prove the overall stability of the polymer." After four years of work and numerous bitter setbacks, the team finally succeeded in discovering a reliable, straightfor- ward method for producing S-PPVs. Suitable monomers are manufactured with the help of microwave radiation, which are polymerized, and the side groups can then be further modified. The new synthesis method has now been patented with the help of TU Wien's Research and Transfer Support. Accord- ing to Glöcklhofer, the synthesis uses inexpensive base ma- terials and does not require any palladium catalysts or simi- lar expensive interim steps. (Source: Technische Universität Wien)

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