PCB Design Data Management

DS-CR: Manage PCB Data and Workflow

PCB Design Data ManagementDS-CR is designed specifically for electronic design and manufacturing engineers to provide them with current, validated CAD component libraries, schematic and PCB layout data and material information to:

  • Manage and consolidate material information and parts lists in a controlled release and revision process
  • Manage tasks and workflows for change and approval processes
  • Support intelligent design configuration and reuse through module management.

DS-CR offers a reliable source of information for all product development and change activities.

Direct integration increases productivity

DS-CR integrates directly into Zuken’s CR-8000 suite for 2D/3D multi-board PCB design, so engineers do not need to leave their CAD application to carry out everyday tasks. Engineers can increase their productivity by reducing the number of individual applications and user interfaces they use.

Work-in-progress data is managed within the respective engineering discipline, then synchronized with cross-discipline PLM and ERP systems. This approach, known as ‘domain data management’ offers significant productivity benefits.

With its specific focus on the requirements of PCB design, DS-CR provides an important extension to installed PLM environments, which are typically optimized to handle mechanical data structures and engineering methodologies. DS-CR can be integrated with existing enterprise PLM environments thanks its object-oriented architecture.

Functional Areas
  • EDA Library Master (ELM): manage all symbols, footprints and specifications required for the PCB design process.
  • Component Master (CM): a single-source environment for all component information within the engineering process. Component Master consolidates ECAD Library items with material information (typically managed in an ERP environment).
  • Engineering Desktop (EDT): provides CR-8000 design data and related documents in a controlled environment, with comprehensive access control, revision management and analysis functionality. This includes simulation data, footprints, parts lists, and CAM data.
  • Component List Master (CLM): used to generate accurate BOMs that combine all associated schematic and PCB data, component information, documents and drawings.
  • PDM Connector: DS-2 has been designed to enhance existing PLM systems – not to replace them. In a typical scenario, DS-2 is used to manage work-in-progress design data. DS-2 can integrate with all major PLM and ERP systems and provides SOA-based “plug & play” connectors; in addition, generic integration APIs are available for other third party systems.
Microsoft logo
“Zuken’s DS-CR (formerly DS-2) data management software offered everything we needed. As the Surface™ portfolio of products grew, data management for electrical design became an increasingly critical element of our process.”
– Erik von Fuchs, Director of Engineering, Surface Products, Microsoft
Endress Hauser logo

Endress+Hauser standardizes PCB engineering and production processes for industrial measurement products across distributed locations

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Change Management

Engineering is by definition a constant change process. Input from different stakeholders in the engineering and manufacturing process need to be evaluated, approved and implemented. Informed decisions around change requests require access to valid and reliable data and information, as well as workflows and role-based access and change permissions.

In electronic and electrical engineering, the related requirements go far beyond ‘simple’ file management: Libraries and material master data of components must be kept up to date, and changes need to be propagated to variants and related designs.

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It is therefore essential to have access to native design data and libraries, rather than managing them in ZIP containers that cannot be accessed via automated search routines.


  • Access to reliable data and information
  • Ability to read and analyse native design data
  • Role based access
  • Workflow capabilities
  • With its common DS-CR and DS-E3 platform technology, Zuken provides powerful change management capabilities for native design data, allowing users to make informed decisions.

Change Management
Options and Variants

To offer customers maximum choice, products are commonly built on platforms that can be equipped with a broad choice of options and variants. The required options and variants are often managed as separate designs, and it takes a great deal of effort to keep the different options in sync.

A better method is to handle all options as part of a single design, which is frequently referred to as an ‘over defined’ or ‘150%’ design. Ideally, individual options and configuration can be selected from a feature tree within the design.

These capabilities need to be backed up by a powerful design data management environment, in which design and related library data can be reliably tracked and retrieved.


  • Efficient methods to handling product options and variants
  • Manage options as part of a single 150% design
  • Replaces overhead required to manage and coordinate separate designs
  • Ability to automatically propagate changes into all related instances.
  • Zuken provides powerful capabilities for managing options and variants through within its electronic and electrical authoring toolsets, and configuration management capabilities within its DS-CR and DS-E3 domain data management environments.
Options and variants
Module Management

Modular product architectures are considered a breakthrough approach for controlling product and manufacturing complexity in today’s world of fast-paced technological innovation.

In a modular approach, all assemblies (or modules) interact with each other to carry out the product’s overall purpose. This is in contrast to a platform approach, where different variants are built on a common platform.

To use modular product architectures successfully, the engineering information infrastructure needs to be solid. This is because interdependencies between modules must be maintained to support efficient engineering change and configuration management processes. Another key for success is the ability to access and read native design data for all engineering disciplines involved.


  • Support for product families that share interchangeable modules
  • Manage libraries of modules
  • Propagate change into all modules
  • Represents a matrix of functions across different products and modules
  • With its DS-CR and DS-E3 technology, Zuken provides powerful native design data management capabilities to support the complex interdependencies of modular electro-mechanical products.
Modular design
Configuration Management

To fully leverage investment in platforms and modular product architectures, technical sales teams need configuration capabilities that ensure only valid combinations of options and modules are selected in the sales and tendering process.

The obvious approach is to provide configuration capabilities through easy-to-deploy, standalone configuration tools. But there is a high risk that listed configurations get out of sync, using this method.

A better approach is to provide configuration capabilities within the design data management environment, so that all changes can be propagated automatically to all related options and modules.


  • Manage modules and their interdependencies down to the component level
  • Ability to define and apply rules for combinations of different modules
  • Manage lifecycle of modules and track change

With its DS-CR and DS-E3 technology, Zuken provides a powerful configuration management capabilities that are seamlessly integrated into Zuken’s authoring environments, enabling coherent configuration and change processes.

Configuration Management
Library Management

Electronic and electrical designs are based on comprehensive descriptions of multiple elements such as electrical properties and supply status (end-of-life or second source information). This information is typically held in separate environments (e.g. CAD libraries and ERP). So there is a significant risk that manufactured components and engineering specifications do not match exactly – leading to potentially disastrous effects on product quality.

To make informed decisions, both design and manufacturing engineers need to have access to comprehensive information from across all domains. This information must be supported by powerful change management and tracking functionality, allowing implementation of controlled release, change and revision management processes.


  • Keep design libraries and material master data in sync
  • Manage end-of-life (EOL) information
  • Manage second source alternatives
  • Analyze designs with regard to component usage (preferred components) and cost

With its DS-CR and DS-E3 technology, Zuken provides powerful library consolidation and lifecycle management capabilities. This integrates seamlessly with powerful change and configuration management functionality.

Design Data Management Library
Supply Chain

Silicon Expert provides access to a large database of component information. Silicon Expert customers globally use this information to manage risk, avoid redesigns, and mitigate obsolescence in innovative industries such as consumer electronics, telecommunications, automotive, medical and aerospace. DS-2 has a Web Services connection to Silicon Expert allowing for population and update of component information with DS-2. A component obsolescence alert can be generated by DS-2 based on a Silicon Expert update.

Cross-discipline Engineering

The growing importance of electrics and electronics in modern products, machines and systems calls for interdisciplinary collaboration during the early phases of the product development process (PDP). This is frequently referred to as ‘mechatronic engineering’ or ‘electromechanical product development.’

An integrated process across all engineering disciplines requires a holistic view of the product. In this context, established methods, such as managing mechanical, electrical and software development data in separate environments are reaching their limitations.

A comprehensive representation of all relevant information and status changes is now required, beginning from the early phases of the product development process.


  • Synchronize deliverables across disciplines
  • Ensure unique representation of electromechanical components
  • User-friendly access to information
  • Supports a lean or all-in-one approach

With its DS-CR and DS-E3 technology, Zuken provides powerful native design data management capabilities that integrate seamlessly with modular products containing sophisticated electrical and electronic functionality.

Cross-discipline Engineering Process Support

Brochure: DS-CR

PCB Library and Design Data Management



    Webinar: Connect Your Component Library to the Supply Chain and Avoid a Manufacturing Crisis

    This webinar will discuss how a component data management system together with a trusted content provider, such as SiliconExpert, provides the backbone for making your design environment an accurate and robust source for engineering component selection.


    Webinar: Releasing Your Design to PLM is More Complicated Than You Thought

    This webinar will discuss the different release profiles from WIP to a manufacturing-centric PLM system followed by the demonstration of best practices that can make the job easier and more reliable.


    Tech Tip: DS-CR Vault File Distribution

    DS-CR maintains electronics design data in a vault with controlled access and revision control. That data must be distributed outside the vault to support various business activities such as fabrication, assembly, and supply chain management. Vault File Distribution provides software automation to extract files from the vault and place them into specified locations to support the business process that rely on them.


    Data: The Secret of Success Under Industry 4.0?

    In the world of engineering, many companies store their design data within their organization’s Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system. But the ‘resource’ it focusses on tends to be people and materials. Because of this, most engineering departments also use complementary solutions for Product Life Cycle (PLM), Product Data Management (PDM), Material Requirement Planning (MRP) and Document Management Systems (DMS).


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    Controlling the Release Points for Your PLM/PDM System

    There is one thing that all design engineers will agree on: creating and gathering all the required data for PLM is error-prone and can be a royal pain. We all understand the value of releasing our design data to the corporate PLM system but our design process dictates multiple release points, and each one has a different purpose and data requirements.


    Endress+Hauser Standardizes PCB Engineering and Production Processes for Industrial Measurement Products Across Distributed Locations

    Endress+Hauser is a global leader in measurement instrumentation, services and solutions for industrial process engineering.


    Webinar: Does the Release to Manufacturing Process Keep You up at Night?

    This webinar will examine many of the concerns and challenges faced when producing release packages.


    Webinar: Best Practices for Using Temporary or Quick Turn Parts

    This webinar will present best practices on how to use and manage temporary parts in a design process.  Presentation will be combined with a live demonstration on how you can eliminate the risk of a temporary part slipping through the release process and into manufacturing.


    3 Simple Steps to Improving Product Quality with a Connected Device

    The IoT Platform has opened up the door for the proliferation of user apps covering games, travel, golf, etc. But what if the IoT Platform could improve your hardware performance and reliability and in turn, product quality? Imagine if you could gather product performance information while your product is being used by the customer. A dream come true! You could identify product weaknesses, eliminate them and build a better product. As your product improves, the repair costs go down, customer satisfaction goes up and everyone wins. And in extreme cases, you could avoid a costly product recall by seeing early warning signs.


    Webinar: Improve Design Data Security across Your Enterprise

    This webinar will examine the challenges behind design data security and explore some of the solutions available today.  Some of the topics will include a project oriented design approach, limited user visibility on the library and design level and how to physically locate IP.


    Webinar: The Essentials for Multi-site Design

    This webinar explores the tools and processes necessary to implement a successful multi-site or enterprise electronic design engineering flow.


    Webinar: Protect Your ECAD Library and PCB Design Intellectual Property

    This webinar will demonstrate how next generation ECAD software is being used to address the IP theft challenge with permission controls that enable users to define with a high level of granularity the design information that will be included and excluded from the published data set.


    White Paper: Electrical Engineering Data Management

    In this white paper, you will find numerous tips and suggestions to achieve a future proof product development process (PDP).


    White Paper: Domain-specific Domain Management

    This white paper considers the importance of data and process management for modern product development, and shows why electrical CAD data are best managed in a domain-specific environment that provides a basis for integration into enterprise-wide PLM and ERP environments.