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Zuken is a leader in key elements of next-generation automotive systems development.

  • Our wiring harness design tools have gained an overwhelming market share around the world.
  • Many ECU suppliers, who need to achieve the highest levels of quality and durability, are using Zuken electronic design solutions.

Established expertise in the Automotive sector

Zuken’s customers benefit from our years of development and collaboration with automotive companies such as Mercedes-Benz and Continental Automotive GmbH.

Our projects and processes are systematically planned and tracked, giving partner companies assurance that processes are in place to achieve common standards and working practices, and confidence they will be able to maintain their supply chain.

We are accredited at Level 2 in the industry-standard Automotive SPICE® (Software Process Improvement and Capability dEtermination) by Continental, one of the leading Tier 1 automotive suppliers worldwide.

With around 40% worldwide market share for electrical schematics in automotive, Zuken is helping automotive manufacturers meet their targets. Let us help you meet yours.


Don’t just take our word for it!

Zuken has a long history of working in partnership with automotive companies. We asked some of them about their experience with us.


Watch. Read. Contact.


  • On-demand technical webinars
    • Electrical - including cabling / harness design
    • Electronics - from design architecture and design creation through to PCB design and data management
  • Articles and brochures
    • Article: Impact of electronics design methods in the automotive industry (EE Times)
    • Article: Saving Time and Energy with Automatic Creation of Wiring Diagrams
    • Brochure: Electrical design and documentation for the automotive market
    • Datasheet: E3.Harness Analyzer - Smart collaboration for the automotive harness industry
  • Contact us

Automotive Industry Solutions

Wiring Harness and ECU Hardware design

Automobiles are among the most advanced and complex electronics products on the market, with as many as 70 electronic control units (ECUs) and 2,000 cables connecting in-vehicle modules. OEMs are challenged to manage more constraints than ever, all in an increasingly sophisticated engineering design environment.

Increasing demand for enhanced safety, security and environmentally-friendly solutions, as well as the recent evolution of ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance System), are propelling the aggressive introduction of the most advanced electronics and information technologies into automotive systems.

At the same time, the growing demand for automobiles in developing countries is diversifying the market leading OEMs to establish more efficient design methodologies and smarter supply chain management.


A Partner for the Automotive and Transportation Industry

With around 40% worldwide market share for electrical schematics in Automotive, Zuken is helping automotive manufacturers meet their targets.

Typical challenges faced within the Automotive market place include: 


Change Management

Managing complexity

Increase in complexity during recent years is one of the most challenging aspects for most vehicle engineering departments. With the ongoing shift of functionality from mechanical engineering to electronics and software, the industry is challenged to enhance engineering and product development process support capabilities in the area of electronic and electrical engineering.

Read more


Complexity is a multi-dimensional challenge in vehicle E/E systems.

One dimension is the complexity of the E/E system itself. From several lamps and motors connected by fewer than 100 wires in cars in the 1970s, we now have incredibly complex systems. Today there are up to 80 ECUs running software containing millions of line of code and some cars have more than 3,000 wires making up their physical nervous system.

Another dimension in complexity is that manufacturers often offer more than 100 configuration options. This means they need to develop the E/E system in blocks so it can be mass produced, but the new car owner’s choices may be unique and untested in that configuration.

We also need to consider the dramatic expansion of most OEM’s product portfolio. In the 1970s there were perhaps three or four models offered – but an OEM might offer more than 40 basic models in numerous configurations. It is good for customers to be able to satisfy their individual interests, but it leads to an incredible amount of work for design departments. To solve this, projects now run in parallel and several tasks have been shifted to tier 1 suppliers or engineering service companies. Market localization now runs in parallel making distributed development, or co-engineering, a key feature of today’s industry.

A recent evaluation showed a Complexity Indicator of 24-45 for the 1970s German automotive industry; now it lies around 1,500-2,500. It’s a trend that is set to increase further in all of the mentioned dimensions.

Architecture Design

Controlling Change Processes

Change sounds simple - it is something we see everywhere. But for automotive E/E systems, change throws up numerous quality and time issues. As the car’s central nervous system, the wiring system is the component subjected to the most design changes. This generates new challenges for the related IT systems and tools that can only be handled through powerful controlled data exchange methods.

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As the car’s central nervous system, the wiring system is the are subjected to the most design changes. Whether it is mechanical changes, functional changes, quality improvements or production optimization – all of them result in changes to the wiring system. Evaluations show that the wiring system experts at OEMs spend around 80% of their time managing changes – meaning they only have 20% left to spend on new design.

Change management includes the change process of the design, engineering models and derived documents, including the release process. there are also aspects such as change requests by the harness supplier, change calculations, and change orders with synchronization of the deployment of the changed version to the production. Complexity issues are strongly linked. A large number of stakeholders are involved, with some changes processed by suppliers, some having influence on derivatives in other markets (with other development teams taking responsibility), and some changes needing to be propagated into to other development projects. The wiring system engineer’s main role is a complex one; that of a change engineer.

Building Blocks

Managing Distributed Development (Co-design)

Life would be easy if the whole E/E system could be developed by one team and in one location. But the reality is different, and we work in distributed development landscape. Engineers need a way of finding out quickly which requirements have an influence on components, ECUs and the complete system made up of interacting devices.

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The ECUs with an electronic system are split according to the domains of different suppliers. With around 50-80 ECUs in a high-level car, it’s easy to imagine the large number of stakeholders involved, all of which need to be coordinated and could be located anywhere in the world. These subsystems all need to end up as a validated and comprehensive E/E system within the car. This individualization brings additional quality challenges because regardless of what a customer orders, the system must work fault-free.

The development of the wiring system itself is distributed, as circuit diagrams and harness engineering is mainly carried out by a number of harness suppliers, who all need to share designs and data. In addition, the localization process usually starts in parallel with the development of the main model to minimize time-to-market.

All these parallel activities and distribution of tasks to different locations generates tremendous challenges for the related IT systems and tools, and they can only be handled using intensive, controlled data exchange methods.

Functional Safety

Requirement Tracking and Functional Safety  

The complexity of the E/E system has created a demand for a structured requirement-based development methodology that maintains a clear overview of the system at every stage of the distributed development process. Engineers need to manage all constraints and dependencies between the components and systems involved.

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Engineers need a way of finding out quickly which requirements have an influence on a component or a single ECU. Or which components might be involved if a requirement is changed, since with such complex systems the cross-constraints are not obvious.

But there is another aspect: The E/E system has taken over many formerly mechanical functions, and this trend is only set to rise – especially as assistance functions have become popular. When previously a wire for an interior lamp broke, it was a small problem. But now we have break-by-wire, so a broken wire could be a big problem. Functional safety has a become a major part of the E/E system and led to the official standard ISO 26262. Consequently, designers need to also fulfill the requirements of this standard, which includes requirement-based development.

Of course there is another commercial pressure for this trend, which is the recalls OEMs have faced in recent years. The cost of recall campaigns is extremely high in both financial and reputation terms. As a result, many OEMs have discovered requirement-based development as one way of reducing the risk of quality issues and their resulting recalls.

Automotive experience

Through years of close partnership with our automotive customers, we have the experience to understand individual requirements and the expertise and technology to implement a tailored solution.

FIATOur objective three years ago was to reduce the electrical architecture design cycle for a new car by 20% requiring no extra resources, just improved process and product development integration. E3.Wiring Diagram Generator is proving to be instrumental in making this possible.

Paolo Puiatti, power and signal distribution manager

Investment in innovation

Zuken has established a new R&D arm, the Global Automotive and Transportation Competence Center in Erlangen, Germany, to concentrate our automotive expertise from Asia, Europe and North America.

With plans to expand our solutions coverage to offer our customers the most advanced automotive systems and avoid design iteration in engineering processes, we are expanding the scope of our solutions at the conceptual design planning stage, whilst also enhancing our solutions for collaborative engineering/manufacturing processes. This will give OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers even more efficient supply chains.


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