Removing Design Gaps by Consolidating CAD Software

There are two ways to look at design tool use. The “one-team, one-tool” view calls for a team to use a CAD system that can get the design done and released in such a way that the team meets all its milestones.

What happens anywhere else is somebody else’s problem.

In companies that take this view, it’s common to find two, three, or more CAD systems within the same four walls. At first glance, it appears that each team is reaching its goals. But the truth is that gaps emerge that may be costing the company more than you know. Much more.

A second way to look at design tools is the “one-company, one-tool” or “consolidated” view. With this approach, teams everywhere work with the same tools in the same system and the gaps close up—in a way that can be profitable for everyone.

Consider these scenarios, and their alternatives:

Concept Design – Concept models are often created in a standalone tool. The gap appears when the idea is ready for detailed design. Engineers generally have to recreate the tool in their own preferred design tool.

The alternative? Idea people can start with digital sketching, concept, and rendering tools that can be leveraged in the next design stage, so engineers don’t have to re-interpret and recreate the idea.

See how PTC Creo can improve concept design.

Tooling Design and Manufacturing – Before products hit the manufacturing floor, tools must be designed and fabricated. Often these designs are created in a standalone tool. The gap between detailed design and tool design becomes a problem when either team needs to introduce changes.

The alternative? Product and tool design occurs on the same system as detailed design. That way, when the product design changes, the manufacturing engineer sees it in the tooling design. Everybody works together.

See how PTC Creo can improve the link between design and manufacturing:

Simulation – Simulation experts often use their own tools to simplify geometry before they test products digitally. That prevents the system from bogging down and saves time. However, you lose time as the team must communicate its findings to the design team, which then incorporates changes into the original model.

The alternative? Simulation experts use the same tool as design engineers to produce simplified models and run advanced analyses. And here’s the pièce de résistance: Simulation experts can make changes directly to the design and share them back to the design team, all in one native format.

See how PTC Creo can improve the process of verification and validation of designs:

Technical Publications – Publication teams draw heavily from engineering models to create accurate technical illustrations and animations. Often, these images are created in standalone tools, creating a gap between what’s going on in product design and publications.

The alternative? Let technical publications create illustrations and animations by using the same tools the design team uses. That way, the publications team can fully leverage product design data, even while it’s still evolving.

See how PTC Creo can improve technical publications:

Bid Proposals – For technical proposals, often the bid proposal team must include sub-suppliers, run calculations, configure solutions, and develop new selections. If their CAD system is different than that used in design, opportunities for miscommunication gaps arise in the detailed design phase and bidding process.

The alternative? Proposal engineers access the same easy-to-use design tools and data as the designers at the company. That maximizes component re-use.

Explore how PTC Creo can improve the bid proposal process.

Project Commissioning – In certain industries, project commissioning is a critical function of the business. The team works closely with the client and development teams to assure that all systems and components meet the operational requirements of client.  The process leverages a set of engineering techniques and procedures to check, inspect, and test every operational component of the project. Often, these teams use their own CAD tools for areas such as plant layout, installation procedures, and test preparation.

The alternative? Give project commissioning engineers the same tools as the design team. That way, that they can fully leverage all design data at the company. This maximizes component re-use. Plus, it can help them produce other required documentation easier.

Consolidation isn’t right for everyone. But for companies that streamline on one product development software, the benefits can be felt well beyond the design engineering team.

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