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Consolidating Design Software

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Issue in Focus: Consolidating Design Software: Extending Value Beyond 3D CAD Consolidation discusses the value of consolidating on suites of engineering and design tools to take advantage of integration to increase efficiency, remove the need to translate CAD files, and maintain design intent throughout the design process.

Please enjoy the free Executive Summary below, or click the report title above to download the full PDF (free of charge, no registration required).

Table of Contents

  • Introducing the Issue
  • Consolidate Upstream from Detailed Design
  • Consolidate Downstream from Detailed Design
  • Live with Supply Chain Realities (Multi-CAD)
  • Leverage the Past (Legacy Designs)
  • Understand the Bigger Picture
  • Address the Pain (with a Little Help from IT)
  • The Expanded ROI Model
  • Conclusion
  • Recommendations
  • About the Author

Introducing the Issue

Tech-Clarity research indicates that consolidating on a single CAD system helps enable design and component reuse and promotes better collaboration among engineers. Most companies initially pursue a single CAD solution for the obvious IT cost savings, however Tech-Clarity Insight: Consolidating CAD – Benefits of a Unified CAD Strategy explains that standardizing on a single CAD platform also provides more strategic benefits. These benefits include higher productivity, greater corporate agility, and faster response to market dynamics. Although most companies can’t fully consolidate systems due to customer demands, supply chain dynamics, and the realities of complex business, standardization is a valuable goal.

The Consolidating CAD report focuses primarily on the value of a common 3D mechanical design solution. Several interviews touched on the benefits of leveraging a common PLM environment, but for the most part the focus is on 3D based mechanical engineering. The benefits reported are the result of consolidating detailed design resources on a single 3D CAD system. Now, the introduction of design suites covering a broader spectrum of the design process opens up new opportunities. The benefits of consolidating design software beyond just 3D mechanical design offers even greater value.

For example, consider having a common CAD data set that allows an industrial design specialist creating a 2D sketch, an engineer modeling a product in full parametric 3D, an engineer building a concept in 2D (that will ultimately be designed in 3D), and others using direct modeling techniques further downstream to use the appropriate tool for the job. This report extends the previous findings, exploring how an integrated design suite that supports flexible approaches on a common data model adds even more value than consolidating 3D mechanical CAD.

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