Manufacturers still wasting time with CAD translation

Two thirds of manufacturers are still using inefficient processes for design data handling, even though effective translation tools have been widely available for years.

That’s the key finding of a survey by consultancy Longview Advisors, which advises on technology for 3D data management.

Its 2008 Collaboration & Interoperability Market Report finds engineers spending an average of three to 10 hours per week fixing CAD data, but only one third using data translation tools. Meanwhile, 45% who do use third-party translation software indicate that their applications give satisfactory results better than 75% of the time.

“This brings up the question, with so many engineers spending so many hours in wasteful cleanup of CAD data, why are so few companies using data exchange tools, especially if the applications show effectiveness?” comments Longview Advisor president David Prawel.

“In this age of lean thinking, why squander valuable engineering resources by working on problems that technology is proven to address fairly well? These are the questions manufacturers should think hard about. Decreasing manual CAD data repair would free talented people to innovate more, build better quality products customers want, and beat their competition.”

The free annual publication compiles results from Longview’s survey, containing responses from 538 manufacturing professionals in subjects like data exchange practices, preferred platforms and formats, 3D data handling and deployment processes, tool requirements matching, CAD translation effectiveness and other related topics.

Brian Tinham

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