The Power of ZERO: 3 Questions and Answers

By Ron
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ZERO files

Recently we have seen quite a buzz about the ‘ZERO files’ capabilities from DASSAULT SYSTEMES. For example, Engineering.com recently published a video interview with ENOVIA CEO Andy Kalambi which zeroes in (pardon the pun) on reducing BOM errors. And General Electric’s Jeff Erno explains in this YouTube video the value of zero files to an engineering organization.   Not to mention all of the international press (Korea, Japan, India…).

Andy Kalambi, ENOVIA CEO    Jeff Erno, Consulting Engineer, General Electric

So what is it?

‘Zero files’ is enabled by the DASSAULT SYSTÈMES 3DEXPERIENCE data driven architecture and enables companies to collaborate more efficiently, with less errors and more security. It is a generational change within the Product Lifecycle Management domain which enables applications like ENOVIA to provide extended value to thousands of customers around the world.  While the benefits are clearly attractive, it’s not always easy to understand how this works and what it means to an individual.  Let’s break it down by addressing some commonly asked questions:

Question #1: Is the notion of ‘zero files’ achieved in other disciplines?

Answer #1: Yes. In fact, many people interact in file-less environments today for both personal and business activities. Here are a few examples:

  1. Movies: In the not so distant past, one would rent or by DVDs (basically movie files) and use their players to watch movies at home. In the zero-files world, we stream movies from service providers such as Hulu and Amazon.
  2. Banking: When is the last time you balanced your check book by comparing the paper or PDF bank statement against your home ledger? In the zero-files world, bank registers are validated by viewing on-line statements and matching them with home records for accuracy. You need not wait until the end of the month to view your credit card statement; in a data-driven world, transactions are posted and viewable shortly after purchase.
  3. Document authoring and editing: Tools like Google Docs operate in a ‘zero-files’ environment. For example, if multiple people are working on a spreadsheet, they do not need to save the file and email it to the next person for their edits; rather, they all collaborate on an on-line workbook simultaneously (without having to check-in / check-out their files). Tools like Google Docs are prolific in the college environment and have started to become more popular in the workplace.
  4. Enterprise Applications: Tools for CRM and ERP have long operated in a ‘zero-files’ environment. This has enabled a higher degree of scalability and collaboration to occur while securing intellectual property.

Question #2: What makes a ‘zero-files’ environment more secure than using a file-based PLM tool?

Answer #2: Even though your data may be secured by a file-based PLM system, local files are placed on the user’s desktop.   This leaves the door open (even for well-meaning employees) to distribute your company’s files freely via email or web based file sharing sites.  This is a much larger issue than most people realize.  A recent study shows that 40% of companies that have a PLM system in place still use public email / web storage tools to distribute CAD files within their own company.  More than 70% use public email / web storage tools to distribute CAD files to suppliers and vendors. In a zero-files environment, the data that is provided to the client workstation is abstracted so that it may not be saved and re-distributed via other tools.

Question #3: I understand that zero-files can be achieved with CATIA V6. Does that mean that the zero-files environment will not support file based applications (such as legacy CAD tools, etc.)?

Answer #3: While it is true that the zero-files environment provides maximum benefit when the authoring application, it is a fact that many enterprise applications operate in a file based manner.  Driven by the 3DEXPERIENCE PLATFORM, ENOVIA provides the ability to manage files from these legacy applications.
It’s also worth noting that zero-files applies to more than CATIA V6; requirements management, purchase orders, quality and issue management are some of the many data types in ENOVIA that operate in  zero-file files environment.

For Multi-CAD solutions, ENOVIA provides the unique capability of creating hybrid digital mock-ups based on lightweight representations – which are data driven.  This means you have the advantage of zero files while using lightweight representations from other CAD systems.  The system maintains a relationship to the originating CAD authoring tools while enabling the benefits of zero-files for design reviews and mock-ups.

Questions or comments?  Contact our user experience experts at enovia.ux.ww@3ds.com

Three Common Myths of Multi-CAD Data Management

By Ron
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ENOVIA

Many companies leverage multiple CAD tools (please see my previous blog post “Stop Using Digital Duct Tape for Multi-CAD Solutions” to better understand how companies end up in these environments).  Regardless of how or why these decisions were made, there is a clear opportunity to improve the value of your intellectual assets.

Why do companies pause to take action when the value is so clear?  More often than not inaction comes from the fear of the unknown.   While it does take planning and capable technology to reap the benefits of Multi-CAD data management, it helps to first understand the truth behind these three common myths:

Myth #1: Deploying a system to manage my Multi-CAD data will slow my designers down

The ENOVIA Multi-CAD User Experience is created with speed in mind.  Designers can work from their native CAD environment and access the ENOVIA functions in a seamless manner.   Only the functions specific to their role are made available and embedded directly in their CAD authoring environments.

Myth #2: Bills of Material (BOM) must be manually updated each time there is a change to the design

Product Engineers can step into the product development earlier with the BOM synchronization tools provided by ENOVIA.  Design compatibility with existing manufacturing processes can subsequently be reviewed earlier as well allowing production issues to be caught earlier in the design process.

Myth #3: I cannot include ECAD in my Multi-CAD environment

Electronics designers can leverage the platform’s support of mechatronics which allows for a consistent, systems-based, multi-disciplinary development process for discretely manufactured products consisting of mechanical, electronics, and software content.  The ENOVIA Multi-CAD Experience includes management of the leading ECAD solutions.  For details of which software packages are available, contact an ENOVIA solutions expert at enovia.ux.ww@3ds.com.

Transforming a multi-CAD challenge to a multi-CAD opportunity is the business of Dassault Systèmes ENOVIA®.  Companies such as Eaton, 3M and Toshiba use the ENOVIA Multi-CAD solution to increase productivity and gain PLM benefits.

Sign up for a 12 minute pre-recorded seminar and learn how the ENOVIA Multi-CAD solution can help here.

Designing for the Medical Device Industry: Holistic Solutions

By Helene
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This post originally appeared at Core77.

A Multi-Faceted Approach

Bringing a consumer product to market is a challenge in and of itself—taking an idea through concept development, business analysis, beta testing, product launch, and beyond. Add the FDA (Food & Drug Administration) to the mix, and it’s a whole ‘nother story. This is the challenge faced by medical device and product firms, which not only have to make a fully functioning, well-designed product but also have to put it through several rounds of rigorous testing by the FDA and other regulatory bodies.

The AliveCor heart monitor, designed by Karten Design.

“They’re parameters. They don’t stop you from doing anything, but they do make you do it in a way that you, as a user, would probably think is a good thing,” says Aidan Petrie, Co-Founder and Chief Innovation Officer of Ximedica,

an FDA-registered product development firm with an exclusive focus on medical products. On any given day, Ximedica is running 40 individual programs, overseeing the steps required to bring these products to market. “We don’t do anything that isn’t a FDA-regulated product,” says Petrie.

The timelines for these projects can run anywhere between two to six years. While time-to-market is not the primary driver, finding ways to close that gap can make a big difference in profitability. For companies like Ximedica and HS Design, closing that gap meant becoming International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 13485 certified. “There are so many regulatory and quality metrics that had to be put in place to satisfy those requirements that it made us a better and stronger company,” explains Tor Alden, Principal and CEO at HS Design (HSD). “It also put us to a level where we couldn’t just accept any client. We had to become more sophisticated as far as who our clients were and how we could say no or reach a point of compliancy.” By building those regulations into the design process, these companies are able to anticipate and plan for any potential timely obstacles from the get-go.

As the products become increasingly complex, so do the regulations around how they’re developed. Traceability of every decision is required for ISO and FDA compliance, ensuring that medical device firms have a standardized quality management process that they follow and document every step of the product’s development. Depending on the type of product, specialists are often brought in to advise different aspects of that process. “There are so many parts to the puzzle,” says Petrie. “We have a hundred and forty people, but we still need specialists all over the place. We have regulatory people on staff, but we also bring in other pieces that we need. While all the people we have in the building are experts in medical device development, when we need someone to develop some optics, we go outside for that. It’s very collaborative because nobody can do it all by themselves.”

As an FDA-registered developer and contract manufacturer, Ximedica takes products all the way through to clinical trials—a part of the process that comes with its own set of requirements all its own. Even a product as benign as a toothbrush, for example, calls for regulations under HIPPA (Health Insurance Privacy and Accountability Act) if it is being tested by people over the age of 65, under 18, or those living with certain medical conditions. Being able to connect these requisitions to product features in the beginning would allow a project manager to track deliverables and foresee any hurdles before the final design goes to Verification and Validation.

Concept design of a smartwatch

Companies like Dassault Systèmes hope to offer a holistic approach to these problems. Similar to how Ximedica has positioned themselves as the one-stop-shop for all of the components needed to bring a medical product to market, Dassault Systèmes’ Ideation & Concept Design for Medical Device creates a space for designers, marketers, specialists, and collaborators to bring an idea through all the phases of the design process. Powered by their 3DEXPERIENCE® platform, Ideation & Concept Design for Medical Device brings together automated market listening, 3D-drawing to 3D-design integration, traceability, and project management together in one program—in the cloud.

“It’s very challenging to get a medical product to market in less than two years,” explains Alden. “A lot of it has to do with how challenging it is from the FDA standpoint and getting it through the regulatory bodies, but a lot of it is making sure that everybody is working with the same sheet music. Most important is to capture the user needs upfront and translate them into quantifiable attributes.  Additionally we need to combine these user needs with the technical issues into a product requirement specification.  Managing all these aspects of a project, understanding all the players, and the regulatory milestones is vital to shortening the time to market.”

Check out Beyond the design of the Medical Device to dig deeper into this topic and access the “Ideation & Concept Design for Medical Device” information kit here, over on Dassault Systèmes’ site: Ideation & concept design for medical device.



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