The Power of ZERO: 3 Questions and Answers

By Ron

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

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.

Stop Using Digital Duct Tape for Multi-CAD Solutions

By Ron

 “I love Rube Goldberg” by Todd Van Hoosear, used under a Creative Commons 2.0 license.

While pondering the challenge of companies managing multi-cad environments (yes, I know, this is what geeks do…) I couldn’t help but to imagine a Rube Goldberg device. Often, creative and resourceful workarounds (what I like to call “digital duct tape”) are deployed, but the opportunity for improved collaboration and productivity is missed.  The rule of thumb for data management is that as your CAD systems double the complexity quadruples.  In the absence of strategy and planning, data management problems can quickly get out of hand.  The “digital duct tape” can only stretch so far…

Most of us (Rube Goldberg aficionados excluded) do not purposely create complex environments…But there are reasonable explanations as to how companies ended up needing multi-CAD solutions:

  1. Mergers and Acquisitions: Organizational and cultural assimilations require rationalizing and connecting different technologies. Engineering departments especially often have multiple MCAD and ECAD authoring tools in place.
  2. OEM Supplier Relationships: Particularly in automotive and aerospace, suppliers must submit MCAD and ECAD data to an OEM in a prescribed, proprietary format.  Suppliers must have multi-CAD authoring tools on site to do business with multiple OEMs.
  3. Departmental Decisions: Today, global competitiveness demands that all departments collaborate and maximize their intellectual property. Gone are information silos.

The inability of multi-CAD authoring tools to collaborate and share information outside engineering, coupled with the resulting inaccurate Bill of Materials (BOM) potentially is damaging to any company (and your job!).

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 you at http://emailing.3ds.com/dsx/lpv2.jssp?template=LDP14510&refcode=socialmedia.



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