International Journal of Instrumentation Control and Automation


Small manufacturing enterprises face a number of challenges when integrating computer aided design (CAD) tools and computer-aided engineering (CAE) tools into their design processes. One of the most significant challenges is interoperability across the wide range of commercial CAD and CAE tools. Although many of these tools support industry data standards and claim to be interoperable, the connection between them is not seamless. This paper summarizes studies of tool integration activities at one small manufacturer. The paper shows the enhancement of the product development process resulting from replacement of a two dimensional CAD system with a three-dimensional CAD system and creation of an inhouse capability to perform finite element analysis (FEA), replacing analysis that had previously been outsourced. As a result of these experiences, the manufacturer learned that improved productivity and superior designs could be obtained by integrating analysis into the design process at the earlier stages of conceptual and preliminary design.



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