31 Dec, 2005 By: Sara Ferris

A behind-the-scenes look at the CAD world

Nod to NX

In a deal estimated to be worth $100 million over four years, automaker Nissan will standardize on UGS' NX CAD software and Teamcenter data management software. UGS was Nissan's exclusive CAD supplier until a few years ago, when Nissan formed a strategic alliance with France's Renault and began using Dassault's CATIA product.

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Do you anticipate a pay raise in the coming months?

DWF for the Office

Microsoft now supports Autodesk's DWF format in its Office applications and its Great Plains and Axapta business solutions. In early 2006, MSN Search will retrieve information from DWF documents posted on the Internet. Autodesk will support Microsoft XAML (extensible application markup language) in 2007.

Conference compression

Intergraph launched a new international user conference to be held June 12–15, 2006 in Orlando, Florida. Intergraph 2006 brings together Intergraph's current Apex, Geospatial World and Public Safety Users conferences.

JT jeopardy

After evaluating the JT Open format and the exchange of design visualization and assembly data, the ProSTEP iViP Association recommends using JT for design visualization and digital mockups, but not for long-term archiving. "According to the defined criteria, JT is not an open format," the study notes. "The long-term reusability and interoperability of the information can therefore not be guaranteed."

Data laundromat

Elysium opened the first Nissan Authorized PDQ NP Service Center in collaboration with Design Intent Engineering. PDQ NP is a protocol for 3D CAD data quality that is used by Nissan Motors and its suppliers. It acts as a 3D CAD data firewall to identify and fix bad geometry. Data that can't be fixed is rejected.

Legacy lure

Kubotek is courting CADKEY users with a discount program to introduce its KeyCreator product. Regardless of their current licensing status, CADKEY users can obtain a new KeyCreator SB license with 3 months of maintenance for $995. The deal is good through March 15, 2006.

Scanning in China

Colortrac formed a Chinese subsidairy, Colortrac Imaging Systems, to source components and produce electromechanical assemblies.

Plant market promising

AVEVA, developer of software for plant and ship design, reported record growth in revenue and profits for the six months ended Sept. 30, 2005. Revenue increased from $42.4 million to $51 million, a 21% increase over last year. AVEVA notes a steady increase in the number of long-term oil and gas projects around the world as well as increased orders from some emerging economies such as Russia and South America.

Surfacing scenario

ICEM launched ICEM Shape Design, its next-generation surface design and modeling suite that integrates with CATIA V5 or operates as a stand-alone solution. For concept design and styling, ICEM will develop a new product that will use some of the advanced technologies found in ICEM's existing styling software product, ICEM Style.

Talking about trouble

PTC expanded its Global Maintenance Support Program to include 24-hour work-week technical support at no charge for all PTC maintenance customers.

CAM merger

DP Technology acquired Italian developer Auton and plans to add its software to its ESPRIT CAM software offerings. Auton products support 3- and 5-axis and high-speed machining.

Process patents

Delphi secured two more patents for its design methodologies: the horizontal structured manufacturing process model and the vertical-to-horizontal conversion process.

Bundles follow union

Adobe completed its acquisition of Macromedia and has started to integrate the two companies' operations, networks and customer-service organizations. Three new bundles are now available that combine products from both companies.

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About the Author: Sara Ferris

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