MCAD Tech News #171

5 Apr, 2006 By: Jeffrey Rowe

Untitled Document

PDM and Manufacturing

It's not just about data anymore

When you think of PDM, what first comes to mind? For many early adopters of the technology, it stood for pretty damn messy, and indeed it was. Like many new technologies, PDM (product data management) was overhyped and undersupported, especially with regard to its ability to handle disparate data and document types and file formats that were accessed and used for different purposes by different people.

Today, however, PDM has matured into systems far more capable than envisioned in the early days -- and, if properly specified, scaled and implemented, it performs as advertised.

Beyond the myriad standalone PDM products available on the market today, some midrange CAD vendors have finally realized the importance of PDM and are now integrating PDM applications into their flagship products, such as PDMWorks that is part of SolidWorks and Vault, part of Autodesk Inventor.

Who Uses PDM?

Even with functional improvements and greater availability, the fact remains that PDM is not used nearly as much or as well as it should be. As testimony to this, a couple of years ago, John McEleney, CEO of SolidWorks, said, “We did some investigation and found that roughly 30% of our customers are using some sort of PDM, which, of course, means that 70% are not. When I think about the 70% of our users not managing their data, it scares the hell out of me.” Read more>>

Event Report: National Manufacturing Week 2006

By Sara Ferris

I wasn't sure what to expect at the 16th edition of NMW (National Manufacturing Week), which encompasses shows devoted to design engineering, industrial automation, enterprise IT and plant engineering. This year, the show moved from its traditional location at McCormick Place to the Rosemont area and the Donald A. Stephens Convention Center. In addition, Reed Exhibitions has been trying to sell the show.

The show once filled two exhibit halls at McCormick Place but in recent years, it has diminished in size. Attendance, too, has fallen from previous levels. This year's edition showed some encouraging signs of revitalization. Read more >>

Mark Your Calendar: MCAD Events

Adobe Acrobat 3D Seminars
Various dates in April 2006
Various U.S. and Canadian locations
In each two-hour seminar, presented by Adobe, learn how the new Adobe Acrobat 3D will enable you to share, review and comment on 3D designs.

COFES 2006
April 20-23, 2006
Scottsdale, AZ
Presented by Cyon Research, the seventh-annual Congress on the Future of Engineering Software will bring together executives from engineering, design, development, architecture and technology companies to explore new engineering technology and discuss its effects on the future of business.

PLM University
May 8-12, 2006

Long Beach, California 
Event combines PLM World and UGS’ Solid Edge Summit user group meetings for product lifecycle management.

CAD Data Exchange: Productivity through Interoperability
May 24-25, 2006

Pheasant Run-St. Charles, Illinois
Conference and exhibition is described as the only CAD-neutral, cross-industry conference in the world that squarely addresses CAD data exchange, an opportunity for design, engineering and manufacturing professionals to learn and share experiences and learn about the latest data exchange software tools.

European PLM Summit 2006
June 19-20, 2006
ExCeL Conference Center, London, United Kingdom
Event examines the business value of product lifecycle management from pioneering case studies.

For Cadalyst's full calendar of events, click here>>

what's new at

Cadalyst Daily Update! For all the latest news and new products, subscribe to Cadalyst Daily e-newsletter. Plus, every issue includes a feature you won’t find anywhere else -- hardware and CAD software reviews, success stories, AutoCAD tips and much more! Here’s a sample of what you missed in the past week:

  • Engineering White Paper: A white paper from Mathsoft compares the use of spreadsheets versus software that is designed for creating and managing calculations. Moving Beyond the Limitations of Spreadsheets is free to users who register. Mathsoft is a producer of engineering calculation software.
  • CFD-CADalyzer 2006: ESI release tool for CAD engineers and CFD analysts to perform design-level analysis.
  • Tecnomatix v7.6 : Digital manufacturing software from UGS integrates with Teamcenter PLM software.