April 20, 1998 Design News
Two 'schools' for engineering thought
Paul E. Teague Chief Editor
Two events last month provided a great deal of information
that engineers can apply to their design work. They
were National Manufacturing Week (March 16-19) and the
Daratech CAD/CAM, CAE Strategy Workshops. If you missed
them, don't worry: you'll be able to read reports on
some of the announcements at both meetings in future
issues of Design News. You may want to try to attend
them next year.
National Manufacturing Week was, of course, the larger
of the two events. There were about 2,000 exhibits of
new products and more than 85,000 attendees inspecting
them, as well as a host of seminars, conferences, and
special events. The National Design Engineering Show,
with more than 35,000 attendees, was by far the largest
of the four technology shows during National Manufacturing
Week. It would have been impossible to walk out of the
exhibit hall without at least one new idea for improving
the way you do your job. There is really no broad show
like it anywhere in the U.S.
The Daratech Conference is also unique, but for a different
reason. At these annual strategy workshops, the presidents
of virtually all major vendors of computer-aided design
and engineering products talk about their vision for
their own products. At the most recent meeting, the
leaders of Parametric Technology Corp., Autodesk, IBM
Dassault, Unigraphics Solutions, SDRC, Bentley Systems,
CoCreate, Matra Datavision, the MacNeal-Schwendler Corp.,
ANSYS, MCS, Spatial Technology, and SolidWorks, among
others, took to the microphone to describe the future
of CAD as they see it. Why would they talk about their
own strategies in front of their competitors? Hard to
say. Nevertheless, any users in the audience would have
gotten a good feel for forthcoming product enhancements.
Another great source of engineering information is
the World Wide Web. Recently, we've made some enhancements
to www.designnews.com that you should check out.
First, there's a new look that makes it easier to navigate
around the site. Second, we've added "Channels,"
specific buttons that get you to information from your
own industry, such as automotive, aerospace, medical,
and others, as well as technologies such as CAD, motion
control, fluid power, and more. Come visit.