Concurrent Art-to-Product Environment (CAPE), a concept defined by the Gartner Group, models the way systems can work together to enhance the process of controlling information within and between project teams. CAPE requires that applications including visualization, rapid prototyping, and analysis be cross-functional.
Application frameworks, data management, and product geometry exchanges ensure that information flows easily between critical and non-critical functions. Critical functions include product data management (PDM), materials resource planning (MRP), and financial control (F/C); while non-critical applications include CAD, CAM, desktop publishing (DTP), and statistical process control (SPC).
SAP, a leading company in business applications, initially addressed the need for integration by integrating MRP and F/C capabilities. Recently it expanded its product line by adding PDM functions. These efforts allow companies to work within a single application environment for all backbone information needs. Solutions that extend SAP's reach and enable companies to model CAPE's ideas address the enterprise's need to integrate non-critical applications with critical applications. In this environment, the shared enterprise system contains applications such as internal e-mail and enterprise-wide workflow systems, as well as outside systems such as Internet mail.
The first necessary component in the development of a CAPE system is hardware, then an operating system, a network, a database, and middleware. Middleware serves as the neutralization layer, connecting shared enterprise applications to the database.
Two alternatives are available for companies wishing to implement the CAPE concept in an SAP environment. For manufacturers with highly engineered products, Eigner+Partner's CADIM PDM in conjunction with SAP's MRP and Financial Control systems enables information to flow between critical and non-critical applications. For critical applications including PDM, Eigner+Partner's SAP add-on modules will achieve similar results.
To speak with a Eigner+Partner applications engineer, call (714) 453-0399 or FAX (714) 453-0464.