Following a two-and-a-half-year courtship where they explored joint opportunities, UGS and Tecnomatix Technologies finally tied the knot. UGS acquired the manufacturing-process-management-software developer in April.
The Tecnomatix suite of digital-manufacturing-enabling products will replace UGS' former E-Factory initiatives. Engineers using UGS' manufacturing NX-Series and Solid Edge CAD products, as well as the Teamcenter PLM products will be able to directly access Tecnomatix products. Among them, products for part manufacturing, assembly planning, resource planning, quality assurance, production execution, and manufacturing data management.
The acquisition—which brings the 600 Tecnomatix employees over to UGS—reflects the growing trend of CAD companies branching out to offer products that cover the entire product-development process. PLM (product lifecycle management) is the usual face of those branching-out activities. But of the major CAD companies, only Dassault Systemes had incorporated sophisticated manufacturing capabilities in its enterprise product, which Dassault calls Delmia.
"Before the acquisition of Tecnomatix, we had some of these digital-manufacturing capabilities and resource-management tools," says Al Hufstetler, UGS' vice president of business strategy and marketing for the Tecnomatix product line. "Now engineers can get a better view of how the products they design will be manufactured."
Tecnomatix solutions contain features that facilitate part assembly and disassembly planning processes. Using original CAD data, manufacturers can conduct a static analysis and detect design errors early in the design phase of the process. Those capabilities are now in UGS products.
At least one industry consultant, however, believes that UGS will have some difficulty assimilating Tecnomatix and its products. "There will be a clash of cultures between the Israeli company (Tecnomatix) and the U.S. company," says Ken Versprille, a senior researcher at consulting firm CPD Associates.
Hufstetler disagrees. "Because we've been working closely with Tecnomatix for close to three years, many of the cultural issues that can affect mergers are behind us," he says. Additionally, he says that digital-manufacturing capabilities from Tecnomatix now in UGS products will enable design and manufacturing departments to work more closely together. "Manufacturing staff will always be current on design changes, and that will make manufacturing and product development in general more efficient."
For more information on CAD and CAM, check out the link below: