While the Big Three have each settled on one primary CAD supplier, Toyota has taken a different approach. Based on technology from Nippon Unisys and Matra Datavision, the company has developed the "TOGO CAD/CAM System." "TOGO" is a Japanese word meaning "integrated."
Before developing TOGO CAD, Toyota had developed in-house systems for styling, structural design, and press die production. Although these systems helped reduce the time it took for the production of drawings and machining, Toyota says, they did not enable the company to shorten the overall development period sufficiently.
The problem was data conversion at each stage in the development process, preventing the company from realizing truly concurrent engineering. Engineers developed TOGO CAD to address this based on four requirements:
- High vertical integration
- Horizontal integration
- Enabling of advanced simulations
With TOGO CAD, the goal is to use the same data throughout the entire development process. But the system, says Toyota, must also accommodate changes in design methods. The concept also involves the development of a hybrid system, in which surface and solid modeling can be used separately.
Finally, Toyota wanted to base TOGO CAD on technologies developed by other companies, specifically Nihon Unisys for 3D and Matra Datavision for design styling. TOGO Styling, based on technology from Matra Datavision, went into production use last summer. Toyota is also using CAS.CADE, Matra's object-oriented software development platform. Conversely, Matra plans to incorporate some of Toyota's developments into its EUCLID QUANTUM offering.
Toyota's design engineers in Belgium and the US are also using TOGO CAD. And while Toyota wants to encourage its suppliers around the world to use TOGO CAD, it realizes this is not always practical. For now, at least, it is relying on direct translators and IGES. Others are more closely integrated. For example, there is a direct interface between I-DEAS and TOGO CAD, so I-DEAS can be used as the CAE solution.