Collaboration makes you a more productive engineer.
That was the message from a recent webcast sponsored by Design News, PTC, and Microsoft. Led by moderator Paul E. Teague, national editor of Design News, engineers spoke about their experiences with collaboration, the tools they used, and the results they received.
Mike Venegoni, engineering systems supervisor at printing-equipment manufacturer MarkAndy, Inc., told attendees how collaboration helps the company's engineers overcome design challenges such as the large number of parts, critical fits and tolerances, offsite design validation, lack of direct access of some to CAD data, and language differences as they deal with engineers across the globe.
FTP servers, email, and express mail didn't help the engineers a great deal when they wanted to exchange data, he says. Each posed problems ranging from lack of protection against file corruption (FTP) to inability to handle large files (email) to slowness (Express Mail). To solve those problems, he said, the company used PTC's Pro/Collaborate.
Chris Ray, Microsoft's global industry director for engineering, reviewed the major trends in technology evolution over the last decade, and provided an overview of Microsoft's vision for engineering collaboration.
And Will Kohler, director of technical marketing at PTC, took attendees through a simulated collaboration effort to show how collaboration improves manufacturability and product quality, lowers design costs, speeds time to market, generates greater buy-in for designs, and cuts late change orders.
To demonstrate the benefits of collaboration, he cited the example of a cell phone design. By collaborating with manufacturing, marketing, suppliers, various internal departments such as legal and sales, and customers, engineers in the hypothetical example were able to make major improvements in product design.
Engineers can view this and previous webcasts at the Design News website, www.designnews.com.