Long-time I-DEAS user Ford Motor Company has switched its CAD platform to IBM/Dassault's CATIA. However, EDS, which owns I-DEAS as a result of its purchase of SDRC, disagrees. So what is it?
Apparently, Ford has decided to move to a multi-CAD approach. Not surprising, given that both Ford and SDRC have changed since they got together on I-DEAS several years ago. EDS, developer of Unigraphics CAD software got I-DEAS and Ford took over Volvo and Land Rover, both of which use CATIA. Moreover, EDS' Unigraphics is used extensively at Ford rival General Motors, and many industry insiders expect that Ford would not want to use the same software as a competitor. (Ford had not returned calls as of press time.) But nothing is simple. An EDS press release touted the fact that Ford will upgrade to its NX products. Stay tuned.
As manufacturers add new technologies to their products, designing for compliance becomes more difficult. Prepare for the certification testing process. Otherwise, you increase the risk of discovering a safety issue after a product leaves the assembly line. That will cause significant time-to-market delays, be much costlier to fix, and damage your brand in the eyes of customers.
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