Design Reviews – Solutions (Part II)

In a previous post (here ) Matt Sheridan discussed five common challenges customers face when performing design reviews. In this post he discusses how PTC helps companies overcome these common challenges

The five common design-review challenges:–

  1. Reviewing multi-CAD designs
  2. Working with 2D Drawings
  3. Comparing dataset
  4. Organizing and viewing  data types (Word, Excel, PDF)
  5. Integrating MCAD-ECAD information


Figure 1: Few organizations have a defined Design Review approach and/or the tools to support design reviews.

Madhavi: Matt, I came across this infographic from a recent PTC survey that indicates typical designers and engineers participate in anywhere between 17 to 57 design reviews in a month depending on the size of the organization.  When you think about overcoming the common challenges for each review, this can add up to a lot of wasted time or worse, poor decisions. PTC provides tools to help overcome these challenges, could you tells us about these tools:

Matt: PTC provides a suite of products called PTC Creo View that includes PTC Creo View MCAD and PTC Creo View ECAD.  These tools view heterogeneous CAD data  and allow users to interrogate and understand multi-CAD models, documents, images, and drawings all in one place.  The result is better design reviews.  Since, all the information is online, teams can be part of the process even if they are not located in the same room or building. In talking withpic1 customers, many spend considerable time printing drawings and documents and organizing files in preparation for a full product or packaging review.  Accessing all the needed information from one tool streamlines the process.

Madhavi:  Can you give some examples of review capability that PTC Creo View provides, perhaps starting with the challenges around 2D drawings?

Matt:  Sure.  There is no question that manufacturers continue to heavily rely on 2D drawings.  A fantastic part of PTC Creo View MCAD is that drawings are published as vector images.  Vector publishing offers tremendous advantage over basic drawing management, which for many companies means scanning bitmap images to store digitally. Bitmaps are not vectored images and will pixelate when you try to zoom in to review tiny details (this is the same as if you were looking at a regular family photo). The advantage of a vector drawing is the ability to zoom in on small detail, and even take measurements right from the drawing!  Another challenge for many companies is finding what has changed from one version to the next.  PTC Creo View MCAD includes powerful drawing comparison tools.  Users can compare two versions of a drawing and highlight the differences. It’s a tremendous tool for reviewing drawings online.

Beyond 2D drawings, PTC Creo View also gives the end users the opportunity to bring in product data from Microsoft Word and Excel and review it in the context of product design. The documents may be design specification, product requirements, or testing documents.  This enables the users to get a complete picture of the product.

Madhavi:  Thanks Matt, clearly PTC Creo View MCAD can help with 2D drawing and document reviews, can you talk about the challenges with reviewing multi-CAD and MCAD-ECAD designs.

Matt:  Sure. With more and more products including a combination of  mechanical and electronic components, companies are looking for better design review tools that cover both disciplines.  Can the ECAD designers view a board layout to see dimensions and mounting holes?  Can the mechanical designers see the keep out areas from electrical designers?  The markup and review capability of PTC Creo View allows users to view and markup both MCAD and ECAD datasets. For 3D geometry, PTC Creo View MCAD makes it possible for teams to interrogate 3D models for mass properties, measurements, cross- sections and understand proximity of components.  For ECAD designs, PTC Creo View ECAD includes the ability to check nets and routings, turn on and off layers and load huge schematic designs.

Figure 2: Typical review actions companies perform during design reviews according to a recent PTC customer survey.

Figure 2: Typical review actions companies perform during design reviews according to a recent PTC customer survey.

Madhavi:  Thanks for the details on some of the capabilities needed to address common design challenges.  Is there anything else companies should consider to improve design reviews?

Matt:  One additional thought is being able to capture all the comments and markups created during the review.  Today, the information coming out of a review, a red-lined drawing for example, is often discarded or filed away making it difficult to go back and review later.   PTC Creo View captures reviewer comments and redlines attaching this information to the dataset.  For companies using PTC Windchill to manage iterations and versions, these comments are tied to a specific iteration of the design. So, as the design matures, users can examine a product’s history and make sure that changes match the recommendations captured during product reviews.

Maintaining design history is  important when it comes to traceability and auditing.

Madhavi:  To finish, can you reference a customer using PTC Creo View today in their design review process

Matt:  Sure. A great customer for this topic is SMS Siemag.  SMS Siemag is an industrial plant-building company headquartered in Dusseldorf, Germany.  They faced challenges reviewing a complete plant including placements of walkways and platforms.  This type of review was impossible due to the inability to  build  full-scale prototypes pic3and the difficulty loading and viewing the massive amounts of CAD data.   They overcame these challenges using PTC Creo View MCAD to visualize and check for clashes, interferences and safety issues.  Performing clash analysis digitally eliminates issues that, in the past, would be caught onsite during construction. SMS Siemag  also shares the 3D viewables with customers, speeding the transfer of knowledge and accelerating plant ramp-up time.

To summarize the key points of this discussion – Discrete manufacturers continue to advance and improve their design review processes.. Improved reviews can lead to reduced costs, greater efficiencies and ultimately getting products to market faster. PTC helps companies improve design reviews with the PTC Creo View suite of products.

About Matt Sheridan

Matt is currently PLM Product Marketing Director at PTC.  He has over fifteen years working in Matt SheridanProduct Lifecycle Management and with discrete manufacturing companies.

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