Friday, 6 March 2009

NX and Pro/E data can now be used seamlessly within CATIA V5


“Multi-CADV5 enables non-CATIA data to be simply incorporated within a CATIA V5 environment.”

Theorem's Multi-CAD V5 product removes both the cost and the complexity of working with both CATIA V5 data and non CATIA data on a single project. Allowing the operator to access the data seamlessly from within CATIA, it removes the headache of importing data from UGNX and/or Pro/E into CATIA by eliminating the translation bottlenecks that add costs to both new and evolving product designs.

Multi-CAD reduces design costs by enabling the CATIA V5 user to incorporate non-CATIA V5 parts and assemblies, simply, within the CATIA V5 environment. This approach contrasts favourably with the traditional, time- intensive and costly process of translating non- CATIA V5 data to CATIA V5 using a standard such as STEP AP203, or a direct database translator.

A major drawback with the above processes is recognising when a design change takes place in non-CATIA V5 data, and managing the process of updating the CATIA V5 representation to take into account the changes once the initial translation process is completed. A further issue is that the designer has no control over when the data is translated, if it is carried out as a separate process.

Theorem's Multi-CAD V5 solution overcomes these problems, enabling CATIA V5 users to incorporate non-CATIA V5 parts and assemblies within the CATIA V5 environment - without external translators. Working within CATIA V5, the user simply selects the “Insert” tab at the top of the CATIA screen and moves to the “Existing component” selector on the ensuing drop down menu.

This is pure CATIA V5; no new interface, and nothing new to learn. However rather than selecting an existing CATIA design, the user selects a non CATIA V5 part or assembly; this then appears on the CATIA V5 design tree.

What has actually happened is that the “Insert existing component” command has not only selected the non-CATIA V5 part/assembly, but it has also run the Theorem Multi-CAD V5 application, which has drawn the data into the CATIA design tree. The speed of modern hardware and the reliability of the Theorem software mean that the user doesn't even know that a translation has taken place. This is true interoperability in action.

Multi-CAD V5 is not only easier to use and more cost effective, it is also much more secure than a traditional ‘translate and import' process, in which there is never a link between source and translated files.

This separation between CATIAV5 and imported, non- CATIA V5 data, when employing external translators, has always been a major problem for users, in that any changes to the non-CATIA V5 data would not be updated in the CATIA V5 design. However, with Theorem's Multi-CAD product, CATIA V5 maintains and manages the links with the original files. Consequently, if there are changes within the non-CATIA V5 components or assemblies, these will be automatically reflected in CATIA V5 itself.


For more information please click here

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Design Department Saves Days of Work by Using a Virtual Night Shift

Theorem's TPM process manager reduces CAD translation times from 2 days to 4 hours, and personnel requirement from 5 to 2.

The ability of Theorem Solutions TPM process management tool to radically reduce both the cost and time required for CAD translations in the automotive industry has been conclusively demonstrated at Cosma International, a Worldwide supplier of automotive components. By automating its data exchange and data translation processes with TPM, Cosma has reduced the number of personnel required for the process from 5 to 2. Moreover, the time for translation of large batches of files (which previously took 2-days) has now been reduced to between four and six hours.

A division of Canadian automotive component manufacturer, Magna International, Cosma specialises in chassis stampings, bumper beams, and metal body panels primarily for light trucks and sport utility vehicles (SUVs). The company's customers include many of the world's largest automakers, including BMW, Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Toyota, and Volkswagen. 

With a diverse base of global manufacturers as customers, Cosma has to handle product data in myriad of CAD formats, including NX (Unigraphics) and CATIA V4 and V5. What this means in practice is that when requests for product data come in from supply chain partners or external customers, the data co-ordinators at Cosma have to go into each individual CAD application to translate the data into the requested format, a tedious and time-consuming manual process.

“Historically, translations were done on the data co-ordinator's own systems, so when they were doing translations, they were pretty useless otherwise,” said Dave Truchan, Director of Information Technology at Cosma.                                        

In an effort to reduce the time required for these translations, Cosma decided to deploy Theorem Process Manager (TPM), a process management and automation tool from Theorem Solutions. TPM automates, manages, schedules and controls tasks or processes helping to eliminate manual intervention and monitoring. It helps companies maximise their investments in software and hardware resources by enabling batch intensive tasks to be undertaken during off-hours when computers are usually idle.

The TPM system at Cosma is tied to the company's PLM system and automates the data exchange and data translation processes. Before automating the process, Cosma had five people working on data translations within the company; today this has been reduced to two.

Aside from manpower savings, the company has also realised significant time savings over the previous manual process. “Time-wise TPM has been great,” says Truchan. “Our data co-ordinators now just batch out jobs, so it's really reduced translation time significantly, and the co-ordinators can work on different things while TPM is in the background translating.”

The TPM system at Cosma runs on a dedicated server. When requests come in, Cosma data co-ordinators simply ‘drag and drop' files to add them to the job queue.  The data is processed by TPM, then the data co-ordinators are automatically notified when the jobs are completed. They, in turn, notify the person who requested the data. Currently the TPM server is processing translations 24 hours a day.

“The co-ordinators are now batching off 25, 50 or 100 files to the server, and then they are going about doing other things,” says Truchan. “I'd be reluctant to say it's a 100% improvement but it almost is; and our overtime is almost non-existent.
What used to be considered good to get a two-day turnaround, we're now doing in four to six hours. Our turnaround time now is phenomenal because the people are doing what they need to do all the time. That's been the biggest benefit.”

Cosma has plans to expand the use of the TPM system in the future to process other time-intensive computing tasks, while freeing computing and manpower resources to accomplish other tasks.  “Currently we're running TPM on just one server, but we do know we can do this on multiple servers, 24- hours a day, if need be,” says Truchan. “We know all the bells and whistles are there; we just want to get it in flow first.”

The company is currently embarking on a new large engineering project. TPM will play a larger role in this project, helping process and generate JT files, not just STEP or IGES files. “When that comes about, we'll need to utilise people's workstations from 7 P.M. to 6 A.M. or whenever they are not here,” says Truchan. “We really look at TPM as a very large part of this new engineering project because being able to visualise the parts that engineering is sending out to the divisions, to the people who are actually making it, is so important to them.”

According to Patrick Shutter, system administrator, Cosma also has plans to deploy TPM to assist the analysis group with sharing product data with design collaboration partners within the company. “It would be a huge perk for our analysis group, because they share their data with so many groups that to have one common system would be a huge benefit and to have it batched would be awesome for them.”

Summing up the role of Theorem Solutions in the deployment of TPM at Cosma, Hai Hoang, the company's manager of Information Technology said that: “Theorem has been a great partner in this; they have bent over backwards and have done above-and-beyond the support of typical salespeople. Without them, I don't think we would have had the success with TPM.”

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Theorem Solutions Multi-CAD products available to purchase from the PLM MarketPlace

Theorem Solutions, a long standing software partner to Dassault Systemes, has an extensive portfolio of products and solutions for the CATIA V5 user including our latest Multi-CAD and 3DXML solutions that support the Dassault Multi-CAx initiative, as well as our Data Exchange Automation solutions and Legacy CAD Migration services.
Our advanced data translation tools are paving the way for new functionality to support Dassault Systèmes' MultiCAx initiative - which calls for interoperability to be in the hands of users, so that "design in context" can be undertaken without the need for external translation of non CATIA V5 parts.
These solutions are now available for you to sell directly through the PLM Market Place!
Benefits of our Multi-CAD based solutions include: 
  • CATIA V5 users are able to select a part or assembly in a third party format e.g NX/Proe/IDEAS
  • CATIA V5 users can bring non CATIA data into a CATIA V5 session in the user's desired CGR or BREP format
  • CATIA V5 maintains and manages links with imported files
  • Updated versions of files are made available to the CATIA V5 user if the original UGNX/I-DEAS/Pro/E part or assembly is modified
  • CATIA users have the option to output  NX data in 3DXML format for use with 3DLive or 3DVIA applications.
  • No need to undertake a separate translation operation
  • Theorem's MultiCAx JT > 3DXML plug-in makes accurate JT data available to users of CATIA V5, 3DLive and 3DVia Composer in the form of 3DXML data
There are even AVI’s that you can download to share with potential customers to aid your sales process!
We look forward to progressing opportunities with you!
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Friday, 27 February 2009

CATIA V5 Multi-CAD AVI's in French and German



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Nimrod MRA4 data migration brings significant benefits

BAE Systems, one of the world’s leading high technology and manufacturing companies has utilised a combination of Theorem Solutions TPM data exchange automation and translation products to migrate Nimrod MRA4 data from CADDS into CATIA. The project migrates tens ofthousands of CADDS 5 models and drawings into CATIA bringing significant benefits to BAE through the reduction of ongoing costs of running multiple CAD systems. The successful migration process also ensures the retention of valuable intellectual property created over many years.

In the past Nimrod was designed in two CAD systems, the wings were designed in CADDS and the rest of the airframe in CATIA. Over time Nimrod has evolved into one of the most advanced and versatile airborne systems ever made. A BAE systems project team at Warton in Lancashire England became aware that unification of the design data onto a single CAD system would bring significant benefits both financially and operationally and in 2006 began to investigate the feasibility of migrating the Nimrod CADDS data into CATIA.

BAE systems were already very experienced in the day to day translation of specific CAD parts from CADDS into CATIA for their own use and for use within their supply chain and their methods included standard based translators such as STEP and IGES and the use of Theorem’s CADverter for 3D model translation. However their experience showed them that translation carried out in low volume and in an interactive manner would not be suitable for the migration of over a hundred thousand models and drawings. The demands on time and manpower alone would make this completely impractical.

In seeking a solution to the limitations of the current process BAE Systems evaluated the batch capabilities of applications at their disposal and reached the conclusion that none of the options provided a complete solution. Their next action was to contact Theorem and open a series of discussions aimed at addressing their problems.

CAD data translation specialists Theorem are not only developers and suppliers of CAD translation products but also provide solutions for a large scale migration projects. Because of this Theorem already has some generic applications that help companies wishing to migrate large volumes of CAD data in the most effective manner. As the parties worked together a solution to BAE’s problems began to emerge.

The initial challenge was to demonstrate that the Theorem CADDS to CATIA translator would prove suitable for the translation of the 3D data and since BAE were already a user of this Theorem product it did not take long to confirm. Secondly came the requirement to translate 2D drawings from CADDS to CATIA either associated with 3D models or as standalone 2D drawings. This was a significant challenge but Theorem developed specific application software to solve it and the project reached a stage where the CAD translation problems were considered resolved to BAE’s complete satisfaction.

However it had always been known that simply providing batch translation capabilities was not going to meet BAE’s full project requirements. The nature of the project meant that the batch processes would need to monitored and that comprehensive audit trails would be required enabling the cross checking of any translated data back to its original source and showing everything that had happened to it during the migration process. With over 100,000 CADDS files requiring translation into CATIA, if this monitoring and audit trail creation were to be carried out manually, manpower costs alone would have made the whole project unfeasible.

Theorem proposed that BAE consider Theorem Process Manager (TPM), an application specifically designed for the control and management of computer processes and an agreement was made to move forward to a ‘Proof of Concept’ phase which would entail the automatic combination of the translation processes with automated monitoring and audit trail creation under the overall control of TPM.

Even before this phase could begin it became clear that another significant requirement would need to be included within the TPM automated process. All translations in the Nimrod project are subject to a checking process. This was planned to be a manual activity undertaken by experienced checkers and it had originally been designed to confirm the validity of relatively small numbers of translations. The migration process would create a high volume of translated data very quickly and the risk was that it would either swamp the existing checkers or require the temporary employment of a great many more checkers. Without automation, data checking would be a significant time bottleneck and add substantial cost to the project.

To solve this problem the decision was taken to utlise checking software and procedures that could be incorporated and automated in the TPM process. A set of appropriate CADDS files
was identified and nominated for use as the test data set for the Proof of Concept phase. This enabled a three month pilot to demonstrate that Nimrod 2D and 3D data could be quickly and accurately translated into CATIA, that the translations met the required quality standards, that checking could be automated, that the results could be easily audited and that the whole migration project could be run under TPM with the minimum of operator intervention.

During the course of the Proof of Concept a number of refinements were made to various aspects of the overall solution the most significant of which was to incorporate a series of automatic exception reports to indicate to checkers where there might be issues in a particular model or drawing. This meant that instead of a final manual checking process that examined a small number of translations at random, the checkers would be directed towards the files that exhibited problems and this resulted in even greater efficiency in the overall project.

The Proof of Concept phase was fully successful and BAE Systems at Warton has since implemented an on-site production system and is now reaping the benefits. The migration process is under the full control of TPM and only requires the selection of input data and a ‘drag and drop’ action to initiate a set of translations and all the other activities that are necessary in this demanding project. Comprehensive validation and checking takes place without operator intervention and exception reports provide a small team of checkers withclear indication of which files should be manually examined.

Often in projects of this nature it is difficult to identify tangible benefits but they were very clear in this CADDS to CATIA migration. Effective migration has saved significant futureexpenditure that would have arisen from operating both CADDS and CATIA. Automatic comparison and validation between CADDS source and post translated CATIA has saved a significant cost through the avoidance of additional manpower and the automatic creation of audit trails saved further manpower whilst providing comprehensive audit reports.

The outcome is a highly successful solution to a complex CADDS to CATIA migration project that demanded not only meeting the technical objectives but also providing very significant savings in time and cost.

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Theorem Solutions opens the way for the CATIA and 3DXML communities to work with JT data.

Use of Dassault Systemes strategic XCAD and Siemens JT Open technology ensures full compatibility and delivers high quality data and business benefits with a new JT to 3DXML translator. 

The CATIA community working in a collaborative manner where JT is the data exchange format, or those where JT is used within their own company now have easy and comprehensive access to the data previously locked away in JT files. Now, the ability to work with 3DXML data (that once was JT data) whilst continuing to work in their familiar Dassault Systemes application environment will bring not just operational benefits but business benefits too. Ease of use, time saved through not having to re-work data and reduction of costs by reducing the occurance of errors are all direct benefits from using Theorem's new JT to 3DXML translator.

Theorem's new JT to 3DXML translator makes accurate JT data available to users of CATIA V5, 3DLive and 3DVIA Composer. The 3DXML data is a full and complete translation of the JT file, including Brep solids and surfaces, tessellated data, PMI (product manufacturing information), structure and color. It provides users with new methods and extends the use of design data within a business enterprise and across supply chains.

Theorem customers will be immediately familiar with the interactive user interface for the translation of small numbers of files but it is likely that many organisations will gain significant benefit by running Theorem's JT to 3DXML translator via the command line interface integrated in to their PLM environments.

Theorem's JT to 3DXML is available immediately. For further information and to enquire about how to order please go to

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Thursday, 26 February 2009

Theorem Solutions announces comprehensive support for CATIA V5 R19

PLM interoperability specialist Theorem Solutions continues to offer the most uptodate support for CATIA users with the announcement of immediate availablity of support for CATIVA V5 R19.

The new versions of Theorem's CADverter offer fast and accurate translation of CAD data between CATIA V5 R19 and NX, I-DEAS; CADDS5 and ICEMsurf and for ProductView and the JT visualisation formats as well as the recently introduced Theorem 3DXML capability.

Theorem's commitment to keep pace with the latest releases of CATIA V5 is based on its use of application development utilities provided and supported by the Dassault Systemes themselves. This not only ensures parallel development of new CADverter products, but also complete compatibility with fast-evolving and increasingly capable product development systems found in CATIA V5.

These latest CATIA V5 R19 CADverter products include the full range of Theorem CATIA products including the latest Theorem Multi-CAD products that operate from within CATIA V5. They will be available to existing Theorem users with a current maintenance agreement, as well as to all new customers.

Announcing the new series of CADverters for CATIA V5 R19, Theorem's General Manager, Keith Jeacock said: "Many of our CATIA customers employ CADverters on 'mission critical' projects. Their ability to do so is sometimes dependent on the timely availability of robust interoperability products that match the rate at which they themsleves update their CATIA systems. Our extensive pre-release testing confirms that CATIA V5 users will be able to implement to the latest Theorem CATIA V5 R19 CADverters with complete confidence and without interruption to existing interactive or batch interoperability processes."

To view Theorem's range of products for CATIA V5 please click here:

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