Last year at Autodesk University during the Manufacturing Keynote I talked a lot about the ways in which people view design and the design process. I used an example of a staircase and how an architect looks at an element of design through a different lens than that of a mechanical engineer who views it differently than say a machinist, fabricator and so on. This was really the motivation behind my web series On the Job with Autodesk. I wanted to share with you our technology at work and the impact it is having on our customers. Time and time again what I found is that Digital Prototyping is opening up an increased need for re-use and access to even more design related information, and the speed in which people can access that information is critical.
Kind of a shift really in what I tend to talk about - mainly creating a Digital Prototype with Inventor, I know... But let me think this one through for a second. I also talked at AU about how the evolution of technology is pretty repeatable. A technology evolves from impossible, to impractical, to expected, then becomes the status quo. I don't think 3D modeling is quite at the status quo state but it is certainly well into the expected. And as more and more customers move to information rich 3D models, connecting all of the information related to design is the burgeoning expectation of many customers.
So, back to the original question, what is business critical to you? The modeling or drafting tool you use I would argue is critical to your business. It's a tool that you use to capture and communicate design, and if you are in the business of making money and that revenue is in the form of a manufactured product... you get my point. So it's really cool to see is the benefits of Digital Prototyping that are beginning to show themselves more in areas outside of engineering that when I prompt our customers to reflect on the value of the data during my visits, you immediately get the sense of the critical nature of the information and how it is re-purposed throughout the organization.
That's where the business critical nature of Autodesk Vault really shows itself. When it comes to getting people access to the latest revision of design information, the digital release process, and managing change; they are connecting the design data with even more of the associated information relevant to the engineering and manufacturing processes.
So what's the big shift then? What's the biggest difference that I'm seeing? Back to the looking at the design information through different lenses analogy... Access to even more of the information. That's what I'm seeing as one of the biggest differences and one that is becoming more and more critical to our customers business. Our customers need the right level of access to the right piece of information, right [insert favorite word of emphasis] now. Think about it, how do most of you get your news - Twitter feed, email alert? Now, how to you find out who's holding up approval on the latest ECR..? Remember this post from earlier in the year Why is Waste Acceptable?
See if this example sounds reasonable: Is this 3D model that I'm viewing a prototype or the production model that has been properly inspected to meet compliance requirements? Have the inspection processes been updated or changed in accordance with the latest standards? How many of those parts do we have on the shelf that went through the "old" inspection, and who do we have on staff that is even qualified to certify those parts before they ship?
Example one of potentially endless examples of how all of the associated information related to design is business critical. So, let me ask you guys if you can share a few examples like the one above and the tool(s), workflows, conference calls, production meetings, and number of interns you use to address that type of need.
Now, in classic teaser form we've launched a new website for you to take a look at. Yes, this is how we roll... [grin] Last year at AU we rolled out some of our latest and greatest technology and this year we are blowing the roof off the joint. On 11.29.11 Everything Changes.