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SUMMARY: Global Design Initiatives / Struggles


SUMMARY: Global Design Initiatives / Struggles

I will post below, the summary of responses to my initial question.

Also, while we are not sure if PTC's GIS services are the answer to this problem, we do have their full attention on this issue. Our local AE is working on options for controlling our Global issues. My intentions here were to find out how other companies, whether the procedures were or were not supplied by PTC, are handling the same issue we have come across during this opportunity of enhancement.

Brian S. Noll
Software Development Engineer III
York, A Johnson Controls Company

Response #1
At my last company, we designed products for our division in 3 locations globally; Pennsylvania, Germany and India. We manufactured product in a fourth location, China.

In order to do global design, you MUST use the same units for all of your designs and manufacturing. We choose to design all products, road construction equipment, in metric units, even though it may have cost us more in the price of raw materials and hardware items. The only problem we had was in adapting the different manufacturing processes used to form sheet metal parts and get the proper bend allowances. By moving that function to the local manufacturing plant, adaptations could be made in the bend tables for the developed flat pattern.

Response #2
PTC always creates some grandiose solution requiring gobs of money.

A simple answer is Windchill with change management. A Process flow can be made to incorporate your defined change process. Project link can be use to share models or nc programs with two different plants as you specified. Standard start parts can be used to force the same design intent, look and feel for each family of parts. Some simple behind the scenes automation in Windchill can automatically convert between the measuring systems.

I would caution you in developing a homegrown system for data management of generating disconnected files like pdfs. In the end a homegrown system will cost you more.

It's the high level answer...hope it helps some.

Response #3
We have something similar here, because our company has facilities in Mexico, Canada, Brazil, Ecuador, Colombia and Argentina, and also because we are partners of General Electric. At the beginning, all the Latin-America facilities were in metric, but GE and our company had an agreement due all the issues of inch vs. metric, and we decided to use only inches in all the plants and the projects. As you can imagine, it was hard, mainly for the suppliers, but after a lot of discussions and internal resistance, we are just finishing the conversion into inches, but also we can see the first benefits of it, in the creation of continental projects with common parts who can be shared across the continent and the consequent costs reduction (a lot of money!!).

We decided to have one unit system mainly because two issues, the TDD analysis of inferences, along with some BMX and cetol analysis inside of these assemblies, and the second big reason were the CAE analyses that our products require, because normally these packages read the geometry but not the units, that means, 1 inch = 1 Unit, but at the same time, 1 mm = 1 Unit. So, if you put together 1 assembly with 2 parts, one in inches and one in mm, and as you can imagine, one of them stays in the same size, but the other scales the geometry and for sure you will face some problems trying to run the analysis.

In this project, we face too the issue of four languages (English, Spanish, Portuguese and recently French), so we decided to have one neutral language (English for the entire continent), and the correspondent country was free to add a second language and a second unit system into the drawing planes, following some internal standards developed by us.
Also, we develop some internal procedures to handle special "country" issues, so we save thousands of dollars in PTC or other company who made implementations, doing the entire job by ourselves.

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