Successful engineering organizations have two important things in common: they know how to utilize computer-aided design (CAD) technology in ways that consistently advance productivity and instill innovation in product development, and they are led by capable managers who know how to best leverage available CAD tools. You too, can become an effective CAD leader by taking a strategic approach to implementation and use of CAD software and related applications. Over the next few weeks we will go over 10 strategies that can show you how.
Strategy 1: Embrace best practices and new technologies
Getting the most out of your
CAD system requires keeping abreast of emerging developments and determining how new technologies will impact your engineering processes.
The term “best practices” is a moving, shifting target, because what was
considered a “best practice” 10 years ago has most likely become obsolete today—just
as how you currently do things will in all likelihood undergo a dramatic transformation
10 years from now.
It’s important to remain open to new approaches, rather than sticking with old, comfortable ways of doing things. Back in the infancy of CAD, there undoubtedly were managers who resisted the move to CAD tools and wanted to hold on to their drafting tables to the bitter end. more recently, something similar has taken place with the migration from 2D to 3D CAD systems.
To keep pace with the evolution of “best practices” in product development, effective CAD leaders must not only remain vigilant in evaluating new tools and emerging technologies, but also in continually assessing how they go about designing and engineering products.
By formalizing your design
workflows, you will be in a better position to identify areas where you can make improvements as well as determine the likely impact of new applications.
You can stay current regarding the state of the art in CAD software, as well as advances in hardware and infrastructure, by attending CAD conferences and industry events. Many of these events are now virtual, enabling you to obtain the information that you need online. Whether you are investigating a new breed of design software or evaluating the timing for upgrading computer hardware, prototyping machines, or other infrastructure equipment, it’s prudent to make your assessments in terms of return on investment (ROI). Estimating how long it will take for a tool to pay dividends is the ultimate determination of what constitutes a “best practice.”
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*This article is an excerpt from the "Ten Strategies for Becoming an Effective CAD Leader White Paper", published by DS SolidWorks Corp.