For Immediate Release
Patents Issued for iSEEK Corporation Search Engine Technology - CADSEEK
(June 7, 2009 -- Ames, IA) The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office recently issued two patents covering the underlying technology used by iSEEK Corporation for its flagship shape search product, CADSEEK Polaris. Inventors of the patented technology include Abir Qamhiyah, who serves as CEO of the company and Don Flugrad who is the Senior VP and Chief Operating Officer.
The patents are No. 7,548,650 Geometric search engine and No. 7,492,374 Computer aided design file processing. The two patents describe the methods used by iSEEK Corporation for the coding, indexing and retrieval of three-dimensional shapes found in large, distributed CAD databases. The procedures are insensitive to the specific CAD software used in creating the models, and can be applied to various file formats.
Using the technology, a dataset of parts or assemblies is first coded in automated batch mode, and the resulting signatures for the parts/assemblies are then indexed into families of similar shape. The user can browse the Navigator, a graphical user interface displaying the families, to locate parts of interest which can then be used as targets for expanded search of the dataset for additional matches. Three-dimensional targets for search can also be quickly sketched using CAD software. The sketch, which need not include fine detail or dimensioning, is then coded using CADSEEK, and a search is conducted to locate existing parts or assemblies that might be reused as is or with slight modification in new applications.
Shape search technology is a powerful addition to the usual text-based search techniques available for data management. CADSEEK can be used to find parts or assemblies using text input alone, graphical input alone or a combination of both. When a designer is able to reuse an existing part, there is a significant savings for the company in reduced design time and the elimination of all the other steps required to release a new part to production. Furthermore, use of an existing part leads to lower piece prices for larger lot order sizes.
Not only is the designer able to work more efficiently, but others in the organization can benefit as well. A manufacturing engineer who is responsible for fabricating a new part can use CADSEEK to search for similar parts and take advantage of all the previous work that went into process planning for those designs. Supply chain management personnel can also use CADSEEK to search for similar parts or assemblies when seeking vendors to supply newly designed models. Of course, many along the design/manufacturing/production process sequence would be interested in finding cost information for existing parts that are similar to newly designed alternatives.
Use of CADSEEK is simple and straightforward and does not require the specialized training needed to use typical CAD packages. A few keyword entries might be required during a browsing and search session, but most of the user’s interaction with the software involves simple point and click selections.
Customers are using CADSEEK across globally distributed enterprises that involve multiple server installations worldwide. Thousands of users in companies that range from very small to very large are currently finding parts they could not locate before, eliminating the temptation to duplicate a design that already exists (perhaps multiple times) in the organization’s CAD database.
CADSEEK is currently available in a “rich” server/client version that emphasizes the use of three-dimensional graphics in the user interface, and a “thin” digital catalog version that can be opened and operated in any number of popular web browsers. The digital catalog version, in particular, is well-suited to collaboration between an OEM and its network of suppliers who can provide samples of parts to be coded, indexed and used by the OEM to locate and quickly certify suppliers for new designs.