May 10, 2004
DaimlerChrysler Selects Dimensional Control Systems For Quality Process Management
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by Jeff Rowe - Contributing Editor
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DaimlerChrysler Selects Dimensional Control Systems For Quality Process Management

Dimensional Control Systems (DCS) announced that DaimlerChrysler (DCX) has selected DCS's Graphic Data Management software, GDM-3D, as the technology to support a key component of its enterprise quality strategy.

DaimlerChrysler will implement the GDM-3D software, replacing the current CMDANA solution, throughout North America's product engineering and manufacturing. The deployment is aimed at streamlining the program execution and improving the overall quality of the final product. The initial target of the project is to provide access to critical data in a Web-based environment to all areas within the organization - including manufacturing, quality, design, and suppliers. For many manufacturing companies, best practice in this area consists of manually transferring data from the collection point into reports, which may take several days. Production costs are driven up due to longer corrective
action cycles resulting in longer ramp-up times.

Robert A. Kaphengst, DCS President and CEO said, "We are pleased with DaimlerChrysler's choice of the DCS Web-based GDM-3D reporting solution. Our ability to create professional reports in a fast and efficient manner, superior development capabilities, and our capacity to work with other DCX suppliers to deliver a complete solution made GDM-3D the most logical choice for DaimlerChrysler."

Robert Waite, Manager, Advance Metrology Group DaimlerChrysler NA, said, "One of the exciting outcomes of this project is the new DML standard for sharing quality information. DML will streamline the way quality information is gathered, distributed, and analyzed."

He continued, "The development of this new web technology will help DaimlerChrysler bridge the quality gap to our competition. We now have dynamic use of quality data throughout our extended enterprise allowing for flexible charting and analysis of data on demand. This initiative furthers the progress made by DaimlerChrysler in the area of quality."

Waite summarized by saying, "The GDM-3D implementation provides DaimlerChrysler with a single system to address all commodity areas of the vehicle, including body sheet metal and powertrain. The Web implementation provides for access around the world in real time allowing for fast and efficient decision making at the time of need."

This announcement comes as good news to DCS, a company that develops and markets several products for graphically analyzing measurement data. The specific products that are making their way into DCX are GDM-3D Analyst and a specialized Web-based implementation created specifically for DCX. GDM-3D Analyst is focused specifically on the needs of coordinate measuring machine (CMM) users, and is a dimensional quality management tool for reporting the amount of individual part and manufacturing process variation and highlighting their cause(s). It is a graphical 3D data management software for the production environment.GDM-3D Analyst is a dimensional quality data management tool for reporting manufacturing process variation in a solids-based graphical environment. Generally, GDM-3D provides a variety of methods for tracking improvements in overall quality while graphically identifying and statistically analyzing areas for improvement, and standardizes the quality reporting process to improve communication. With multiple tools incorporated into a single package, there is no need to purchase separate solutions for quality reporting. According to the company data can be imported and read from virtually any measurement device. This reduces the time and costs inherent with evaluating tedious "raw" data and begin reporting and analyzing information as it becomes available
directly from measurement databases or inspection devices. GDM-3D replaces CMDANA, a home-grown product built on CATIA V4 which became obsolete with the roll out of CATIA V5 at DCX for analyzing coordinate measurement data (CMD). CMDANA was not only incompatible with CATIA V5, but it provided only statistical reporting for sheet metal, and not powertrain or 3D-feature analysis. It also reported its analysis data as ASCII text and could not link to a graphical interface. All in all, this seems like a good situation for both DCS and its customer DCX.

Sweden's Largest Technical University Will Collaborate With Industry Using SolidWorks

Sweden's largest technical university, the Royal Institute of Technology, has purchased 500 licenses each of SolidWorks 3D mechanical design and COSMOSWorks design analysis software to train engineering students with the tools they will use in their careers. The purchase allows students to work on real-world design projects supplied by area manufacturers, who are eager to hire graduates from the institution.

The Royal Institute of Technology produces one-third of Sweden's engineering graduates. It has more than 11,000 undergraduate students, 1,500 active postgraduate students, and 3,100 staff and faculty members. Students at all levels of the university will be able to use SolidWorks to work in research and development projects supplied by Swedish industry. Students in the schools of Mechanical Engineering, Design and Product Realization and Vehicle Engineering use computer-aided design (CAD) software beginning in their first year and running through their fifth year, steadily building a proficiency and understanding of manufacturing and design processes.

Said Lasse Wingard, associate professor in Computer Systems for Design and Manufacturing, "It [SolidWorks] is clearly a powerful and well-structured system. Companies working with our students are using SolidWorks, so it's hardly a coincidence that we're purchasing SolidWorks now. We have to provide our students with the tools that industry uses and requests. Students have found the system powerful and easy to learn. In addition, many of our students have heard of SolidWorks and some have even asked us why we weren't using it."

The university has also seen an increase in Swedish industry's use of design analysis software and has purchased COSMOSWorks to help prepare them to handle any request from the companies that have special projects. COSMOSWorks is design analysis and optimization software that tests designs under simulated real-world conditions before spending time and money on prototypes.

"The Royal Institute of Technology demonstrates every day why it is a leader in engineering education," said Rosanne Kramer, director of worldwide education markets for SolidWorks Corporation. "The university closely monitors the needs of Swedish industry and positions students to satisfy those needs, benefiting everyone involved. This is a strong example of the SolidWorks community at work in Sweden."

The great efforts put forth by the various vendors regarding purchases of MCAD software by academic institutions is always an investment in the future, and one that seems to pan out better for some vendors than others (roughly based on the number of seats in various educational institutions versus those in the corporate, working world). Getting young engineers to become familiar and comfortable with technical software products while in school is a gamble, but one that hopefully pays off when the students graduate to the working world and work their way up to decision-making levels where requisitions and POs are generated and signed for technical software products. That's only part of the
picture, however. It's just as important for students to interface and interact with companies outside the academic environment as they prepare for life on the "outside." This is where it is vital that academic institutions monitor the needs of various industries and companies that will eventually be hiring their students to ensure that they are meeting the needs of both their students and future employers. Doing this goes a long way in fulfilling the promise of higher education - truly preparing its students for the future.

Jeffrey Rowe is the editor and publisher of MCADCafé and MCAD Weekly Review. He can be reached at
Email Contact or 408.850.9230.

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