We at Design Power believe that design automation is absolutely crucial for the competitiveness of any manufacturing and engineering organization that custom-engineers systems and products to order. And it is true for the nation as well. The fears that Paul alludes to are very shortsighted. Only automation can increase the productivity to a level where jobs can be retained on-shore. A prime example is the design automation at a metal building manufacturing company, Robertson Ceco Corporation [RCC]. While engineering and detailing has been off-shored to a high degree by most of their competition RCC has retained all of their engineering and detailing on-shore.
The RCC solution was described in a recent AECbytes newsletter article: http://www.aecbytes.com/buildingthefuture/2005/RCCstudy.html
NCI of Houston, TX, another metal building and building products company for a very good price recently announced a definitive agreement to acquire RCC. In a webcast following the announcement NCI praised the design automation as one of the key assets that they acquired. Eventually the combined NCI and RCC organization will annually engineer and detail 15,000 buildings in a highly automated fashion.
Design Power, Inc.