Increasingly referred to as the ultimate industrial stimulus, digital manufacturing strategies can potentially satisfy the pressure to manufacture faster, better and at lower cost. For example, automaker giant Toyota Motor Corp. participates as both a shareholder and a user of digital manufacturing solutions. The concept builds on 3-D CAD, enables product lifecycle management (PLM) and ultimately includes the means for connecting with the customer.
Many manufacturers, to be sure, are still limiting 3-D CAD data to the design function. The experts warn, however, that such restrictions limit the competitive benefits that a digital manufacturing strategy could deliver across corporate functions. For example, enterprise wide use of 3-D CAD data is the first step toward capturing the benefits of PLM, says Tom Emmrich, president, Dassault Systemes Americas. He says it is no coincidence that his company, a provider of PLM solutions, believes that 3-D data is an effective medium of communication in order to innovate and gain efficiency.
Source: Industry Week
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