In the last years, CAD (Computer-Aided Design) software has transformed the way in which companies design and develop their products. Thanks to computer-aided design, professionals can create detailed 3D projects, simulate how products work and promptly test different technical configurations. Despite this, data management could be a challenge for those companies that use these tools.
Engineering data can have complex structures that are hard to organize, likewise finding and sharing the necessary information. This is where CAD management comes into play.

Through CAD management, as the acronym says, you can manage computer-aided design data within a company or organization. In general, CAD design data is organized and managed efficiently to ensure that projects can be easily retrieved, shared, managed and reused.

What are CAD management main activities?

Between them, we can find:

  • A hierarchical and user-friendly organization of CAD design data.
  • Control of access to engineering data to ensure that only authorized personnel can access sensitive information.
  • Management of copyrights and license agreements for design software used.
  • Standardization of design processes to ensure consistency and efficiency during the design process.
  • Monitoring of versions and revisions of engineering data to ensure that information is always up-to-date and consistent with project specifications.
  • Planning and management of backup and data recovery for design data to ensure work continuity in case of emergencies or system interruptions.

In general, CAD management can help companies to make design process more efficient, as well as reduce time to market thanks to the reduction in terms of bug. In this way, businesses can also increase the quality of products.

What type of advantages can CAD management offer to companies?

CAD management can offer several advantages, especially within a PLM system, such as:

  • A better organization of engineering data, creating a hierarchical and user-friendly structure.
  • Automation of CAD data management, reducing the need for manual interventions and, consequently, human errors. This increases efficiency and reduces design time.
  • Collaboration among team members, allowing them to easily share project information and work together.
  • An increase in production, achieved by reducing duplicated work through resource or information sharing.
  • A better product quality by ensuring that design data is accurate and up to date.
  • Data protection by ensuring that only authorized individuals can access the information and constantly monitoring access to design data.

How can CAD and PLM work together?

This process can be integrated within a PLM system, making data also available for MES and ERP systems.

CAD (Computer-Aided Design) and PLM (Product Lifecycle Management) should be used together in a company for a correct design and management of the product lifecycle. Indeed, CAD is integrated within PLM 3DEXPERIENCE system in order to manage and track computer-aided technical design as well as the other data managed by PLM, such as engineering data or the ones related to technical documentation and approval process.

Through this cooperation, you can achieve the main advantages, first ensuring that engineering data will be accurate and up to date, reducing errors and making quality products better. In addition, in this way, the processes of product lifecycle management are automated, simplifying the management of design revisions, product specifications and approval processes. This can help to reduce time and costs associated with product lifecycle management, enabling the organization to save time and resources.

For instance, CAD management helps to manage design data and components, while PLM also manages product specifications, technical documentation and product approval processes, directly linked to the data.

In general, the integration between PLM and CAD management can lead companies to gain a competitive advantage.

There are several strategies that companies can adopt for CAD management within PLM to support data integration. Some of these include:

  • A selection of compatible software tools: this may involve selecting CAD and PLM from the same vendor or choosing third-parties compatible software.
  • A standardization of processes and data formats to streamline the integration process.
  • Employee training to ensure they can effectively use the systems and fully leverage the benefits of management.
  • Collaboration among design, production and product management teams to ensure that design data is shared between systems in a timely and accurate way.

What is our approach in this context?

CAD file management is fundamental to a PLM system, which must ensure collaboration among different designers and coordination of activities across various files.
The solutions used to manage most CAD software (Catia V5, SolidWorks, Inventor, Solidedge, …) are based on a common environment with the same methods in terms of management, regardless of the file type. Within this CAD data management and lifecycle space, the 3DEXPERIENCE platform also comes into play, in which Miralis has an extensive knowledge.
This shared working environment gives the opportunity to have a multi-CAD management within the company, if necessary, enabling the management of EBOM as the starting point for defining subsequent processes and enabling digital continuity, apart from the software used.

Our organization is highly structured and thanks to a great knowledge of design and production phases, we support our clients in the collaboration between PLM and CAD, considering this process as an integral part of the company’s digital transformation.