How can access to CAD data boost productivity across the enterprise?

In this article, we will explore the business value of using CAD data beyond the design teams. When it comes to CAD software and CAD files, most people think about their company’s engineering and design departments, however many other departments across the organization need access to valuable information contained within CAD files. With Actify’s Enterprise CAD viewing offering you can streamline processes in manufacturing, sales, marketing, customer support and in the wider supply chain.

Access to CAD data can accelerate success across the enterprise in many different ways. We will explore how CAD access can speed up design and product development. We’ll explore how it can boost sales results, enrich customer engagement, enhance marketing collateral and improve communications with the supply chain.

Historically it has been too expensive to provide CAD tools to non-engineers or even to the entire engineering team, the return on investment was more than questionable.

However, with Actify’s enterprise CAD offering this is no longer an obstacle. Giving your entire organization access to CAD data has become very affordable and you no longer need to ration your CAD access. Everyone in your company can have access to affordable CAD tools to gather the information that they need to support their daily job tasks.



Even if you’re ‘locked’ into another CAD system as your primary CAD authoring platform, you can still take full advantage of Actify’s Enterprise CAD package to support communication and collaboration. It is possible now with SpinFire because it is compatible with most major CAD systems.

There is more than enough reason to increase collaboration and extend CAD access to the wider engineering department and enterprise: product development has become more complicated than ever before because manufacturers are facing the challenges of the era of the Internet of Things (IoT) and big data boom. Engineers are trying to figure out how they can enrich their products in terms of implementing greater intelligence to make smart products. Managing product development teams requires dealing with distributed design teams, changing technologies, demanding customers, stricter quality requirements and managing the global supply chain. Design teams are being asked to complete projects faster, on time and under budget. These demands can only be met with highly collaborative teams where everyone has access to indispensable engineering data.

Speed up design and product development

At Actify we believe there are huge operational benefits associated with effective design collaboration. Concerningly, high paid engineers are wasting time sharing low res screenshots of CAD files and are accidentally duplicating each other’s work. The inefficiencies of internal and external CAD collaboration remain an ongoing challenge in terms of product design. While CAD tools themselves have come a long way in the past 30 years, most people think that CAD files are exclusively for their company’s engineering or design departments. However, the business value of using CAD data beyond the design team is enormous. Design collaboration can accelerate the development process through rapid feedback cycles. Design teams and manufacturers can use cost-effective CAD viewing software to improve communication and design collaboration to reach the optimum design solution faster. CAD collaboration enables faster access to feedback which results in a faster time to market.

Accelerate sales results

In order to produce a proposal, sales teams nowadays may need to collaborate with the design and manufacturing departments to accurately determine production costs. Because of this, the proposal turnaround time can be very slow or labor-intensive for the sales team. Sales and quoting teams need access to engineering resources in order to read, view and measure the various CAD file formats in a workable application. SpinFire is designed with the non-engineer or non-CAD user in mind. With having the technology and the full set of features to investigate designs, SpinFire allows the design or even the sales team to easily view, measure or mark up any CAD file. They can even potentially eliminate the need to collaborate with the design and manufacturing department if they can accurately assess the production costs themselves. SpinFire is more than just a viewer because you can share your product designs, product model and CAD data with key stakeholders. You can view it, spin it around, zoom closer into areas of interest but you’re also able to capture feedback and change requests directly within the application.

Enrich your customer engagements

Many enterprises are adopting open innovation to guide their development initiatives. These companies are collaborating with their customers in order to enhance new product development. CAD software can play an important role in engaging customers in the product design process, it creates the opportunity for sustaining innovation through collaboration. Effective communication is central to satisfying your clients’ requests and improving product quality. SpinFire captures those change requests and feedback to help the development teams rapidly adapt to the changing customer requirements. As a result, you will have increased customer loyalty because customers are far more likely to stay with a company that values their opinions. Even if you can’t deliver all the requests immediately, customers still feel that they have been heard and valued. So, reach out to your customers for design reviews and brainstorming sessions regardless of the CAD systems they use. It is possible with SpinFire because it is compatible with most CAD systems, therefore it is a perfect platform for collaboration with your customers or stakeholders. It gives you the tool to start that design communication much earlier in the design process.

Enhance marketing collateral

Typically, engineers are frequently interrupted by a marketing person requesting a high-resolution image or render of the new products. But engineers are typically too busy with other work to support these types of requests. As a result, the engineers are creating a bottleneck to valuable product information. That information could be anything from a CAD visual to important part properties. However, if your team had SpinFire, they could request to see the model and attain its information directly and they can do that within a few seconds, with just a few clicks. SpinFire has a simple user-friendly interface and requires virtually no training. The short learning curve ensures that even non-technical staff can start to publish professional 3D visuals and engineering documentation almost instantly. When you spend such a significant amount of time and money into developing your products, you want to be sure that the first experience your customer has is a good one, so you can use SpinFire to create illustrations, finished images and marketing material for both training purposes and user documentation. Since SpinFire works seamlessly with Microsoft Office, you can easily communicate even the most complex parts in office documents. You can integrate an interactive CAD model into your technical communications such as a PowerPoint presentation, Excel or a word document. By doing so, you can reduce the number of errors you might experience on the shop floor or even eliminate language barriers because you’re being able to simply communicate with the CAD file and it communicates across departments.

Improve communication with suppliers

The ability to effectively collaborate with your design participants in the supply chain has become increasingly critical because a single biggest challenge for designers and engineers is to simply be on the same page. However, managing the product development across a distributed design team or a clock across that global supply chain is very challenging and effective communication is key to making better decisions and making better products overall. SpinFire is a neutral CAD environment for the enterprise where you can explore the part or product designs and share CAD data with colleagues and the supply chain across the globe.

We live in a multi-CAD world so that’s why we have built SpinFire Ultimate. SpinFire utilizes industry-leading CAD importers so that we can work seamlessly with other CAD software systems. It’s the perfect collaboration tool when dealing with your supplier because all you need is a 3D model as a visual aid to support communication with mark-ups and comments to quickly convey both design requirements and design constraints. All this information can be contained within a single lightweight compressed ACT3D file.

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