ITI provides more than just software – they solve complex interoperability problems so that the world’s leading manufacturers can focus on making great products. Raphael Nascimento, CADIQ Product Manager, shares how ITI lives the values of “Trusting Digital” to enable a model-based enterprise.
The 3D CIC theme is Trust Digital within a model-based enterprise. Trusting Digital can be supported through both automated (software) means and human processes. However, many companies are still navigating towards model-based procedures and best practices.
Give us your elevator pitch – what’s your company and what’s your product?
ITI specializes in conversion, integration, validation and migration solutions for product data and related systems. In 2019 ITI became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Wipro Limited, a leading global information technology, consulting and business process services company.
ITI offers an unparalleled suite of software products that solve complex product data interoperability problems so that the world’s leading manufacturers can focus on making great products. Some of ITI’s software products are:
- CADIQ – for CAD model quality and validation
- CADfix – for translation, repair, and simplification of models for CAD, CAM, and CAE
- DEXcenter – for automation of supplier interoperability and compliance processes, and TDP generation
- Proficiency – for automated feature-based CAD model conversion
ITI also offers a number of PLM integrations, as well as PLM and CAD migration services.
What is your definition of “Trusting Digital”?
The concept of Trust Digital can refer to a number of different things, from trusting digital processes to trusting digital tools. But perhaps the most significant thing is the trusting of digital data – specifically CAD data. Much of the value of becoming a model-based enterprise results from reusing CAD data throughout the design-manufacturing-inspection value chain.
We’ve all had to trust digital more this year, as so many of us had to adapt to new ways of working. How did your company have to pivot in 2020?
As a software solutions provider, ITI has been operating digitally for quite some time, so I would say that as far as our internal operations go, we’ve not had to pivot very much at all in 2020.
Perhaps the biggest adjustment has been the shift to more remote collaboration with our existing customers and sales prospects. Technology for web-based conferencing provides huge benefits when it comes to remote collaboration, but the intangible aspects of face-to-face interactions are what really help to build good relationships, and we’re certainly missing that aspect of life at the moment.
How do your products support trusting digital?
If you’re going to rely on your CAD data to be used throughout downstream processes, you need to ensure that the CAD data is of high quality and worthy of being trusted by downstream groups. CADIQ identifies model-based design (MBD) data quality issues that impact downstream reuse for manufacturing, simulation, data exchange, and collaboration. A model that is certified by CADIQ is a model that downstream consumers can trust with confidence.
What’s the biggest challenge your customers come to you with? Tell us a story about how you solved it for a particular customer.
I would say that the biggest challenge our customers face is scaling their MBE initiative to a full production mode across the entire organization. By now many of our customers have been developing their MBE processes and acquiring new tools for some number of years. The early stages of an MBE journey are about learning a new way of doing business, but it is done in the context of pilots and limited-scope projects. Once the process gets sorted out, it is an entirely different challenge to take the new processes and tools and scale them across a large organization.
Automation is the key to scaling your MBD efforts, and we’ve helped a number of customers automate the validation of their CAD models using CADIQ. By having CADIQ integrated to their PLM systems, these customers can build automated workflows that can generate derivatives such as STEP, JT, or 3D PDF and then validate these derivatives against the native models – all with no human intervention. So when a model gets released, downstream consumers can have access to derivatives that have been validated and certified for use. That’s exactly what’s meant by trusting digital.
One of the challenges we often hear is how to explain the value of this transition across the organization, not just in product design or engineering. Where do you think the value of your products lie? Which parts of the organization will benefit from their use and how?
We know people are generally resistant to change, this is part of human nature. Transitioning to MBE involves a lot of change – in terms of how people do their work – for individuals across the organization, so there’s bound to be a certain amount of resistance to the MBE initiative. While it is important for all individuals to understand the value of this transition, just explaining the value isn’t enough. We’re asking people to do their jobs in a different way – which is difficult enough – but when that new way of working is perceived not just as different work, but rather more work, then the resistance can be extremely challenging to overcome. Such a perception is actually pretty common, especially in cases where CAD systems either don’t support something according to the standard or where the user interface is clumsy and inefficient. So it’s not hard to imagine why people would be resistant to change, especially if they feel like MBD involves more work for them.
This is where my earlier comment on automation comes into play. Implementers need to look for opportunities to streamline tasks and automate anything that can be automated. While CADIQ provides value to the overall process by reducing errors and rework due to bad models, CADIQ also provides value to the individual by being able to automate the validation activity so it doesn’t become extra work tasks that the user now needs to perform.
If you were to give people one piece of advice about making the transition to model-based digital trust, besides ‘buy my product’, what would it be?
There’s a lot of advice I could offer, but if I have to limit it to just one thing then I would tell people to recognize that MBD involves more than just recreating in a 3D model all of the same annotations that you have historically created on a 2D drawing. Successful MBD involves thinking critically about every annotation you’re adding to the model and evaluating what value it adds to the communication of manufacturing and inspection requirements. You need to have the conversation with the manufacturing and quality departments to understand how to communicate requirements most effectively both to the human consumer of the model and to the software consumer of the model. If your annotated 3D model looks like a 3D version of your 2D drawing, then I’d argue you probably haven’t put as much thought into this process as you should.
Now for the fun three:
If your product were a car, what kind of car would it be?
Tough question… It’s tempting to want to choose a flashy sports car, but let’s be honest – engineering software just isn’t that sexy. So, I’d say CADIQ is like a Toyota Sienna minivan. Yeah, it’s boring, but it’s a super-reliable and extremely practical family mover.
If your product were a superhero, who would it be?
CADIQ would have to be Tony Stark (Iron Man from the Marvel Comics). He’s incredibly smart and has the best technology in the world. Plus, he’s a good guy!
If your product had a theme song, what would it be?
“Taking Care of Business” by Bachman Turner Overdrive. I don’t think anything more needs to be said!
What excites ITI the most about 3D CIC?
On a personal level, what’s most exciting to me about 3D CIC is having the opportunity to spend a few days hanging out with a bunch of people who share a high level of enthusiasm about the topic of MBD/MBE. There’s always something that I can learn, whether it comes from attending a presentation or from a casual conversation during a break.
As a product manager working for a company that provides software solutions in the MBD/MBE space, I’m also excited by the opportunity to learn more about what companies need from their software tools to help them succeed in their MBD/MBE journey. The 3D CIC event is a great opportunity to catch up with a number of existing customers and prospects who are all gathered in one place.
I’ve got my fingers crossed that circumstances allow us to have the in-person event in February. I’m looking forward to it!
Raphael Nascimento is currently a Product Manager at ITI where he is responsible for product strategy, planning, and execution for ITI’s CAD validation product, CADIQ.
Prior to joining ITI, Raphael spent over 20 years at PTC where he held several roles, most recently as Product Manager for several functional areas of Creo Parametric, including: MBD, 2D Detailing, GD&T Advisor, and Tolerance Analysis. He also worked as a Consultant and Trainer in PTC’s Global Services where led clients in the implementation of new technology and new business processes, including MBD/MBE. Raphael is an active participant at ASME Y14 Committee meetings and is a member of the Y14.41 and Y14.41.1 subcommittees.
Raphael attended Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute where he earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering.
International TechneGroup (ITI)
To remain competitive, manufacturers are implementing model-based enterprise, advanced simulation and PLM initiatives supported by best-in-class engineering systems. When product data interoperability issues threaten to impede the progress of these initiatives, you need a partner with proven experience. As part of the Wipro Industrial & Engineering Services business, ITI’s key solutions for MBE, data interoperability, and data migration provide the foundation for Industry 4.0, helping to build next generation digital enterprises.
ITI is a trusted partner that provides more than just software – we solve complex interoperability problems so that the world’s leading manufacturers can focus on making great products.