About Visiocorp PLC
Visiocorp PLC has recently changed its name from Schefenacker Vision Systems UK Ltd and is a supplier to the automotive industry. Their companies around the globe develop, produce and high-quality products to the world’s leading automotive manufacturers. With a production volume of around 30 million units, Visiocorp has a significant market share in Europe, North America, Asia and Australia. Recent product launches showcasing functions and technologies new to the market have cemented their position in the innovation-driven luxury car segment.
Keeping your customers happy
Visiocorp has been using Dassault Systèmes, CATIA V4 software since 1996 and as the automotive industry began to migrate to CATIA V5 they themselves adopted the software in 2005.
Visiocorp recognised from day one that to gain maximum benefit from a CAD system, you need to manage the data that is produced. Using a PDM system allows a business greater control over its CAD data and improved accessibility over file-based methods. In conjunction with the move to CATIA V5, they then adopted ENOVIA SmarTeam, supplied and supported by TECHNIA, a Dassault Systèmes VAR (Value Added Reseller).
Working alongside Visiocorp, TECHNIA carried out the installation, configuration and deployment of SmarTeam. The implementation started with a single project and now all current programmes are managed within SmarTeam. Visiocorp comment “TECHNIA have been with us all the way, they are always at the end of the phone to supply advice, help or just to bounce an idea off, we simply regard them as being part of our team.”
A good example of this is help desk support, trying to explain over the phone can be very confusing, especially with complicated CAD/PDM issues. TECHNIA provide a remote desktop support so they can join the engineer and actually visualise the problem, even taking control of the computer if necessary. This gets issues resolved quickly – often in minutes rather than days.
TECHNIA listen to their clients and then attempt to offer simple, workable solutions. The ability to quickly compare two revisions of a CATIA Part in the same session was one such request, mentioned in passing by one of the Visiocorp engineers – they now have the ability to do just that.
Visiocorp comment on another example of TECHNIA’s support; “We run multiple projects concurrently for a range of clients and this necessitates the use of different CATIA environments. Users need to have a quick visual identification that they have started the correct CATIA environment for the work and TECHNIA provided us with a CATIA backdrop to incorporate an image identifying the OEM. This now gives us enough confirmation to stop errors and confusion”
TECHNIA utilise a virtual machine as a ‘clone’ of the production SmarTeam server for testing new functionality as well as supporting the existing implementation. This allows enhancements to SmarTeam to be fully tested prior to implementation without any impact on the production system. In conjunction with this, Visiocorp are about to set-up a test database that will also allow changes to be tested away from the live system and provide an environment for user training.
Building on the initial TECHNIA I-SDE (TECHNIA-SmarTeam Design Express) template, SmarTeam has allowed Visiocorp to meet the changing needs of their business. The system was configured in a well thought out manner, with room to grow which has proved to be flexible enough to evolve with the business, at the pace and direction of its choosing.
Analysing an advantage
Extending the use of SmarTeam beyond CAD data management has given Visiocorp additional advantages. CATIA FEA is used to validate designs and this has now been incorporated so that analysis data is stored within SmarTeam and the information is automatically related to the appropriate design data. SmarTeam has been configured to match the way projects are organised, it allows the entire CAD data package associated with a project to be logically grouped together, allowing rapid retrieval of information by users that are not necessarily familiar with that specific project.
View to the future
Visiocorp are considering the rollout of Q-checker, in conjunction with SmarTeam which will allow overnight batch processing to check all CATIA files saved during the day, thus ensuring compliance to their CAD standards. Since all CATIA data is approved via SmarTeam, this will ensure compliance to customer’s quality standards before data is released. Another development is a customisation which will automatically generate a drawing border in the Visiocorp format which will populate drawing text fields by linking them to parameters on the SmarTeam profile card. This will not only generate the drawing border but also provide the ability to resize should the drawing sheet size change during the life of the drawing. It will also allow users to have a mixture of different drawing sheets within the same drawing file.