Innovation and collaborative, synchronized program management for new programs
BCT Technology AG is a specialist for software solutions and services in the field of CAD and PLM as well as a long-standing Siemens Digital Industries Software development and sales partner.
BCT Technology is a specialist for software solutions and services in the field of computer-aided design (CAD) and product lifecycle management (PLM) as well as a longstanding Siemens Digital Industries Software development and sales partner. The company’s headquarters are in Willstätt, Germany. For customers worldwide, BCT is a dynamic partner that creates trust for long-term business relationships through high-quality products, reliable implementation and intensive support.
BCT’s portfolio comprises CAx software and solutions for product data management from market leader Siemens Digital Industries Software. In addition, BCT develops its own software to support customer processes and optimize standardization and classification, quality management, output management and integration with Teamcenter® software. Included in this portfolio is BCT aClass withShape Search.
BCT aClass supports managing, searching, and using engineering objects or any other information that is part of the product lifecycle. It has been proven that using BCT aClass provides clear savings of time, money and effort when it comes to re-using existing engineering objects and avoiding the expensive creation of redundant or unnecessary new objects. It performs equally well with standard parts whose descriptions vary by supplier and with in-house or third-party parts that have varying descriptions. Management uses the intuitive graphical user interface of BCT aClass to communicate down the chain of command which parts are preferred or deprecated, thereby increasing efficiency and re-use and promoting best practices.
BCT aClass is used in a wide range of industries, including automotive, heavy engineering, aerospace, shipbuilding, consumer products and healthcare.
Collating and classifying data includes searching for sets of similar parts. Searches based on keywords only return those parts that are named in an expected way. However, part names are rarely consistent. Names of standard parts vary by supplier and in-house part names may vary by project, engineer or department. Inconsistent part naming also arises due to human error. These are all reasons why keyword-based search often returns incomplete results. It fails to return similarly shaped parts if there are naming issues. Missed parts cannot be considered for re-use.
BCT solved this search problem by integrating Geolus® software and its shape search technology into BCT aClass. Geolus is a part of the Xcelerator portfolio of software and services from Siemens Digital Industries Software.
“By using the combined approach of shape search and metadata within a classification system, manufacturing shops or mold and die makers can quickly identify similarities between a new part and their production history,” says Juergen Hillemann, president of BCT Technology. “It delivers the ability to quickly respond to RFQs with less risk.” Companies can use Geolus to rapidly find similar shaped parts independent of their names. This is an excellent starting point for a classification initiative as all very similar or identical parts are likely to share the same Geolus shape search can be used to find all the near-identical parts. BCT aClass can be used to classify them. Management marks parts as preferred or deprecated. BCT helps its customers achieve high levels of efficiency through numerous integrations of BCT aClass. In CAD tools such as NX® software, it is used to find similar finished parts early in the design cycle that can be re-used to avoid wasteful part proliferation. Geolus shape search has enabled BCT aClass customers to increase the re-use of their data by finding parts not found with a traditional keyword search. Using Geolus, customers are less likely to create redundant or overlapping classes. geometry-based classification. Similarly, when classifying a new part, a shape search on the database of existing parts can suggest an appropriate classification. This capability is important because, without the database-wide context that Geolus shape search provides, there is a possibility that a new class may be created for the new part. This has enabled BCT to semi-automate classification and prevent the generation of redundant or overlapping classes.
Geolus shape search is not limited to finding very similar or identical parts. The degree of closeness is one of the search controls. A search for parts that share the same class would have a tight tolerance. However, CAD users early in a design cycle can use BCT aClass to search with a coarse shape matching control to find finished parts that have the same base characteristics. BCT helps its customers achieve high levels of efficiency through numerous integrations of BCT aClass. In CAD tools such as NX® software, it is used to find similar finished parts early in the design cycle that can be re-used to avoid wasteful part proliferation.
In Teamcenter, BCT aClass structures data and knowledge and presents this data so that associated parts and processes can be re-used. Establishing standards and institutionalizing best practices is key and the BCT aClass user interface is optimized to promote these. For example, preferred and deprecated parts are appropriately color-coded. Procedures with checks and balances for adding new parts are built into BCT aClass to flag attempts to add redundant data.
BCT aClass drives management directives across the customer’s departments via an intuitive user interface. Engineering departments benefit from faster search and re-use of suitable components, assemblies and products that reduce the need for new part requests and prevent costly repetition of parts and variants. Purchasing departments can accelerate supplier selection and targeted price comparisons for similar components. IT/administration can use BCT aClass to help prevent the proliferation of identical parts with different item numbers, to improve and secure data quality, and reduce costs for master data maintenance in enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. Service departments can quickly and easily find variants, alternatives (successor parts) and spare parts. Sales departments can find components, assemblies or products that meet customer requirements. Work preparation departments can find and re-use work plans and other information using similar parts.
Geolus shape search has enabled BCT aClass customers to increase the re-use of their data by finding parts not found with a traditional keyword search. Using Geolus, customers are less likely to create redundant or overlapping classes. “New” parts are easily assessed using the classification of existing similar parts as a starting point. Early in the design cycle CAD users can search for finished parts that can be re-used.
“The extension of BCT aClass capabilities with Geolus shape search provides our customers with another lever to analyze their existing landscape, especially for their own engineered parts,” says Hillemann. “It helps them to identify and to cluster similar parts to drive part reduction and standardization initiatives to be more cost effective.”