incorporating the Effective Engineering Management Newsletter



The Autofact '91 Exposition and Conference was held from 10-14 November at McCormick Place, Chicago. Autofact, sponsored by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, is one of the world's leading events for CAD/CAM/CAE/CIM products and technology. It is often held in Detroit, and last year attracted over 25,000 visitors. It looked as though the attendance was down this year. This was probably due to the switch to Chicago, the recession, and the clash with CALS Expo, which was held at the same time in Phoenix. Autofact has always been an excellent CADCAM show, and this year was no exception. The three main themes on the exhibition floor were high-end functionality on advanced or niche systems, low-cost systems, and the ability of major computer vendors to provide integration services and many third-party applications.

Anyone visiting the exhibition with the intention of buying an EDM system might have been disappointed. Perhaps Autofact will not be the major show for EDM, perhaps the EDM market is still not mature. Of the major EDM vendors, Computervision, Control Data, and Intergraph, with their own stands, probably drew most attention to their EDM products. Companies like Access, Formtek, GTX, and Sherpa were present as third parties, but seemed to get lost among the other systems on display. DEC and HP had EDM products on show, but these were not easy to find among all the other products on their stands. SDRC and EDS/McDonnell Douglas were present, but appeared to be focusing on other products and services. To summarize, it looked as if most vendors either didn't expect to make many EDM sales at Autofact this year, or expected to make more sales of other products.

CIMLINC (Itasca, MI) introduced LINKAGE, a family of software products to help engineering and manufacturing users build automated systems for multimedia work instructions. LINKAGE extends and supersedes CIMLINC's ID.

Schlumberger CAD/CAM (Ann Arbor, MI) introduced BravoFrame, a data management tool for CAD/CAM.

GTX Corp. (Phoenix, AZ) introduced GTXRaster CAD, allowing users to make changes and revisions to scanned paper drawings within Autocad.

Oracle Corp. (Redwood Shores, CA) introduced Oracle Manufacturing Version 3.2, the first production release of its Enterprise Resource Planning and Control family of products.

Matra Datavision SA (Paris, France) and Sherpa Corp. (San Jose, CA) will integrate Matra's EUCLID-IS mechanical CADCAM database with Sherpa's DMS.

Object Design, Inc. (Burlington, MA) and STEP Tools, Inc. (Troy, NY) have integrated ObjectStore with the STEP Tool Kit.

The Society of Manufacturing Engineers awarded its 1991 LEAD awards for 'leadership and excellence in the application and development of CIM' to Spicer Universal Joint Division, Dana Corp. (Lima, OH), and the Cranfield Institute of Technology's CIM Institute (Bedford, England).

IBM Corp. and Dassault Systèmes (Paris, France) will strengthen their CADCAM partnership. Some of IBM's CADAM Inc. will be merged with Dassault, developer of CATIA. In return, IBM will take a minority stake in Dassault.

Further to its transition from McDonnell Douglas to EDS, Unigraphics has announced Version 2 of its EDM software. EDS continues to develop the complete portfolio of CAE (Unigraphics) and EDM (Psi Manager, or Info Manager) products in Cypress, CA and Cambridge, UK. Marketing HQS are in St.Louis, MO, and the UK.

Further to its recent takeover by AT&T, NCR Corp. (Dayton, OH) has offered to acquire Teradata Corp. (El Segundo, CA), developer of large-scale database management systems.


Copyright (c) 1998 John Stark