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On the Ownership of Product Data

On the Ownership of Product Data

RE: On the Ownership of Product Data

I see this in some companies I work with. They are committed to a single "business solution" sold by a vendor and become involved in a very "bad marriage". Their billing rates are reflecting this. I see an opportunity for a more nimble (and free from vendor control) operating procedure with a more controllable overhead.
If the business model that they are selling you is not making you more profit, you need to maintain control and be able to change.

I don't subscribe to the subscription model.

RE: On the Ownership of Product Data


I see this as a strong case for Free Software. I am working on 3D CAD, none of which is Free, or even Open Source. Some vendors have discussed switching over to cloud based subscription as their business model.

If you are installing CAD and PDM, you have to plan for end of life of your software. You can save a copy of each and every drawing you do in PDF format. The PDF allows you to fabricate and inspect parts, and create new 3D models in your new software. This rules out Model Based Definition (MBD).

Calculix is Free Software, so you have some capability to protect your FEA analysis. I have no idea of how usable this software is.

I know nothing about CRM (customer relationship management?), but this sounds like a huge security issue. This is your business. You don't want it off-site or locked into some proprietary format.


RE: On the Ownership of Product Data

This problem can be as simple as who owns the CAD drawing. From my experience, some consultants will charge X for the design and providing a hardcopy (e.g., blueprint) of the design; but if you want the CAD drawing, you need to pay X + Y.

RE: On the Ownership of Product Data

What are government entities doing? I've been able to avoid working with the government for a number of years and I wonder how they are protecting all that they own and perceive that they own. The government has always requested their product be in dead end deliverables. How are they dealing with it?

I miss PC Write.

RE: On the Ownership of Product Data

PDF has become a sort of defacto distribution method for drawings, replacing blueprints.

PDF, or formally an Adobe Acrobat file, is a terrible choice for collaboration; it was intended from the start to make it all but impossible to accurately reproduce the source material well enough to reverse engineer anything. Its sole virtue is that anyone, anywhere, can print out the file, and it will always look pretty much the same, as the author intended it to look.

Saving a PDF from your old CAD system allows you the opportunity to redraw it in your new CAD system, but you can't reliably scale the damn things, and you lose layers, intersections, and information hidden in the original document, and text decomposes to lines and dots.

... but you all knew that.

PLM, PDM, etc., are all doomed until a true free and open source product definition standard appears. What was the last one called? ... IGES?

Mike Halloran
Pembroke Pines, FL, USA

RE: On the Ownership of Product Data


Quote (zelgar)

This problem can be as simple as who owns the CAD drawing...

That is just a contract between the customer and designer. I worked on a design project where we were required to submit a complete drawing package to be held in escrow, in case we went out of business.

What I am talking about here is the vendor of your proprietary software changing his business model.


RE: On the Ownership of Product Data


PDF to be remotely safe and functional, requires complete, correct drawings. We now are switching over to Model Based Definition (MBD). PDFs of MBD drawings will be completely useless in the scenario I describe, above.


RE: On the Ownership of Product Data

There are entire human languages that have disappeared (for whatever reasons). The knowledge unique to those languages is gone forever from this earth.

Why should electronic "language" be any different.

RE: On the Ownership of Product Data

"What I [am] talking about here is the vendor of your proprietary software changing his business model."

Worse, your software vendor trying to lock down the data/model you built using their software, to keep you from moving to their competitor, or deliberately crippling the software if it detects a model file was created/used/edited by their competitor's product. I've seen it happen, complained about it to another person who works for one such software outfit, and got a snippy reply about how it's their company's right to combat software piracy.

I think that attitude from the big names is going to open doors for open source developers that weren't open before, and that the big name PDM/DAC/PLM software houses are going to go the way of sanskrit and latin, as Buggar suggests. And it will start from the maker/hobbyist community and grow from there.

Then again, it is Friday, and I've had my usual pub lunch with the other engineers...

RE: On the Ownership of Product Data


I wrote a document control system using UNIX C shell scripts. This was a long time ago, and I was managing AutoCAD, PordWerfect and some PCB layout files. There was nothing with external references. Everything worked from the command line.

There are Free Software CAD packages that write DXF files. If you are determined to have absolute control over your data, you could abandon 3D parametric CAD and ban the use of externally referenced files. A set of PDM scripts would then be simple to write. I was told afterwards that I was dumb for using C shell.


RE: On the Ownership of Product Data

These things are easy in theory,but when companies have millions of drawings/models its bit difficult to convert/integrate legacy data into new formats.

Configuration control also another matter need to be simplified without too much issues.

RE: On the Ownership of Product Data

As a contract drafter , I use a software program that can import some but not all of the major platforms, I can also export in some of those formats as well as IGES, I write DWG AND DXF files as well as PDF. Working with customers who use Solidworks, AutoCAD , Inventor, this serves me well. In a recent update that program decided to put the licensing in the hands of an independent on line server, this caused a great deal of fuss and bother until all of the implications were worked out. New rules, you can work off line, but you have to go on line at least once per month to allow your computer to " phone home" or your license key drops out and you have to re-enter it. If you cannot access your license your program will not work. Putting it very mildly this can be " Inconvenient".

You are judged not by what you know, but by what you can do.

RE: On the Ownership of Product Data

I don't know if this is relevant but now they are recalling cars for computer updates. Once all car computers are on the cloud, that shouldn't be a problem.

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