Daimler is now using NX CAD in all business units after successfully completing the largest CAD software migration ever. Today we look at the factors behind their success.
The transition started back in 2010 with an announcement that shook the CAD and automotive worlds, but really it began before that, when Daimler moved from CATIA V4 to V5.
“Such an upgrade is like a change of systems,” says Professor Alfred Katzenbach, former director of IT Management in Mercedes-Benz R&D department. “We decided to ask ourselves the strategic question, ‘Is this the best option for the company?’ at the next possible opportunity.”
That opportunity came and with it brought a deeper look into Daimler’s current CAD solution and processes. You can read more about the details behind the decision in my previous post, “Why Daimler Made the Switch to NX.” Key factors were improved efficiency, sustainability, and reduced cost. Teamcenter integration also played an important role.
Moving an entire automotive OEM to a new CAD system is no small task, but Daimler managed to do it and improve their processes at the same time. How, you ask?
To start, Daimler had to train more than 6,200 users on how to use NX. They created role-based training modules, 33 in total, in both German and English to accomplish this. Users also could take special courses in Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish, and Turkish.
It was here Daimler saw the opportunity to improve their business processes by getting everyone on the same page. They used real parts in production for more than 250 unique business cases to determine best practices. From these, they created tutorial videos for a reference library. Now their engineers are able to refer back to this material, and everyone uses the same process.
Of course, the users are only half of the equation. What about all of those legacy parts? NX offers content migration tools to the help with the task, but the credit truly goes to the employees at Daimler. More than 300 employees from the R&D (research and development) department in Bangalore, India helped to migrate CAD data from CATIA V5 to NX. That included the migration of 235,000 CAD parts.
Daimler’s CIO Dr. Michael Gorriz shares his appreciation for everyone who worked on the project. "I would like to thank all the people who have worked so hard to complete our biggest IT migration in recent decades to the planned schedule,” he says. “The introduction of the new design and product data software not only means that we are well prepared for the future; we have also taken the opportunity to bring our engineering processes in line with the highest standards in the automotive industry.”
The last part of the equation, of course, is the OEM’s suppliers, all of whom either already used NX or have since made the switch in response to Daimler’s overhaul. Siemens and Daimler will continue to work closely together as we move forward.
Congratulations to Daimler and all who made this transition not only possible, but a true success!