Engineers at Metalsa (www.metalsa.com), part of a global Tier One automotive supplier, previously spent about 32 hours per month quoting a typical three programs for automotive OEMs. A substantial portion of this activity involved getting information from CATIA V5 CAD files and entering the data into spreadsheets for quoting. In the past, only the engineers had access to CATIA V5 and knew how to use it.

Metalsa programs typically involved many part files. Engineers opened each file to get basic part data and then looked up the part volume and calculated its weight based on material density. Engineers then oriented parts in appropriate views, created bounding boxes, took snapshots, and imported snapshots into Excel files. They had to repeat this process for each part file. The need to get engineers involved delayed each quote by an average of two days. To streamline quoting, Metalsa talked to CCE (www.cadcam-e.com), developer of EnSuite software, which lets users create apps to automate routine design tasks.

CCE developed an app that automates the tasks previously performed by Metalsa engineers. The app can be used by a company estimator because it does not require a license for CATIA nor does it require knowing how to use CATIA. The estimator -- rather than an engineer -- now runs the app inside EnSuite. The software opens up a window that lets the user select all the CATIA files in a program.

Besides quoting, Metalsa also uses EnSuite to view data from multiple CAD packages and translate native CATIA data to other CAD formats.

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