Stan Ochs
Business Unit Manager, OEM
Translation Development
ITI TranscenData
Milford, Ohio

 

One challenge facing designers and product-development groups is the job of identifying compliant and noncompliant CAD parts and assemblies. In many cases, the data describing noncompliant components are stored in legacy CAD systems.

If your company is considering a legacy data migration as part of a RoHS-compliance initiative, keep in mind these best practices:

Start with essential product lines, including those currently in production, or product lines for which you maintain inventories of replacement and warranty parts. Should you wish to maintain the 2D drawings or 3D files of a part or assembly no longer in production, leave these for the final phase of the migration.

Set specific priorities. For instance, your goal may be to put the data in a format that can be read by your CAD system without the need for associativity, history or features. Of course, goals involving live dimensions, specific tolerances and modifiable data will consume more money and resources.

Employ a phased approach. Do not try to migrate all the files at once. Instead, create a subset of files that contain a full mixture of variances, tolerances, formatting, and scaling that you think constitutes a successful migration. In the event a subset fails, you limit risk to that subset, at which time you can redefine priorities. Use of a phased approach also lets you compare as well as validate the migration of 3D data against original files.

Consider RoHS-compliant templates and naming conventions. Some manufacturers force suppliers to adopt RoHS-compliant naming conventions, design templates, or both, that include a "RoHS Compliant" stamp. Naming conventions and design templates should be finalized before migration begins, especially if your group plans to automate the process. Failure to do so will necessitate each file be manually updated, a time-consuming task.

Budget against hidden as well as actual costs. Arguments for migrating legacy CAD data typically center around the elimination of CAD licenses, annual software-maintenance charges, dedicated hardware platforms, and CAD administration costs. However, there can also be hidden labor costs associated with individual translations, manual rework, and file clean up, or CAD model remastering. The labor costs to physically track down data, vault it into a PDM or PLM system, and create archiving methods for RoHS-compliant data, are often forgotten or simply omitted as part of justification and ROI calculations.

ITI TranscenData helps companies manage the exchange, reuse, and sharing of CAD, CAM, CAE, and PLM data. www.transcendata.com/ldm.htm