July 6, 2023
Automotive supplier Mayco International is deploying Actify SpinFire Enterprise to enable collaborative access to CAD files, allowing all team members across departments to instantly open any CAD file in any format, the company says.
Michigan-based Mayco provides design, engineering, tooling, manufacturing, assembly, sequencing, logistics, and systems integration services as a Tier 1 automotive supplier. Team-wide CAD access will help streamline its internal operations.
“Someone in purchasing might need to look at 3D drawings for a particular component they’re procuring from a vendor,” said Ted Lukiewski, IT director at Mayco. “Pretty much our only choice is to either buy them a license for the CAD application that created the file, or to buy them a CAD viewer. That might be fine if they only received Catia files. But the next day, they might receive a Pro E file, and the day after that, an NX or AutoCAD file, and we’re back to square one, trying to get them access to the information they’ve received.”
This put a burden on the IT department, slowed down work processes, and forced employees to develop workarounds for teams that did not have CAD access.
“We were handling nearly 20 tickets a month related to gaining access to CAD files,” said Lukiewski. “The time really adds up: You have to put in a purchasing requisition, get a PO and price quote for the product, purchase it, install it, and then show the user how to use it. That’s a multi-day affair – and if I’m a program manager or a purchasing estimator, that’s too much time. They need to make decisions ASAP.”
Actify SpinFire Enterprise is an enterprise visualization solution that provides a way for entire organizations to view, mark-up, and fully analyze 2D and 3D CAD data in all the major formats.
“We could have tried adding a few more floating licenses of various CAD applications and CAD viewers, but that approach just wasn’t scalable,” said Lukiewski. “Also, most of the viewers didn’t provide a way to do basic mark-up or file conversion, which would have created bottlenecks in the workflows. We did some back of the napkin math and realized that getting the enterprise edition of SpinFire was a very smart choice, cost wise.”
Mayco decided to make SpinFire Enterprise part of its standard desktop load across the organization.
“It doesn’t matter if our users receive a Catia file or an NX file or a Pro E file,” said Lukiewski. “They just click on it, and it opens up in SpinFire Enterprise. They don’t have to do anything on their end to make that access happen – and in many cases, they don’t even realize they’re using SpinFire Enterprise. That’s the best kind of tool there is, as far as I’m concerned: one that users don’t even have to think about – it just works.”
With SpinFire Enterprise in place, Mayco has experienced several benefits. Team members no longer have to contact IT or resort to unofficial workarounds in order to open up and view CAD files – greatly speeding up their turnaround time on their various tasks, the company says.
“Using SpinFire Enterprise, we’ve reduced the wait time for end users to get access to an important CAD file from 3-6 days to 0 days,” said Lukiewski. “The resolution of their problem is instantaneous: They click on the file, and SpinFire Enterprise opens it for them so that they can start acting upon that information.”
There have also been unexpected use cases. “Our HR and Health & Safety department uses it quite a bit, which wasn’t something we initially foresaw,” said Lukiewski. “As an enterprise-wide solution, SpinFire didn’t just solve the specific problems we had; it also gave us the solution to problems that we didn’t even know we had.”
Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.