When considering Legacy CAD Data Migration, customers need to be aware of the costs associated with maintaining this data including:

  • Legacy CAD software and hardware maintenance
  • Maintaining legacy CAD software expertise
  • System support for legacy CAD software
  • Expense due to delays associated with not leveraging next generation design capabilities
  • Costs included with accessing and hand manipulating legacy CAD data. A conservative estimate of 10,000 legacy data items being manipulated for 1 hour each at $50/Hour can quickly amount to $500,000 or more!

Legacy CAD Data Migration Challenges

Customers need to be aware of the challenges, choices and tradeoffs available that can lead to success including:

  • Quality of the Legacy CAD Data
  • Choosing the Right Data Exchange Method
  • Type of Data (drawings, wireframe, surfaces, solids, featured, ...)
  • Source of the Data (has it been translated before?)
  • Functional Differences Between CAD Systems
  • Understanding of Data Usage Scenarios in the Target System
  • Understanding of the Legacy CAD Data
  • Multiple Data Representations
  • Software Versions, Revisions, Hardware Platforms limitations
  • Modeling Methodologies to be maintained in the new CAD system
  • Many More Considerations...

Legacy 2D Drawing Data Migration

Companies worldwide are still burdened with legacy 2D drawings in formats such as CADAM, CADDS, Anvil and CADRA in addition to CATIA, NX, Pro/E and SolidWorks.

These drawings contain critical engineering information but can become unusable due to obsolescence in hardware, CAD systems, operating systems and waning human expertise. ITI's years of interoperability experience provides the ability to support and understand these older systems and their relationship to modern CAD formats. This combined with extensive checking and mapping functionality in ITI TranscenData's IGESworks, Proficiency or Draftview products allowcustomers to effectively move all their legacy 2D drawings,at a greatly reduced cost in comparison to maintaining obsolete hardware and systems.

CAD Interop employs his expertise to automate the migration process based on the design tolerances and parameters of the legacy 2D drawing in relationship to the desired downstream format. For organizations that lack the tools and knowledge, the migration of 2D drawings is a costly, time-consuming process and we are the experts to work with.

Legacy 3D Model Data Migration

While migration of standalone 2D drawings is focused on the effective mapping of these drawings into more modern formats, exchange of 3D models data is complicated by differing data representation, geometric tolerances and diverse modeling conventions and practices. These issues lead to CAD model re-work, re-mastering, and in some cases, design divergence.

CAD Interop has a comprehensive suite of technologies to provide interoperability between today's neutral standard formats, modeling kernels and Native CAD formats. This technology serves as the foundation for translators offered by the leading CAD/CAM/CAE vendors such as Siemens PLM Software, Dassault Systemes, PTC, AutoDesk, MSC, Mentor Graphics and others. In addition to vendor partnerships, ITI Transcendata's technology is used by leading manufacturers such as Boeing and Lockheed Martin to develop internal 3D model migration strategies.

Legacy Data Migration Methodology

When migrating data from a legacy systems into another, CAD Interop's approach normally involves multiple phases that allow customers to understand options that are available and implement appropriate risk mitigation strategies. Typically, in the initial stages of an CAD Interop Legacy Data Migration Project, interoperability testing is performed to define requirements and the determine best method to successfully migrate the legacy data. This testing includes the following key points:

Legacy Database Analysis: CAD Interop will analyze legacy drawing and/or model databases to better understand the content, structure, accuracy, history, and the potential impact these issues may have on conversion.

Usage Requirements: CAD Interop will meet with customers to understand and document legacy data usage requirements for each class of data. This information will be used in selecting the appropriate translation format and resolution options.

Interoperability Testing: Interoperability testing between the legacy and current CAD systems will be performed. The testing will identify, analyze, and explore methods to correct problems associated with the migration of data using multiple conversion options that could include neutral file, native BREP, feature translation or manual remastering. Using production files, we determine the necessary translator configuration settings, flavoring, and other script elements required to effectively translate data betweenthe systems.

Execution: Once interoperability testing is complete, the development of a production migration engine, system interface, and deployment of the system can be implemented. In the scenario of converting multiple files from one system to another, a semi-automatic or batch process to rapidly convert and validate the migrated data is always preferred over a manual process involving multiple, disjointed individuals or groups re-creating 3D CAD models on an ad-hoc basis.

Automation of Legacy Data Migration

Getting high quality and consistent legacy data migration results is challenging. There are dozens of variables that affect whether a migrated model is usable or requires additional rework. DEXcenter Automation Framework incorporates the defined migration methodology in a repeatable way to ensure best practices.

Extensive Processing Support: DEXcenter migration automation is enabled to support processing of hundreds of assorted CAD related applications including but not limited to:

  • CAD system standards translators (IGES, STEP, DXF, Parasolid, ACIS)
  • Direct translators from ITI, other vendors, customer specific applications
  • 2D drawing mapping and flavoring for migration via IGESworks or Draftview
  • 3D Model translation and repair applications such as CADfix
  • Feature Exchange translation application such as Proficiency
  • Validation applications such as CADIQ
  • Other generalized pre-post migration processing functionality that requires automation
  • Incorporation of 3rd party software products such as feature based translators
  • Integration into PLM/PDM systems to better automate migration worksflows

Intelligent, Scalable, Dynamic Migrations: Legacy data migration automation can be configured to intelligently adapt to different translation conditions which might require using different translators or different translation options. It also supports multiple translation servers and load balancing mechanisms to allow scaling to achieve the desired throughput.

Effective Resource Utilization: CAD Interop's approach to legacy data migration automation maximizes the use of expensive software licenses. Rather than have multiple software product licenses on assorted users desktops, consolidating use through the DEXcenter reduces the need for licenses. License checking and load balancing keeps these licenses busy while simultaneously reducing the risk of failures due to unavailable resources.

Independent Validation of Migrated 3D Models

With all 3D model migration approaches, there is a risk of unintentional changes being introduced. This makes a comprehensive validation solution a crucial element in a 3D model migration strategy. No legacy data migration process involving 3D CAD data is complete without applying an automated, independent validation process that can computationally confirm if changes to the product model may have been introduced during the migration process. This validation is especially critical in the case of feature translations and manual remastering, both of which have a higher rates of differences being introduced due to the difficult nature of moving feature based models between different CAD systems. CAD Interopis often engaged in Data Migration and other customer interoperability processes as an independent evaluator of the results. Our customers trust that our neutral validation of migrated data is well proven via TranscenData's Validation Solutions.

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