Vehicles are some of the most complex mechanical and electrical systems we encounter in our lives

Why connected collaboration is so important

In the days before the internet (as we know it), admittedly only a couple of decades ago, it was quite typical in organisations to find divides between the team who would design the product a company produced, the team who would procure materials for it, the team who would manufacture it and of course the team who would market and sell it. Commonly, these teams (or separate organisations) would rarely interact with each other than at touchpoints in their process such as handovers.

With the rise of internal IT services and CCmail gave business as taste of some of the benefits of digital collaboration. As internet services started to provide global email and shared drive spaces it was possible for companies to start operating in a more joined up manner regardless of their geography.

Now with cloud technology it is possible to take things one step further and start integrating connected collaboration technologies into your business. These connect your organisation to your suppliers and customers in a substantive way, allowing for collaboration at a previously unprecedented level of flexibility and convenience.

A great analogy is the effect that the 3D printing industry has had on mechanical design. Typically, in the past parts were 3D modelled and sent to suppliers for prototyping using traditional CNC technologies. It would take several weeks to receive the manufactured part for it then to be evaluated to see if it is fit for purpose. Any single mistake, miscalculation or miscommunication on that handover to the manufacturer would lead to great costs in both monetary value and wasted time.

3D printing changed this, organisations, whether using their own 3D printers or outsourcing to 3rd party prototyping companies could ensure their designs be rendered into physical objects in a matter of hours rather than weeks and often at a reduced cost. To further save on miscommunication errors, many of these prototyping companies integrated their ordering systems directly into their customers Computer Aided Design (CAD) software, making it a one-click process. This means that when the component was finally ready to be CNC manufactured or mass produced, the component design would be correct, first time.

It is this lower cost process and reduced cycle time that really gives businesses that embrace these technologies an edge. Similar gains can be found regardless of the type of business you are in, be it an integration into you CRM, commodity pricing for your MRP system or an app that lets your customers message you directly.

In one of the industries we serve, automotive, the most complicated component and the second most expensive component after the powertrain in a vehicle is the electrical system. Unfortunately its final design is subject to all other aspects of a vehicle’s design to be finalised, such as the mechanical geometry, the options and accessories. As you can imagine, all the teams responsible for these changes need to communicate them to the electrical system designers and in turn, those get negotiated with procurement and manufacturing. As you can imagine, the scope for errors and inefficiencies are huge!

Here at Cadonix we designed our award winning cloud CAD suite Arcadia with this in mind. We support a range of features to allow those engineers to receive and capture their brief from their various stakeholders, communicate changes and revisions to manufacturers while at the same time having visibility on part pricing to ensure they were choosing not only the functionally best components, but the most cost effective ones. As this is all delivered via a web browser users can work in the most flexible way possible

For more information on how Arcadia can help your business manage electrical designs, their complexity and collaborate more efficiently — visit our where you can get more information and even sign-up today! We are confident we will be able to meet your needs with the most advanced electrical cloud CAD suite in the world.

Andrew has been developing leading cloud brands through computer research, cloud technologies and advanced software architecture development for several decades