Written by: Craig Rode

I just returned from Orlando where I was attending the JT Open conference.  What an interesting couple of days!  JT, of course, is the open format for display of 3D data in a lightweight fashion.  It lends itself to collaboration by vastly reducing CAD model size, and allows combining of CAD models from different systems in a true “multi-CAD” environment.  More information on JT Open here:

http://www.plm.automation.siemens.com/en_us/products/open/jtopen/index.shtml

Excellent presentations were given by a variety of companies, including Boeing, GM, Ford, and Caterpillar.  Several themes  emerged, including how most companies of any size (with the notable exception of GM) have multiple CAD authoring tools, and JT enables combining the models from these different systems into one ‘meta’ model.  Another was the importance of JT to working with the supply chain, since the days of requiring all suppliers to use the same CAD system as the OEM seem to be largely over.

Microsoft presented twice.  My colleague Simon Floyd showed how JT is currently integrated with Microsoft Office, and discussed some future potential developments to drive the integration further.  I was asked to discuss cloud computing and how JT, combined with Azure, can enable IP protection in the supply chain.  IP protection is a key concern for companies in High Tech and Electronics.  Companies need to share certain of their data with their suppliers, but want to control what they can and cannot see, especially as the supply chain grows more dynamic and distributed.  I was able to show a prototype “proof of concept” that addressed this issue. 

If you haven’t been using JT in your company I encourage you to look into it. It’s a great tool for sharing engineering information.