Many CAD systems come with more or less rudimentary features that allow us to store and retrieve CAD data. The drawing numbers, part descriptions, change status, or material ID that CAD designers need are stored in a database and made available for research and change process.
Mechanical drawings, however, are nowhere near enough to describe a product: mechatronic components, software (whose share in products is ever increasing), instruction manuals, and other accompanying documents serve as additional information carriers. Making this knowledge readily available across the enterprise is one of the key pillars of CAD data management, which in turn requires integrated item and parts management to really make a difference.
CAD data management concerns itself with structured storage, not just using a file system, but in an organized and structured fashion. There simply is no other way to efficiently handle technically sophisticated products and ensure a short time to market. CAD models and any related data and documents encapsulate a company’s complete product knowledge, its design and engineering expertise and it needs to be made available and operable across the enterprise.