Switching To Another CAD System

There is a myth that when a company buys into a particular CAD system, they almost never switch to another one, unless of course they switch to a different technology – maybe something like AutoCAD to SolidWorks. Looks like Chrysler has busted that myth with their decision to dump CATIA and switch to NX (see “CATIA vs NX“). I was discussing this with Al Dean and Peter Harman on Twitter today and Al said, “It shows that they’ll switch when there’s a financial or process incentive. Which there is in this case.

Chrysler is not publicly commenting on this issue – for good reason. But I decided to ask anyways. Here is the reply I got from Eileen Wunderlich from Chrysler’s Corporate Communications:

Gualberto Ranieri [Senior Vice President – Communications] forwarded your note regarding the CATIA vs NX blog item you wrote. Thank you for your inquiry, however, the only information to provide right now is the following statement: “Chrysler Group is continuing to evaluate every aspect of our business as a means of implementing and developing the best business practices for moving the company forward.  We do not have any announcements to make at this time.”

The statement itself is quite a safe one, since it does not confirm or deny anything, which also makes it easy to read between the lines.

Moral of the story: Nothing is permanent.

  • ralphg

    I feel sorry for Chrysler engineers. They endured switching from their own CAD system to Catia v4. Then owner Mecedes got them to switch to the otherwise-incompatible Catia V5 — to be compatible with head office. Now Fiat wants them to switch to NX — to be compatible with head office. Problem is, I wonder how long Fiat will hold onto Chrysler.

    (PS: The only time I owned a Chrysler, it was the most troublesome vehicle ever!)

  • ssweeney

    All CAD should play nice together. Who benefits most from switching? If their supply chain wants a CAD system the will read and edit both NX and CATIA, they should invest in a few licenses of KeyCreator 3D Direct CAD. This will also minimize their investment in training. http://www.kubotekusa.com . And Fiat wants 100% certainty that their CAD files translated perfectly from Catia to NX, they should use a geometric based (not points) validation tool like Kubotek Validation tool.

  • Johnwillythomas

    at least they are changing to an equivalent high-end software package. Our corporate idiots have us downgrading from NX to ProE….might as well give us paper and pencil. Now to have to design without capabilities that we’ve become accustome to…I guess that all of our parts will have to be square blocks with round holes from now on.