Eurostep Brings 3D Capabilities To Its Flagship Collaboration Hub, Helping To Simplify Global Manufacturing Processes.
“We did some research into what our competitors and colleagues in the industry were using for 3D, and HOOPS came up time and time again. We felt that selecting something that was so widely used for our own product was a wise choice.”
Håkan Kårdén, Founder and Marketing Director, Eurostep
Since its founding in 1994, Eurostep has focused on providing innovative product data sharing software and solutions for collaboration. The Swedish-headquartered company has operations across Europe and the United States and serves blue-chip customers in a variety of industries, including automotive, aerospace, defense, energy, building, and construction. “Designing and manufacturing a product in these industries requires extensive collaboration and information sharing between suppliers, partners, and manufacturers, as well as internally across different departments and disciplines,” said Håkan Kårdén, Founder and Marketing Director of Eurostep. “Our ShareAspace product provides a collaboration hub to effectively support this collaboration.” Rather than replacing existing PDM, PLM, ERP, or MRO systems, ShareAspace aims to extend those systems, pulling information from them into a secure portal that external parties can access. As a result, organizations can continue to leverage their existing IS/IT investments while gaining new collaboration capabilities. ShareAspace had long been available as an on-premises product and readily handled various forms of 2D data. In the past year, Eurostep developed a SaaS version called ShareAspace Design to Manufacturing, and it wanted this new offering to provide native support for 3D. “Our goal with ShareAspace Design to Manufacturing is to make life simpler for the OEMs as well as their suppliers,” explained Magnus Färneland, Manufacturing Industry Director at Eurostep. “If 3D data is playing an important role in their workflows, we should support that and give them the tools to more easily communicate with their extended network.”
HOOPS Communicator and HOOPS Exchange are two of the SDKs that have played a particularly important role in the development of ShareAspace Design to Manufacturing. HOOPS Communicator uses a robust, purpose-built high performance graphics kernel to render stunning 3D engineering graphics, and HOOPS Exchange delivers access to over 30 CAD file formats through a single interface. “Customers can basically throw any type of CAD format at ShareAspace Design to Manufacturing, and we can visualize it,” said Färneland. “This type of visualization is important in increasingly global supply chains and manufacturing operations, because it reduces any potential language barriers by allowing people to actually see a part that needs to be manufactured or modified in some way.” Access to the underlying geometry is just as important as the visualization, particularly as more suppliers become sophisticated enough in their operations to use 3D data for CAM, CNC, and even 3D printing. Additionally, this access ensures that everyone in the extended enterprise is working off the same data and that file changes aren’t lost. “The most important thing for us is to keep this product data synchronized at a fine, granular level,” said Kårdén. “Customers can share a file that contains BREP and PMI with their suppliers and partners, and then immediately bring it back into their internal systems, along with any comments or changes an external party made to the file.” As manufacturing processes continue to evolve, the importance of handling 3D data will only increase, and ShareAspace Design to Manufacturing is poised to continue playing a valuable role. “Regardless of where our customers go, we want to help them with that next step,” said Färneland. “Is it around additive manufacturing? Is it around creating technical data packages? Whatever their needs are, we want to address them, and partnering with Tech Soft 3D ensures we’re in the best position, technologically speaking, to do that.”
Challenge: Create cloud version of flagship product data collaboration hub for manufacturers - Incorporate native 3D capabilities into offering to augment existing 2D data functionality - Ensure clear exchange of information with an increasingly global supply chain.
Solution: HOOPS Web Platform delivers powerful software development kits for 3D visualization and data exchange that help companies accelerate development of webbased engineering applications.
Results: Reach new customers in the market by developing cloud offering with state-of-the-art 3D visualization capabilities - Allow global suppliers and partners to readily visualize 3D parts and assemblies, clarifying intent and eliminating misinterpretation - Provide granular access to underlying geometry, BREP, and PMI to support advanced manufacturing processes - Make sure that file changes and comments are kept in sync, so that everyone in the extended enterprise is working off the same data