When it comes to data quality and data security in cross-enterprise communications, the requirements of automobile manufacturers have, in recent decades, become ever more stringent. As a rule, system suppliers today have to deliver native data. Native means in the formats of the CAD systems or, to put it more precisely, the respective system versions used by the OEMs – which can vary from vehicle program to vehicle program. The same applies to the initial models and libraries that OEMs make available to their tier 1 suppliers. No OEM today will accept data that does not meet the highest possible quality standards; something that is normally verified with the help of appropriate checking tools. In some cases, they require not only the 3D models but also 2D drawings that are linked associatively to the models.
Transferring data has also become more complex over the years. While automotive suppliers used to be able to send their data as individual files via OFTP, OEMs are increasingly demanding that they use a portal or a special client to deliver complete assemblies to their PLM systems. As most suppliers work for more than one OEM, they therefore have to operate multiple clients of this type and also be familiar with the OEMs' ground rules.
If automotive suppliers want to develop their own data logistics know-how, they can either take their customers' individual requirements into account during product development and copy the respective development environment, or they can make their internal development processes as efficient as possible and convert the data before it is delivered to the customer. In both cases, they will have to maintain a veritable "menagerie" of CAD systems comprising different versions, settings, initial models and checking tools, constantly train their users and provide their own staff to perform system administration. All of which translates into considerable costs for them.