Wednesday, May 28, 2008


After our second Webex demo of ICEM Shape Design (ISD) we had a discussion on what the next step regarding the software would be:

1) Will we purchase the software and have the technology in house for our resident designer?

2) Will we not purchase the software and leave the knowledge of how to create Class A surfaces with ICEM in the hands of a hired gun after supplying him or her with the necessary tape drawings, renderings etc?

3) Will we attend some training courses on the software to bring our design and engineering teams up to speed on the terminology used with designing Class A surfaces, the techniques a contracted designer may use to create the body, and how much effort is involved to get them?

In the long term, the answer to the first question is more than likely yes. The answer for the other two questions isn't so direct. However, one thing rings true - communication is key. I've mentioned it so many times in previous posts how there is a fundamental breakdown between designers and engineers in the automotive world. If we are to break this paradigm, effective and seamless communication will be critical. This is a core competency we will have. If that means having some training on the software if we do not purchase it in the near future, that is the route we will take. Another core competency closely tied to effective communication is having a stranglehold on the design process from start to finish.

We will be the shepherds guiding the sheep - the designers and the engineers - through the hills of the design process as one. This will take communication and an in depth knowledge of the layout of the land, that being the ups and downs of the design process.

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