With Geolus ISV you can offer shape based search in your applications

By Erwin Argyle

When your customers know two parts are similar a world of re-use possibilities opens

The answers to many engineering questions lay “hidden” in enterprise data. We help you extend your applications to answer users’ questions that pertain to 3D data – questions like:

  • How should I manufacture a part shaped like this?
  • Which of my suppliers offer items like this one?
  • Can we identify the very similar component parts used across our product line and establish standard parts?
  • What price did I pay last time I bought a part like this?
A Geolus identity report compares every part, returning groups of identical or near identical parts in a single document. This database-wide information drives strategic initiatives.
A Geolus Identity Report

These questions have a recurring theme. Answering them depends on the ability to identify similar 3D parts. 

We name parts inconsistently. Engineers choose part names that make sense to them but that naming logic might be different to that of a colleague at the next desk. Design teams often work in silos solving similar problems and therefore create similar parts but nearly always with dissimilar names. Naming conventions vary with each person, department, division and subsidiary. Inconsistency of names is compounded when dealing with purchased parts because the naming convention will vary with each supplier.

Search by shape

We traditionally search using keywords. Inconsistent naming prevents established search methods from returning complete results.

“An application that offers shape as search criterion will return all the similar parts no matter how they have been named, providing users a more comprehensive solution.”

The search controls can be coarse to find roughly similar parts, or fine to look for more precise matches, right up to exact, to find identical parts. But wait, there is more…

Value beyond part re-use

Every part has associated data. This could be cost, supplier, projects where used, design or manufacturing know how, work instructions etc. It is the sum of your customers’ past experiences with 3D data, not readily accessed because of inconsistent naming. Suitably collated, it is a valuable font of knowledge when solving problems pertaining to similar parts.

When your users know two parts are alike a world of possibilities opens!

The data associated with parts is a mine of information but very difficult to browse. The data associated with a set of similar parts is focused. "What is the price/QA/usage or parts shaped like this?"
Geolus identifies similarly shaped parts and provides a unique collation of enterprise data.

A set of similar parts is the steppingstone to the information needed to answer those questions that head this article. Shape search creates this data collation. You can:

  • Compare prices of similar parts and use that information to negotiate a better deal
  • Identify candidate standard parts, stop part proliferation and free resources to innovate elsewhere
  • Speed up that classification initiative knowing that similar parts are likely to be in the same class

Geolus Shape Search is structured as an add-on component which means that Siemens Partners and Independent Software Vendors can extend their applications to offer shape search. Geolus is provided by the same components group that provides Parasolid, D-Cubed, JT Open and Kineo.

There was recently a webinar on Geolus Shape Search and the Teamcenter clients that offer shape search. The replay for that Webinar can be found here.

The webinar also featured the work of T-Systems, a long time software development partner. They have integrated Geolus with their PDMConnector platform for integration, migration and collaboration among Product Lifecycle Management and Enterprise Resource Planning systems.

T-Systems are hosting a live webinar on April 26th 8:30 am CET. They will show how the strength of using shape search while browsing ERP data. More information and the registration page can be found here.

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at