Shape Search for Engineering Productivity

By Erwin Argyle

This article, “Search for Engineering Productivity”, introduces a new series on the business value of geometric search, or Shape Search, a new technology available in Active Workspace. Shape Search can help you reach greater returns on your Teamcenter investment, by enriching the user experience with a more intuitive way to find, share and reuse product information than text search, alone.

Catch up on the whole series by reading part 2part 3 , part 4 and part 5.

Let’s start with the easiest and most straightforward value. Shape search lets engineers stop wasting time searching for items. Searching for parts is a huge efficiency killer and takes away time that could be spent innovating, reducing cycle times, or optimizing designs. Inefficiency isn’t just the result of time spent searching. It also includes time recreating information that can’t be located and looking up product information for others. Many engineers are honest in saying that it’s much easier for them to create a new part than to find an existing one. That’s not good for the engineer, because they’re wasting their time recreating things that already exist. It’s also bad for the business, because it leads to part proliferation which is wasteful at an even larger scale (more on that later). Poor search efficiency isn’t just a minor source of frustration, it’s a real business issue.

Non-Value Added Work in EngineeringSpecifically, “Manufacturers report their engineers spend 1/3 of their time (on average) on non-value added work” and that “the largest contributor to nonvalue added time is related to trying to find information,” according to Reducing Non-Value Added Work in Engineering. That’s a lot of opportunity to give time back to engineers to spend on designing and innovating.

This is an extract from “Five Ways Shape Search Drives Business Value” by Jim Brown, President of Tech-Clarity.

Erwin Argyle is a Senior Product Manager and can be contacted for more information on shape search.

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