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Use Cases Across the Enterprise

Design -- Manufacturing -- Service Parts -- Supply Chain -- IT

Form Follows Function

A part’s geometry is not only synonymous with its function… but is also highly correlated with it’s price, manufacturing process and performance.

This means that the ability to capture a part’s geometry can be used in a wide variety of different ways.  For example, the cost of a new design can be quickly estimated by considering the cost of a highly similar existing part (taking material, tolerance and finish into account of course).  

Common use cases for shape-search and shape-analytics are shown across numerous business domains in the graphic below  


Supply Chain

Engineering Management & IT


Manufacturing & Distribution

Customer & Field Services

  • Model reuse

  • Part reuse

  • Knowledge reuse

  • Should-cost estimation

  • Part reuse

  • Cost estimation

  • Price validation

  • RFQ selection

  • Substitution

  • Consolidation

  • Standardization

  • Task assignment

  • Monitoring part reuse

  • Data migration

  • Data clean-up

  • Merger analysis

  • Estimations or Quotations

  • Fully automated quotations

  • Match scan of generic part to OEM catalog

  • Tool path reuse

  • Fixture design reuse

  • Identification of orphaned inventory

  • Substitution

  • File retrieval for 3D printing

  • Identification

  • Substitution

  • File retrieval for 3D printing

  • Match scan of generic part to OEM catalog

Return on Investment

Many of the use cases have very high ROI potential.  For example, each time a part can be reused it eliminates more than $20,000 of expense.  And most part catalogs have inefficiencies related to duplication and undesired cost variances that, if discovered, can boost profits by tens of millions of dollars.  What has been needed to unlock the opportunities is a road map which can be provided by shape-based search and analytics.  


The ROI potential of three use cases are profiled below    

Part and Model Reuse

"One can quibble with the committee’s methods of computing costs. And the DoD analysis ignores the cost of making tooling for redundant parts, which can add tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars to the cost of each part. But the conclusion of the authors - that unnecessary parts bloat costs - is inescapable.”

Shape Indexing May Help Part Re-use, Stephen Wolfe, P.E., Cyon Research Corporation

The table below uses the Dept. of Defense calculations, just a 15% redundancy rate (compared to the 30% to 40% rate found by Aberdeen Group), and adds no additional average cost for tooling or fixtures to compute an estimated annual return on investment for an organization with 250 designers.  

iSEEK provides three applications which can be deployed independently or in concert to foster and also create accountability for reuse.  

Consolidation / Standardization

Engineering has lagged far behind other business domains in the ability to apply analytics to engineering data like CAD.

Using 5-year carrying cost reported in the Dept. of Defense study, and a 15% redundancy rate, produces the estimated return on investment shown in the table below.  

Price Variance Discovery

Parts that are highly similar, allowing for material, tolerance and finish of course should have highly similar costs.  But too often there are substantial differences in cost even when identical parts are purchased from different vendors.  

A CADseek Analytics report is a road map for finding highly similar parts with a material difference in cost.  



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