Ford software engineers are warning of delays in new vehicle development schedules if component suppliers fail to invest quickly enough in Ford’s new SDRC design system.
Some first-tier component and systems suppliers are having to make multi-million pound investments in the new CAD system within the next 18 months to keep abreast of the roll-out of the system within Ford’s design centres.
All new vehicles developed by Ford will be designed on the system from early 1999, as part of Ford’s CAD/CAM/CAE and product information strategy called C3P.
‘We are hoping that all our major tier-one suppliers will be on board for the start of the programmes. If not we will have all kinds of problems,’ said Roger Staines, technical services manager at Jaguar, which is investing $20m (£12m) over five years on installing 500 SDRC workstations.
Programme delays could arise because of the uncertain amount of time it can take to transfer data from the old PDGS and ComputerVision software on to the new SDRC system.
‘Those worry us considerably. They are less than routine,’ Staines said.
Ford’s US office coordinating C3P said SDRC penetration is now about 40% within the Ford design network, but suppliers are just starting to invest. Ford is trying to give suppliers advance warning of new projects.