The Adobe Manufacturing Team visited Anaheim, CA last week for the Pacific Design and Manufacturing Show where we had the opportunity to speak with several hundred customers. To all of you who stopped by to see us, Thank You! This show seems to attract a high percentage of entrepreneurial firms. Many of the companies we spoke with are already Adobe customers, and wanted to investigate how to better leverage our products in there day-to-day operations. We get lots and lots of questions, and I can’t answer them all here, but I want to discuss the ones that seem to surface over and over again. These customer needs stood out at this show:
- “I am growing my innovation network globally, and need to reach partners and customers in emerging regions.”
- “I need to share all kinds of data, including 3D CAD, more effectively across the extended organization.”
And this question:
- “How is this different than the visualization technology we already have (or are thinking about acquiring)?”
Read on to find out how we responded.
So, here are the responses to the frequent needs and questions:
Need: Reach partners and customers globally
I blogged about innovation networks a few months ago. I won’t repeat the article here, but the key point is “reach”. The “reach” provided by Adobe’s cross-platform, run-time utilities is the main thing we point to. In the case of Acrobat and PDF, the ubiquitous Adobe Reader enables many, many capabilities the casual user may not be familiar with. Forms data collection, ad-hoc review and comment-based collaboration, analysis of 3D data and the ability to combine 2D and 3D documents of virtually any type and open/interact with them in the Reader is the difference.
Need: Sharing 3D Data
In part, I answered this question above. The ability to embed 3D data from almost any source solves many problems for companies who are trying to get more out of their investments in CAD and PLM. Acrobat extends access to the data, either as part of other documents such as marketing brochures, field service manuals, manufacturing work instructions, and so forth, or simply as a single PDF. Additional CAD or PLM seats, with all of their cost and complexity, are not needed.
How is this different from visualization?
Well, there is some overlap with 3D visualization offerings for sure. PMI and meta data, measurement and sectioning are supported by the free Reader. Many companies try to monetize these functions and don’t include them in “free” viewers. But, really the key differences are:
- Acrobat can contain and even export precise, b-rep models in addition to tessellated models.
- Acrobat adds numerous security advantages like digital signatures that most CAD and visualization applications cannot match.
- Acrobat allows combining all sorts of 2D and 3D documents in ways that are not possible otherwise.
Thanks to all of you who stopped by to see us. I hope this article helped reinforce the answers we gave you at the show.