Purdue, CADENAS PARTsolutions partner to enhance student learning of parts management technology with CAD and PLM systems


Purdue students become more prepared for careers in design and manufacturing by connecting industry, CAD suppliers and student learning through PARTsolutions


September 6, 2018 – The Department of Computer Graphics Technology at Purdue University has partnered with CADENAS PARTsolutions to implement their Strategic Parts Management (SPM) software to expose students to industry-leading technology and real-world applications for careers in design engineering.

The PARTsolutions SPM platform is a parts management system that promotes part reuse and design efficiency. The platform enables students to search for parts data and CAD models for internal standard parts, industry standard parts and commercial parts from more than 800 manufacturer catalogs.

With this technology in the classroom, students can easily find and reuse the components they need for their designs and take a hands-on approach to learning to maximize product lifecycle management (PLM) systems.

“The simple goal of the partnership is to expose students to the concept of CAD model libraries by providing them with exposure to a best-in-class solution,” said Nathan Hartman, Dauch Family Professor of Advanced Manufacturing, director of the PLM Center of Excellence, and head of the Department of Computer Graphics Technology in the Purdue Polytechnic Institute, one of 10 academic colleges at Purdue University.

The partnership began ten years ago when Hartman met Tim Thomas, CEO of CADENAS PARTsolutions, at a conference. After several discussions, they were able to put CADENAS’ SPM platform in place at Purdue.

“We’re trying to make students aware of new technologies that will help them advance their career when they enter the workforce,” said Thomas. “Companies are looking to the future generation of engineers to bring knowledge and experience with new and innovative tools and systems. By equipping them with these skills, they will have a positive impact on engineering efficiency and design processes across the enterprise.”

In the classroom, students use PLM integrations in CAD tools, leveraging the SPM platform to quickly find parts based on geometry or part number. Next, students instantly specify and insert parts into their native CAD designs.

“Practicing with this application gives students real-world experience and makes classes more engaging,” according to Amy Mueller, clinical assistant professor of computer graphics technology. Mueller uses PARTsolutions in her classes and has included Thomas as a guest speaker.

“Tim makes students aware of the concept of our parts, their parts and standard parts, and PARTsolutions gets them to think about the data products needed to be useful in PLM,” said Mueller.

With access to tools that industries will someday adopt, students pursuing a bachelor’s degree in virtual product integration or a PLM certification are more prepared for future careers.

“What I see with this partnership is that we are aligning industry, CAD/PLM suppliers and universities. In doing so, we’re training young engineers to join the industry with more knowledge and tools to propel the industry forward,” said Thomas.

About Purdue Polytechnic Institute

The Purdue Polytechnic Institute is one of 10 academic colleges at Purdue University, offering undergraduate and graduate degrees in a wide range of disciplines: aviation, computing, construction management, engineering technology, technology leadership and technology education. In addition to Purdue University’s main campus in West Lafayette, Indiana, Purdue Polytechnic offers select degree programs in nine Indiana communities. The academic programs combine theory-based applied learning, team-based projects, integrated humanities studies, competency-based credentialing and a series of experiential components, such as industry-sponsored senior capstone projects, internships, global immersions and certification-earning activities.

For more information, visit Purdue Polytechnic (polytechnic.purdue.edu) and the Department of Computer Graphics Technology (polytechnic.purdue.edu/cgt).

About CADENAS PARTsolutions

CADENAS PARTsolutions is a leading provider of next generation 3D part catalog management and sales configuration solutions. For large manufacturers, CADENAS PARTsolutions provides centralized 3D parts libraries making it easy for global design teams to find, reuse, and control standard and proprietary parts. For component manufacturers, CADENAS PARTsolutions provides 3D product catalogs with digital CAD download technology, helping businesses increase sales lead generation and to ensure that components get “designed in” to OEM products.

For more information, visit CADENAS PARTsolutions.

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