Ford And Sema Go 3d To Improve Quality Of Performance Parts
Ford Motor Company is expanding its successful data sharing relationship with the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) to include advanced three-dimensional CAD drawings in an effort improve the quality of aftermarket performance parts.
“In an unprecedented cooperative move, Ford is making this important technical data available to SEMA members to help improve overall part quality and reduce the time it takes to bring parts to market,” said Michael R. Zevalkink, executive director of Ford Performance Group. “Quality is key with our products and by offering these three-dimensional CAD images to aftermarket suppliers we help ensure that our customers stay satisfied with our products.”
This process began in 1999 when Ford provided an array of technical data for the Mustang GT, including two-dimensional parts drawings for the entire vehicle, body, chassis, electrical system and powertrain. Armed with these vehicle specifications, electrical schematics and 4.6-liter engine drawings, the accessory and performance parts manufacturers began to provide Ford customers with parts that could integrate with the vehicle and boost customer satisfaction.
After the success with two-dimensional drawings on several different models Ford decided to extend the program to three-dimensional CAD drawings.
The three-dimensional data eliminates the “reverse engineering” process when a SEMA manufacturer designs aftermarket parts. The manufacturer can use their own CAD software to test their new aftermarket part and potentially reduce costly tooling and prototypes. The three-dimensional CAD images will assist the SEMA manufacturer in deciding quickly the feasibility to produce their aftermarket part.
In practice, SEMA members make a request to SEMA for images and Ford then uses their PDGS/I-DEAS CAD library to best meet that request. Ford will provide the images in a translated STEP format, which is the agreed upon SEMA format.