PTC, the Product Development Company, has announced that it has acquired ITEDO software GmbH and ITEDO software LLC (collectively, ITEDO), headquartered in Germany, for approximately $17 million in cash. With its market-leading IsoDraw family of products, ITEDO delivers comprehensive software solutions for creating and maintaining technical illustrations.
ITEDO has more than 2,400 customers in multiple discrete manufacturing vertical markets such as automotive, aerospace and defense, and industrial equipment. With this acquisition, PTC will be a vendor to offer a complete solution for creating, managing, and publishing text and graphical content for technical publications.
ITEDO’s IsoDraw and related products IsoView and IsoCompose are special-purpose technical illustration solutions, optimized for the process of creating isometric technical illustrations for manufacturing, marketing, customer service, and support documentation. Illustrations can be created from scratch and from legacy illustrations, but more importantly they can be derived quickly from existing 3D and 2D design data, including all major mechanical CAD applications. IsoDraw enables users to leverage the rich content that resides in the engineering department in a way that is relevant to consumers of technical publications.
According to PTC, manufactured products are not complete without the accompanying illustrated documentation. Many manufacturing customers rely upon the delivery of documentation for product launches, revenue recognition, regulatory compliance, service delivery and customer satisfaction. By adding IsoDraw to PTC’s product development system, they provide customers with the missing link between engineering and technical publications and help its customers improve time-to-market, documentation quality and cost, and overall customer satisfaction.
ITEDO solutions will become an important part of PTC’s Arbortext product family, providing extensive 2D technical illustration capabilities today and further enhancing PTC’s 3D interactive content for technical publications in the future. Combining ITEDO’s capabilities in 2D isometric drawing and technical illustration with PTC’s expertise in 3D CAD and associative content will provide a powerful, end-to-end solution for 2D and 3D graphics within technical publications.
According to ITEDO, the creation of technical illustrations is mainly a manual process that involves redrawing graphics from scratch. Additionally, many technical illustrators do not have a repository for the thousands of graphics they create. This means many companies often recreate content instead of reusing it. The integration of ITEDO and PTC solutions will enable companies to create highly configured and current versions of documentation earlier in the product or service development process, while eliminating the duplication of work inherent in the process.
By complementing and extending the PTC product development system with ITEDO products, PTC will be able to provide customers with the ability to use Pro/Engineer information as the basis for technical illustrations, with automatic updates to the illustrations as changes are made to the upstream CAD models.
Windchill, in turn, offers the ability to store all 2D and 3D graphic content as well as XML-based textual instructions in a centrally located content management system. Illustrations and text can then be reused and repurposed for many different publications and formats that are dynamically assembled to meet the needs of different audiences.
The acquisition will substantially expand the usefulness of 2D and 3D CAD data developed by engineers with PTC's Pro/ENGINEER and other vendors’ product design applications. Manufacturing companies have struggled for years with the disconnect between engineers and downstream users of technical illustrations in manufacturing, marketing and customer service.
PTC's launch into technical publications, through its acquisition first of Arbortext and now of ITEDO, paves the way to a new level of automation by extending the concept of associativity from product development into dynamic publishing of both text and illustrations.
PTC and ITEDO share about 600 customers. One joint customer is Ingersoll Rand Road Development, a leading global supplier of quality equipment and services to the road building, road maintenance and general construction markets. According to Ingersoll Rand Road Development, each product they deliver to market requires assembly instructions, operation/maintenance manuals, and parts catalogs. They typically have little lead time to prepare the hundreds of illustrations that are required to support each product launch.
Additionally, newer designs have been created with Pro/ENGINEER, but some legacy and supplier designs are in other CAD formats. With ITEDO products, they are able to quickly derive technical illustrations from all of these CAD files, and they have realized a ten-fold increase in productivity from our prior manual process. PTC has recognized the importance of technical illustrations through its acquisition of ITEDO, who is on the leading edge of innovation and standards development in the world of technical illustration.
As a long-time customer of both PTC and ITEDO solutions, Ingersoll Rand Road Development feels that PTC has taken to deliver on its vision for integrated product development and technical publications solutions. This is a significant challenge for all discrete manufacturing companies; clearly PTC has listened to its customers on this issue. The combination of IsoDraw, Pro/ENGINEER, Windchill and Arbortext within a single Product Development System is quite compelling in both its capabilities and system architecture.
Customers will continue to be able to leverage all ITEDO products, including IsoDraw, IsoView and IsoCompose, as stand-alone solutions or as an integral part of PTC’s Product Development System. Like ITEDO, PTC is committed to openness and support for heterogeneous deployments. Customers with multi-CAD environments or those who use CAD solutions other than Pro/ENGINEER will still be able to take advantage of IsoDraw’s unique ability to derive technical illustrations from the CAD model and maintain the illustrations.
Additionally, PTC will continue to support a variety of standard graphics file formats to enable customers to create technical illustrations that are compliant with important international standards for technical publications such as WebCGM, Airline Transport Association (ATA) specifications and S1000D.