Machine Design

PDM software helps build machines for making custom DNA

To keep pace in the highly competitive medical-manufacturing market, Integrated DNA Technologies Inc. (IDT), Coralville, Iowa, a large supplier of custom nucleic acids, needed a better way to control the many versions of its CAD files and Office documents. The company uses proprietary processes on special machines designed and built in-house to manufacture synthetic DNA and RNA used to test for genetic and infectious diseases. After benchmarking several different design and document control packages, IDT opted for software from Siemens PLM, Plano, Texas.

“Solid Edge 3D CAD for design and Teamcenter Express PDM for file management have significantly shortened our product-design processes,” says IDT assistant vice president of enterprise applications Bob Schafbuch. “We now get orders as late as 3 pm and deliver products to researchers and scientists by the next morning.”

The CAD and PDM software work well together, which has made it a lot easier to re-use and tweak existing designs, says Schafbuch. “The Solid Edge Embedded Client in Teamcenter Express lets designers create and modify files directly in the PDM. This makes it straightforward to capture design data for future use without placing additional burdens on CAD users.” IDT uses Teamcenter Express for design, purchasing, the in-house machine shop, and maintenance. Thus, all data and documents are in a single system. Stakeholders can “serve themselves,” so to speak, eliminating the time engineers had to spend sending information to other team members.

“Designers now share data across our three facilities, which wasn’t happening in the past,” says Schafbuch. “There is better communication and collaboration throughout the company, which lets us ship orders more quickly because the right people are getting the right information at the right time.”

Additionally, Teamcenter Express helped IDT gain ISO 9001 and ISO 1345 certification because it let the engineering department demonstrate adherence to the standards’ specifications. According to IDT, Teamcenter Express will help streamline the company’s move into new markets such as therapeutics for medical applications that are monitored by the FDA.

Siemens PLM Software,
Integrated DNA Technologies Inc.,

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