You might think that design systems such as computer-aided design or computer-aided engineering were ubiquitous among U.S. manufacturers. You'd be wrong.
At the plant level, just over half of all U.S. manufacturing facilities employ CAD or CAE systems, according to the 2007 IndustryWeek/Manufacturing Performance Institute Census of Manufacturers. That said, data show that size matters -- larger plants are more likely than smaller ones to have CAD/CAE systems in use.
Compared with IndustryWeek's Best Plants winners and finalists, however, U.S. manufacturing plants fall far short in their use of CAD/CAE technologies. Fully 96% of 2006 finalists reported implementing such technologies (2007 data is not yet available), and 95% of finalists over the past three years have design systems installed.
|Percentage of Manufacturers Using CAD/CAE Software|
|Less than 100 employees||43.1%|
|100 to 249||54.2%|
|250 to 499||62.1%|
|500 or more||64.3%|
|Source: 2007 IW/MPI Census of Manufacturers|