Exponential growth in the capabilities of CAD software eventually will require companies to upgrade CAD hardware systems so an organization can benefit from the new design functions. The overall goal of any upgrade should be to maximize these benefits to improve the company's workflow (and the bottom line).
Here at CADspeed, we've helped you plan a CAD software and hardware upgrade with your IT department with this philosophy in mind. But once the upgrade is complete, what should you do with the older CAD hardware systems?
First we'll look at the possible internal needs within an organization.
1. Not All CAD Operators Have the Same Needs
The truth is, not every CAD user may need the latest and greatest hardware. Many organizations have employees performing different levels of CAD work. High-level users obviously should be the first in line for upgrades. Will their older machines work for users who aren't doing 3D rendering or CAE work?
Naturally, the entire CAD department needs to work together on projects, so prevent obvious conflicts that could occur on different operating systems or software versions, for example. You want your team to be as efficient and effective as possible. The point is, take a good look at how your CAD department functions and make sure your CAD hardware systems are meeting your needs.
2. Non-CAD Employees
Older CAD hardware still may have a lot of life left in it for non-CAD users. Systems that were cutting edge only three or four years ago for CAD may be still be perfectly usable for other staff members who won't ever open a CAD file. Managers, administrators, support staff and assistants could extend the life of older systems, which are still perfectly capable of running less-powerful software.
For example, if you have employees who use mainly email, web browsers and basic office programs, older CAD systems may run these less-intensive software applications without any problem. Take a look at your entire organization, not just the CAD department.
Author: Cadalyst Staff