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Case Study

Molex Inc. connects its worldwide operations with

Creo Elements/Direct Software

Formerly CoCreate ®

Molex Inc., Ettlingen, Germany The challenge: manage global product development
teams and projects
Molex Incorporated develops and produces electronic com-
ponents and connectors for telecommunication devices, com- • Conduct product development at multiple locations with
puters, vehicles, consumer goods and industrial applications. globally distributed teams
In recent years, the company, founded in 1939, has experi-
• Manage many development projects with customers from
enced dynamic growth not only as a result of acquisitions and
the automotive industry
its own successes, but also because today’s products feature
more and more electric and electronic components, which • Handle intensified time and cost pressures in customer-
need connectors – very often supplied by Molex. The company specific projects
now employs more than 32,000 people in 54 locations across
five continents. • Develop new products as an essential success factor

To improve the organization’s global processes, Molex recently The solution: direct modeling solutions from PTC
replaced its many regional divisions with five global divisions,
• Universal application of Creo Elements/Direct Modeling TM

which now market products via a single sales organization.

(formerly CoCreate Modeling ) in product and mold design

The automotive division, with a key European development

center located in Ettlingen, Germany, pioneered the organi- • Streamlined product data management with
zational restructuring.“ In the future, our developers will work Creo Elements/Direct Model Manager (formerly
more closely with colleagues across the globe and will use each CoCreate Model Manager ) in connection with

other’s designs,” says Gary Hart, European CAD Manager the global ERP system
at Molex.
The results: seamless collaboration across global divisions

• Rapid response to customer requests for changes, thanks

to the direct modeling-based approach

• Easier reuse of existing data at other locations

• Quicker integration of other departments by using 3D

“In the future, our developers will work much

more closely with colleagues across the globe
and will use each other’s designs.”

– G ary Hart
European CAD Manager
With Creo Elements/Direct, Molex designs highly complex Molex
and sophisticated electronic components, like this junction
box, directly in 3D.

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Case Study

New challenges for global product development Success through innovation

Molex’s new global product development strategy creates new Although automotive customers occasionally pressure Molex
challenges and opportunities for its Product Lifecycle Manage- to use the same CAD system that they’re using, the compa-
ment (PLM). Hart says, “We want to record how quickly we can ny prefers to design its products using Creo Elements/Direct
launch our products on the market, and where delays occur Modeling software from PTC. In a benchmark comparison,
during the process. In this way, we can improve the flow of the PTC software outperformed other leading CAD systems,
information from product development right through to pro- particularly because of its direct modeling-based approach.
duction. And, when the product goes into production, we need Hart says, “When developing a new product, we generally
to ascertain where it is at any given time, so that if changes don’t know exactly what the customer wants. Consequently,
occur, the engineers will know who needs to be involved.” our drafts have to undergo several revisions, which we can-
not anticipate and cannot map in parametric relationships.”
At Molex, the change process is mapped in an ERP system,
which is installed at all locations, and largely controls the Direct modeling gives designers and engineers the speed
production process. The developers create new material mas- to make changes to models ‘on the fly,’ which means that
ters and parts lists in the product data management (PDM) designers can quickly produce unlimited iterations of the
system. Molex is currently replacing its existing PDM solution product to find the ideal design. Another advantage is that,
with Creo Elements/Direct Model Manager from PTC. As soon with direct modeling, it’s easy for one designer to work on a
as the global rollout is complete, product data and other infor- design initiated by another designer, much like a writer can
mation, such as version status, will be exchanged via a PDM/ open up an existing Microsoft® Word® doc and continue the
ERP interface. work of another writer.

The development of new products is key to Molex’s success. For instance, at Molex, a customer’s change request cannot
Last year, the company launched more than 300 new connec- always be implemented by the same engineer who worked
tors into the market– an all-time record for the company. Over- on the original draft. This issue takes on even more impor-
all, the company’s portfolio comprises more than 100,000 tance as a result of global cooperation within the new orga-
products, including standard connectors as well as customer- nizational structure. The direct modeling-based approach to
specific developments. In the automotive industry, in particular, CAD enables engineers to use models from other locations
many of the connectors are developed in close cooperation and quickly pick up and work on the design as if the new de-
with OEMs or their main system suppliers. In this industry, in- signer had created the models themselves.
tense time and cost pressures are a ‘given’.
Apart from its functionality, Creo Elements/Direct Modeling’s
ease-of-use offers a competitive advantage that should not
be underestimated, according to Hart, as it reduces the need
for training and speeds up familiarization. After all, the soft-
ware is used on more than 1000 workstations at Molex, in-
cluding product development, mold design, and quality as-
surance. Consequently, one day of team training would be
roughly equal to an investment of several man-years. Hart
ensures that “Normally, users can create their first 3D models
with Creo Elements/Direct Modeling after just three days of
basic training.”

The Automotive Division produces connection systems for air bags and other
electronic components in vehicles.

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Case Study

Product development has fundamentally changed since the Hart is convinced that, with the implementation of the
arrival of the 3D system from PTC. Even though the 2D drawing Creo Elements/Direct solutions, Molex made the right choice
remains the main reference document, Molex engineers now for facing the new challenges of global product development.
use 3D models in milestone meetings. “Seeing the model in The combination of the direct modeling approach, stream-
front of you makes things much easier to understand and helps lined data management, and Web-based collaboration offers
to include employees from other areas, such as mold construc- the ideal basis for cooperation between globally distributed
tion or quality assurance, in the decision-making process,” says development teams.
Hart. “We try to do this early on, so that product development
© 2010, Parametric Technology Corporation (PTC). All rights reserved. Information con-
and mold design overlap as much as possible.” cerning the benefits and results obtained by customers using PTC solutions is based upon
the particular user’s experience and testimonial, is furnished for informational use only,
and should not be construed as a guarantee or commitment by PTC. Due to the varying
degree of complexity of our customers’ products and/or their design processes, typical or
generally expected results are not available. PTC, the PTC Logo, Creo, Elements/ Direct,
and all PTC product names and logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of PTC
and/or its subsidiaries in the United States and in other countries. All other product or
company names are property of their respective owners.

6003 – Creo Elements–Molex Inc.–CS–EN–1210

During development, the connection systems experience some major
changes, which are unforseeable and cannot be handled with a parametric
CAD system. This is the reason Molex prefers direct modeling with Creo

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