Almost all manufacturing industries require engineers to create “process plans” — i.e., the documents and illustrations that define how to fabricate and assemble the parts. It’s interesting how a new series of companies have emerged to leverage the model-based enterprise with enhanced software tools. The likely leader in the group is Right Hemisphere with their “Visual Product Communication and Collaboration”. Companies with similar functionality include Quadrispace and Anark. All of these tool sets are geared toward re-purposing the 3D CAD models for downstream documentation. One interesting software tool in the same market space that appears to be really geared toward manufacturing engineering is the planning tool from DISCUS.