Computer Aided Engineering

Computer aided engineering (CAE) systems are intended to help analysis, design and manufacturing tasks in electrical and mechanical engineering industries.

CAE encompasses computer aided design (CAD, computer aided analysis and computer aided manufacturing (CAM). In the mechanical engineering application area CAD and CAM are sometimes combined as CADCAM.

Although CAD is defined as "Computer Aided Design" many vendors use the term CAD for their computer aided draughting or drawing systems because the market for such systems is much bigger and less demanding. However, the most significant benefit of CAD is improved design rather than simply faster design and, therefore, general purpose computer aided draughting systems are not in themselves sufficient.

A little history

The Computer Aided Design Centre (CADCentre which is now Aveva was created in Cambridge, UK in 1969 by the UK Ministry of Technology. Its mission was to develop computer aided engineering techniques and to promote their use in British industry.

CADCentre carried out much pioneering research, and many of its early staff went on to become prominent in the worldwide CAE community, for example, brothers Dick Newell and Martin Newell. Dick Newell was involved in developing the Plant Design Management System (PDMS) for 3D process plant design, and later co-founded Cambridge Interactive Systems which developed the Medusa 2D/3D CAD system. Martin Newell founded Ashlar Inc. which developed Vellum and various other CAD systems.

CADCentre was one of the original companies involved in what became known as the "Cambridge Phenomenon" – the transformation of Cambridge from a University town into one of the world's high technology centres within a few years in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

The three original members of ADE also worked at CADCentre and ADE was formed in 1978 as part of the Cambridge Phenomenon. However, unlike almost all of the other CAE companies of that era, ADE is still in business and continuing to provide CAE consultancy and software services. Over the years we have had the privilege of working with many of the talented individuals in the CAE community and the systems they have developed.


Some 3D piping and plant models generated by Medusa, a general purpose CAD system.

HarnWare and HarnVis

Our HarnWare and HarnVis systems are more specialist systems aimed at electrical wiring harness design.