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pdmapps

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09/02/2014

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PDM Applications

by Matt Lombard

What are we talkin¶ about here?
‡ PDM ± Product Data Management ‡ PLM ± Product Lifecycle Management (generally means more money than PDM) ‡ Workgroup (small company with low budget) ‡ Enterprise (any company with over $100k to spend) ‡ MRP ± Manufacturing Resource Planning ‡ ERP ± Engineering Resource Planning

CAD Compatibility ‡ A lot of PDM / PLM applications are not specifically focussed on CAD applications or other files that are largely linked with relationships (such as programming files). I¶ll just try to focus on applications that work with SolidWorks files . ‡ Here.

.Why is PDM better than saving files in a network location? ‡ PDM applications generally work by saving files to a central location called the ³vault´ usually located on a server.

³part1.sldprt´ read access for everyone else . but the vault will only allow one person to have ³Write´ access to any one file.Why is PDM better than saving files in a network location? ‡ Files in the vault can be copied to individual workstation.sldprt´ Write access for ³Buddy´ ³part1.

you will have a mess in short order.Why is PDM better than saving files in a network location? ‡ If you try to manage all old versions on a network manually. keeping this part with that assembly and the other drawing version« .

. separating files into different folders and / or using a database to assign an ID to files.Why is PDM better than saving files in a network location? ‡ PDM applications generally do this by either renaming the file (so there are none of the conflicts in SolidWorks file references).

Why is PDM better than saving files in a network location? ‡ In the end. which makes things faster. . you wind up working on the files locally on your computer.

. reports. lots of stuff any engineering department needs which no manual system is going to provide for you. search capabilities.Why is PDM better than saving files in a network location? ‡ «not to mention real where used. BOM functions.

What are we talkin¶ about here? ‡ PDM Applications fall into different types of categories: $ (bling) PDMWorks DBWorks $$ (bling-bling) Conisio $$$ (mucho bling) SmarTeam ProductCenter .

What are we talkin¶ about here? ‡ PDM Applications fall into different types of categories: PDM that runs without a database PDMWorks PDM that uses a database (everything else) .

What are we talkin¶ about here? ‡ PDM Applications fall into different types of categories: Not Multi-site PDMWorks Multi-site (everything else) .

‡ PDMWorks Interface Integrated In SolidWorks Task Pane Integrated into the SW Open and Save Dialogs .Here¶s the beef.

‡ PDMWorks Interface Admin tool interface In SolidWorks Explorer with eDrawings viewer .Here¶s the beef.

Here¶s the beef. installed with all admin options In SolidWorks Task Pane. does not work in SW2007 yet . ‡ DBWorks Interface From Start menu.

Here¶s the beef. ‡ Conisio Interface Windows Explorer interface Workflow module interface .

‡ Conisio Interface Assembly References showing Inventor files SolidWorks Integration .Here¶s the beef.

Here¶s the beef. ‡ Product Center Interface Workflow module interface .

Screen shot from SmarTeam website« This should be saying to you ³Dassault / Catia are deeply involved with SmarTeam´ .

SmarTeam is sold by IBM« This should be saying to you ³IBM is deeply involved with SmarTeam´ .

get PDMWorks. get Product Center . have IT support. customization. and want to customize your PDM app.Personal Experience ‡ The following is really just my opinion ± If you have fewer than 15 people. Really. or have no IT department. multi-site. ± If you have fewer than 15 people. but can¶t afford it. get DB Works. ± If your company aspires to big-time PDM. get Conisio ± If your company needs Workflow. web interface.

Personal Experience ‡ The following is really just my opinion ± PDMWorks is simple to install and maintain (really) ± There is no database to maintain. install or license ± There is an API so some customization is possible ± Don¶t believe most of the negative stuff you hear on the newsgroup about PDMWorks ± Don¶t consider it if you need to do multi-site vaults .

Personal Experience ‡ The following is really just my opinion ± DB Works has an insanely loyal following ± It is not as easy to install / maintain as the acolytes would have you to believe ± Nor is it as easy to use as they say« but it does look pretty powerful ± It doesn¶t appear to have an interface for use outside of SolidWorks ± It is reputed to be highly customizable ± Cost is within 1X of PDMWorks .

so this might be the safest midrange choice ± Works right inside Windows Explorer.Personal Experience ‡ The following is really just my opinion ± Conisio is easy to use. so it really is easy to use. but fast and loose on the administration ± Conisio was recently purchased by SolidWorks. . and your Open / Save dialog.

± Absolutely the world¶s BEST tech support! ± This is not cheap software. but it is customizable with some programming experience.Personal Experience ‡ The following is really just my opinion ± For higher end PDM with SW compatibility. I really recommend Product Center. ± I bought and implemented it in a previous life. .

Personal Experience ‡ The following is really just my opinion ± If you are under duress from a larger company. you might consider SmarTeam. but it is hands down the worst PDM application I have worked with ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ Worlds worst tech support Holds customers WAY back on SW releases Introduces lots of SW crash bugs Upgrades often require 30 days of consulting on site .

Final Recommendations se o t needed eal data ase c stomiza le alit i in A tal eeden A s ael Co nt o ot e o Cost MWo ks Wo ks Conisio od ctCente ma eam n 7 2 n ease o 8 6 9 7 4 A se va ies 8 na 7 7 9 9 hese n m e s a e estimates and e sonal o inion. no scienti ic esea ch has one into this othe than m o n e sonal e e ience ith the od cts and com anies .

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