PTC's recently announced Windchill PartsLink, the second Windchill module to be spun off as a product for separate sale this year, helps manufacturers publish their catalogs directly to their websites—giving design engineers access to up-to-date component catalogs. Web-based catalogs can be updated very quickly, so that users gain a competitive advantage over manufacturers that use only printed catalogs.
"The software handles data with life cycle information," says Kevin Spurway, vice president of Windchill PartsLink Solutions for PTC. "It contains XML-enabled CAD data that engineers can drop directly into their own designs." PartsLink enables parametric, hierarchical, natural language, and parts number searches for components.
Bourns Inc. (Riverside, CA), manufacturers of electronic components for the automotive, industrial, medical, computer, A/V, telecommunications, and aerospace industries, recently implemented Windchill PartsLink. "We've made our standard catalog available to designers through our website," says Gerry Young, vice president of eBusiness Systems at Bourns.
Using PartsLink, Bourns gives engineers who visit the website (www.bourns.com) several different ways to access component information. "An 'eCatalog' tab on the home page takes them to a form where they can specify general or very specific information about a component. In some cases, a detailed specification will take the designer to the exact component required," Young notes.
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