Enhancing PDM Capabilities

November 5, 2007

2 Min Read
Enhancing PDM Capabilities

SolidWorks recently released PDMWorks Enterprise 2008 with enhanced Bill-of-Material (BOM) capabilities. Global Product Manager Rich Allen describes this latest PDM solution.

What is driving the need for enhanced PDM solutions?

As there are more CAD users and more CAD files being created, the need for PDM is increasing. Customers need to improve design re-use to reduce the number of parts created, designed, sold and maintained. They also need to more easily find documents to improve engineering throughput and maintain industry standard compliance certifications.

What are the challenges faced by PDM systems?

Increasing globalization means it's now more rare for a company to do manufacturing at one location. It's more typical to outsource, so companies have to share information to make sure if engineers finish work for the day in Massachusetts, their manufacturing counterparts in Singapore will have access to the up-to-date parts and assemblies to continue working or start manufacturing. Data replication is an enhanced feature in PDMWorks Enterprise 2008, where users are given more controls on what files are replicated, so changes can happen on demand.

Another challenge is bandwidth in remote locations. With this latest release we've done everything to optimize so even in low-bandwidth locations, replication speed is still acceptable, especially if replications happen after hours. Some companies can have 24-hour workdays if you account for all time zones.

What is PDMWorks Enterprise 2008's most vital feature?

One of the most important aspects of PDM seems to be the ability to create, manage and share Bill-of-Material (BOM) information throughout the organization. We find there's a lot of duplicate data entry and time wasted by companies attempting to share BOM information because their systems are not interconnected. A good PDM system should allow each department to see the BOM the way they'd like to see it.

With PDMWorks Enterprise 2008, you have two different levels of control: to display the same BOM but with different data to each department and to save that computed BOM and create a Named BOM. This Named BOM can be freely edited more or less as if it were a spreadsheet. Also, with the 2008 release, electronic workflow previously used to route CAD files, parts and assemblies throughout the organization can now support BOMs, as well. The Named BOM is an internal object and more tightly integrated within the system.

In the area of data connectivity, we are making it easier to transfer Bill-of-Material information to external systems such as an ERP system. This can reduce manual data entry, save time and reduce errors in the process.

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