Solid Edge, Teamcenter

Product Data Management (PDM) has been around for a long time now, but why haven’t many companies adopted them to help manage their ever increasing amounts of files and data?

Inter-connected data

I recently read an article by ENGINEERING.com entitled “Putting PLM within reach” that stated “about one half of PLM implementations cost less than US$250,000″ and “about two-thirds are implemented in less than a year”. It is therefore no major surprise that there are many companies that see PDM as out of their reach and continue to muddle along, duplicating files that already exist or using the wrong versions of files.

Back in February 2015, I wrote a blog “PDM – What is it and why do I need it” which discussed some of the background of PDM and what options are available for small to medium sized businesses.

The main drawback to implementing a PDM system is the amount of time required to establish what each department in an organisation requires from it and how to process documents from creation, through approval and into production (aka workflows). The creation of a PDM system quite often becomes the proverbial chicken and egg, where you don’t know what you fully need until you have something to start with, but you can’t start until you know what you need it to do! Quite often, companies will employ a consultant to help steer them through this minefield, who will consult with all of the stakeholders and come up with the proposed solution (this is where the time and cost factor kicks in). Another common outcome is that the process never gets off the ground, as nobody can agree on the best practice or they just can’t find the time to get the ball rolling!

Lots of data

Siemens, a long time player in the PDM market, saw this as anopportunity to find a better way to help smaller companies get the data management they quite often need. Many of Siemens users have already gone through this process, so Siemens did the research and got the best of the best to ease the way for the new PDM users.

The arrival of Teamcenter Rapid Start

What Siemens then did, was to develop the best workflows, reports and templates and package them up together as a pre-configured solution that provides users with the starting point from which to develop and mould their PDM system to their own needs. Teamcenter Rapid Start was born!capture_770

With many workflows, reports and templates already supplied, you now only needs to set up the system (taking about 1 week) and then choose which of these best fits the way the you want to work. Productivity begins almost immediately and as you grow and learn how Teamcenter works, you can alter these workflows or create new ones to fit more specific needs. This is where a pre-configured Teamcenter deployment works extremely well. It takes away the guesswork so you can start quickly and achieve benefits rapidly.

So what is PDM?

Product data management is the use of software to track and control data related to a particular product. The data tracked usually involves the technical specifications of the product, specifications for manufacture and development, and the types of materials that will be required to produce goods. The use of product data management allows a company to track the various costs associated with the creation and launch of a product.

Within PDM the focus is on managing and tracking the creation, change and archive of all information related to a product. The information being stored and managed will include engineering data such as computer-aided design (CAD) models, drawings and their associated documents.

PDM serves as a central knowledge repository for process and product history, and promotes integration and data exchange among all business users who interact with products — including project managers, engineers, sales people, buyers, and quality assurance teams.

workflow

workflow

The central database will also manage metadata, such as owner of a file and release status of the components. The package will: control check-in and check-out of the product data to multi-user; carry out engineering change management and release control on all versions/issues of components in a product; build and manipulate the product structure bill of materials (BOM) for assemblies; and assist in configurations management of product variants.

Product data management is focused on capturing and maintaining information on products and/or services through its development and useful life. Typical information managed in the PDM module include

  • Part number
  • Part description
  • Supplier/vendor
  • Vendor part number and description
  • Unit of measure
  • Cost/price
  • Schematic or CAD drawing
  • Material data sheets

What are the benefits?

Some of the benefits from implementing a PDM system are given below:

  • Managing the design process using a transparent completion of many data management tasks, allows designers to focus on the design process. Changes made by other team members are visible.
  • Re-use proven components in new designs, utilising fast searching on attributes with user defined searches and graphical previews
    of 3D models allows for reduced product design and manufacturing costs and improved product quality.
  • Control the engineering change processes with electronic workflows providing more efficient and consistent engineering change process for lower costs and higher quality.
  • Release to manufacturing with an electronic workflow allows visualisation of released 3D models and printing of
    2D drawings, ensuring more efficient and consistent release to manufacturing process for higher quality and less rework in
    manufacturing.

Where to from here

Contact CAD Central to discuss how Teamcenter Rapid Start can benefit you.

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