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October 01, 2007
PDMWorks Enterprise 2008 Released
Please note that contributed articles, blog entries, and comments posted on MCADcafe.com are the views and opinion of the author and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of the management and staff of Internet Business Systems and its subsidiary web-sites.
Jeff Rowe - Managing Editor

by Jeff Rowe - Contributing Editor
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SolidWorks Corp. unveiled PDMWorks Enterprise 2008, a new version of its product data management system with new features for managing bills of material, replication of data across sites, foreign language support, data connectivity, platform support, and overall performance.

"These important new features improve collaboration and workflow throughout the manufacturing enterprise, making everyone significantly more productive," said Jeff Barker, PDMWorks Enterprise project leader, Paper Converting Machine Co., Green Bay, Wisc. "For us, the bottom line is designing better products and getting them to market faster, and PDMWorks Enterprise 2008 is obviously engineered with the same priorities in mind."

Fully integrated with SolidWorks 3D CAD software and reflecting numerous customer requests, the PDMWorks Enterprise 2008 product data management system helps large, geographically dispersed engineering organizations securely manage engineering information, leverage existing designs, connect global teams, streamline workflow, audit documents, and search intensively, all with SolidWorks' trademark ease of use.

PDMWorks Enterprise 2008 enhancements include:

• Better control and management of bills of material. PDMWorks Enterprise 2008 has a wide range of new capabilities supporting the creation, editing, viewing, and management of bills of material (BOMs). These tools dramatically improve communication and collaboration within design engineering and beyond, including the manufacturing, quality assurance, and purchasing departments. Organizations working on an assembly can now customize BOMs for each department, route them for approvals, and enable multiple reviewers to edit them without installing SolidWorks software. BOMs can now include units of measure for non-modeled items (e.g., glue) and can also display part thumbnails when a
user hovers his or her mouse over an item listed in the BOM.

• Improved replication across multiple sites. PDMWorks Enterprise 2008 features faster, more powerful replication of design files across distributed organizations. It optionally replicates only the latest version of design files for faster, less processing-intensive downloads. New capabilities enable design engineers to easily find the current version of any part or project, eliminating confusion and errors.

• Foreign language support. PDMWorks Enterprise 2008 nearly doubles support for native languages. The product now enables documents in multiple languages to reside on a single server, making it easy for international companies to connect their design engineers globally. Supported languages include English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Polish, Japanese, Swedish, simplified Chinese, traditional Chinese, Korean, Russian, Czech, and Brazilian Portuguese.

• New data connectivity to external systems. PDMWorks Enterprise 2008 provides out-of-the-box tools to simplify sharing of data with external systems, such as manufacturing resource planning (MRP) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, via industry-standard XML files. This data-sharing capability reduces time, errors, and expense of duplicative manual entry to help automate high-value workflows. For example, a design engineer can send an XML-formatted BOM material to an ERP system, initiating ordering, purchasing, approval, and manufacturing planning automatically upon drawing release. Likewise, PDMWorks Enterprise 2008 can import data through the same process, enabling
engineers to manage costs at the design level by automatically calculating material costs as they work.

• Performance improvement. PDMWorks Enterprise 2008 has improved performance in deleting, accessing, moving, and rewriting files, as well as clearing caches. Search is faster due to new Microsoft Indexing Service support and richer now that searches from the SolidWorks software interface retrieve materials from the PDMWorks Enterprise vault.

"PDMWorks Enterprise 2008 is the ideal way for large, distributed engineering organizations to manage their product data for powerful, productive collaboration," said Jeff Ray, SolidWorks CEO. "The result is smoother coordination and better products arriving more quickly to market with new efficiencies at every step."

PDMWorks Enterprise customers include: FL Smidth, Munters, Mikuni, Spartan Motors, Tigercat, Automatic Systems, Ulma, Vestas, and Paper Converting Machine Company.

PDMWorks Enterprise 2008 is available now for purchase in 14 languages worldwide through SolidWorks authorized resellers. PDMWorks Enterprise 2008 now runs on the Microsoft Windows Vista operating system in either 32- or 64-bit versions and continues to support Microsoft Windows XP.

Commentary By Jeffrey Rowe, Editor

PDM is an enigma – everybody needs it, but not nearly enough design/engineering departments employ it. It also still suffers from an identity crisis – no, PDM is not PLM --- but more about that later.

In its most fundamental form, PDM focuses on information essential to the core operations of a product-based company. PDM is all about managing and tracking the creation, change and archive of all information related to a product in a central database, of which MCAD files are a major component. The central database also manages metadata (data about data), controls check-in and check-out of product data, and handles engineering change management and release control on all versions/issues of components in a product. PDM is also used to build and manipulate the product structure Bill of Materials (BOM) for assemblies, and assists in configuration management of product variants.
PDM, to a large extent is what enables the much bigger PLM process, so it can be viewed as an important subset of PLM.

Product data management is focused on capturing and maintaining information throughout the product development lifecycle. Typical information managed in a PDM system includes:

• CAD drawings

• Schematics

• Part numbers

• Specifications

• Part descriptions

• Suppliers/vendors

• Vendor part numbers and descriptions

• Units of measure

• Cost/pricing

• Material data sheets

• Where used

PDMWorks Enterprise (formerly known as Conisio) is a PDM software tool now developed specifically for the SolidWorks product development environment and its customers, although it can be integrated with AutoCAD, Inventor, and Solid Edge, too. As its name implies, PDMWorks Enterprise was designed for big companies, but also fits in well with SMBs.

PDMWorks Enterprise has always provided:

• Multi-site access to securely vaulted design data

• Scalability to allow hundreds of team members (including engineers, product designers, marketing staff, sales teams, etc.) to work on projects simultaneously

• Automated revision control

• Greater design reuse, allowing engineers throughout the enterprise to plug already designed parts or assemblies into other product designs; and,

• Automated workflow that notifies team members about design changes and ensures each project follows a company's specific approval process.

For SolidWorks users, a big advantage of PDMWorks is the fact that it is so tightly integrated with the core design product, meaning that it looks, feels, and behaves in a manner a SolidWorks user would expect. This is a huge factor for implementation acceptance and maximizing PDMWorks’ utility. I expect that PDMWorks Enterprise will continue to further these causes and propel it into the hands of more potential users. Although PDM is the software tool that doesn’t seem to get the respect it deserves, it is actually becoming evermore essential as mountains of product-related data continue to proliferate.

The Week’s Top 5

At MCADCafé we track many things, including the stories that have attracted the most interest from our subscribers. Below are the five news items that were the most viewed during last week.

SpaceClaim Offers PLM Integration Through xPLM Solution Partnership

SpaceClaim Corp. and xPLM Solution GmbH announced the availability of the SpaceClaim PLM Integration Module, a comprehensive integration platform providing a bi-directional link between SpaceClaim and PLM systems. SpaceClaim clients can manage SpaceClaim documents, references and part configurations within their corporate PLM system and directly access managed CAD models, Bills of Materials, engineering change orders and other enterprise PLM data providing an integrated and more efficient design and manufacturing environment. The SpaceClaim PLM Integration Module will be available from xPLM Solution in Q3 2007, and is available as an annual lease. Pricing for PLM system integration is
$500 per year for 3-year term and $600 for 1-year term for each SpaceClaim Professional 2007 license.

UGS PLM Software Shows SMBs How to Improve Value Chain Synchronization

UGS PLM Software announced the expansion of its "Fast Track to PLM" SMB educational seminar series to help manufacturers understand how to improve their value chain synchronization. The need for value chain synchronization is the focus of a new report issued by management consulting company Cambashi Limited, "Value Chain Synchronization for Mid-sized Manufacturers." The report states that SMBs are seeing significant performance advantages -- including on-time delivery, overall spending, reduction in finished goods inventory and increased communication -- by employing PLM technologies. Cambashi explains that the value chain extends the supply chain to include design and research
partners as well as the traditional operational partners. AMR Research states in its "Insights into Supply Chain Innovation in Europe" report by Guy Dunkerley, Alexandria Rumble, and the AMR Research Europe Team that "supply chain innovators deliver significant business results quickly, showing more than 30 percent reduction in finished goods inventory and 25 percent improvement in on-time delivery."

Missler Software and Homag Announce a Strategic Partnership

Missler Software and HOMAG announced a high-level strategic partnership. HOMAG customers will profit from this partnership thanks to assured and efficient CAM software to run their machines. The HOMAG Group is a manufacturer of machines, installations and systems and is considered one of the only manufacturers offering complete solutions in woodworking. The group manufacturers sawing, pressing, laminating, sizing, edge banding, drilling, assembly, packaging, handling and grinding equipment. TopSolid'Wood is an integrated design, manufacturing and management (CAD/CAM/PDM) software specialized for wood processing.

Dassault Systemes Announces V5 R18 Of Its PLM Portfolio

Dassault Systemes announced Version 5 Release 18 of its PLM portfolio. V5R18 delivers enhanced collaboration between enterprise users and engineers, bringing the power of ENOVIA MatrixOne's collaborative business process (CBP) applications to ENOVIA VPLM engineering users, and vice versa. CATIA V5R18 empowers end-to-end industry process coverage for composite design to manufacturing, electrical harness design to documentation and printed circuit board design. DELMIA V5R18 introduces DELMIA PLM Express, role-based solutions for the small to medium manufacturer. The release includes the availability of DELMIA 3DLive Shopfloor Review, a shop floor work instruction viewer based on
Dassault's 3DLive technology. ENOVIA V5R18 combines ENOVIA solutions to deliver integrated engineering (VPLM and SmarTeam) and enterprise business process management (MatrixOne). ENOVIA VPLM V5R18 introduces a variety of new digital mockup (DMU) applications. ENOVIA SmarTeam V5R18 includes simplified deployment, packaging, and usability with SmarTeam Design Express and SmarTeam Engineering Express packages. In addition, SmarTeam V5R18 delivers the first level of 3DLive support through core capabilities for highly visual searching, navigating and collaborating around CATIA-based product information.

MecSoft Releases Parametric CAD/CAM Bundle

MecSoft Corp. announced the release of a 3D parametric CAD/CAM bundle. This product bundle includes Alibre Design Basic, Alibre CAM a fully integrated CAM add-on, and MecSoft’s VisualMILL suite of products. Joe Anand, President and CEO of MecSoft says "Working in partnership with Alibre Inc, we are excited to bring to the market a fully integrated parametric CAD/CAM product bundle. This bundle offers cutting edge CAM functionality, based on our renowned VisualMill CAM engine. With the integration inside the Alibre Design family of products we can now leverage the power of parametrics, associativity and the intelligence embedded in
the Alibre Design models. Targeted at the mechanical design market, this product nicely complements our RhinoCAM and VisualCAM family of products."

Jeffrey Rowe is the editor of
MCADCafé and MCAD Weekly Review. He can be reached at
Email Contact or 408.850.9230.

This Week

Lead Story

SolidWorks Unveils PDMWorks Enterprise 2008

Product and Company News

Bunkspeed Releases HyperShot

ANSYS and SpaceClaim Collaborate to Improve Design Optimization

Pulse Global Relies on CoCreate Software

VISTAGY and ESI Group Expand Partnership

Megayacht Designer Implements CATIA to Streamline Design Processes

Schindler Improves Global Collaboration With PTC Product Development System

Quickparts Introduces New Rapid Prototyping Materials for SLS and SLA

Orizzonte Sistemi Navali Successfully Implements PTC Windchill

3D Systems Launches V-Flash Desktop Modeler

Dassault Systemes Launches Apparel PLM Solution for the Mid-Market

Z Corp. Introduces ZScanner 800 Handheld 3D Scanner

VX Launches in Australia

FARO Receives Laser Tracker Order from Boeing

ALGOR to Exhibit at National Manufacturing Week

KETIV Provides 2D and 3D Expertise

progeCAD 2008 IntelliCAD Release

3D Systems SLA Technology Selected for Dental Model Production

Autodesk Names SolidCAD Americas Partner of the Quarter

New PartMaker Developments Make Programming Tornos More Productive

Optimal Solutions' Sculptor Selected For and Wins Competition

Delcam to Highlight SolidWorks Interoperability

Related MCAD News

ZAP Signs Electric Car Joint Venture with Bus Manufacturer

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Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center manufactLINE Summer 2007

Ball Aerospace-built WorldView-1 Satellite Launched

FARO Announces Court Case Will Move Forward

IBM Launches Innovation Center

New Report Provides Forecasts European Electronic Manufacturing Services Industry

Mercury Computer Systems' Synthetic Vision Display to Enable Helicopter Pilots to 'See' Surroundings in Zero-Visibility Conditions

Corporate Moves

Avatech Solutions Announces New Contract with CEO

COADE Names New Controller

Industry Events

MSC Software 2007 Americas VPD Conference

ESPRIT 2008 to be exhibited at South-Tec Advanced Productivity Exposition

LMS Announces Free Off-Highway Web Seminar

Delcam to Demo Design-to-Manufacture CADCAM

Invention Machine Customer Discusses Impact of Innovation Culture on Revenue Growth

Proficiency Showcases CAD Migration at COE 2007 Workshop - Aerospace & Defense

Autodesk Executives and Customers to Speak at National Manufacturing Week

Latest 3D Modeling Discussions at 3D Systems World Conference

ESPRIT 2008 on display at MSV 2007, 49th International Engineering Fair, Brno, Czech Republic, Oct. 1-5, 2007

Delcam Hosts Aerospace Machining Seminar

AxSTREAM Workshop in Europe on Designing, Analyzing and Redesigning Flow Paths for Turbomachinery

Camstar Announces Manufacturing Performance Workshop and Plant Tour Series

Cimatron to Exhibit Integrated CAD/CAM for Mold Makers

Series of Town Hall Meetings on Manufacturing Issues

You can find the full MCADCafe event calendar here.

To read more news, click here.

-- Jeff Rowe, MCADCafe.com Contributing Editor.