SOLIDWORKS and PLM

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Shishir R Murthy, Application Engineer Jun 23rd, 2021

SOLIDWORKS is a CAD tool that has eased many users and designers to bring their ideas to life. From the stage of a concept to the production product, the overall process that is followed throughout this duration is PLM. Product Life Cycle Management (PLM) is the steps/stages that are followed in the lifespan of a product. PLM on-base level starts from the problem identification, the hypothesis of various possible solutions or concepts, planning the product development, developing the concept, testing the concept & develop the product or the solution, production of the product, marketing to consumers, and supporting customer till the product’s end of life.

In this blog we are going to go through the PLM solution offers by SOLIDWORKS I.e., SOLIDWORKS MANAGE. Also, will look into few key components of the solution that are key pillars to a PLM tool.

SOLIDWORKS MANAGE

SOLIDWORKS MANAGE is a PLM solution that manages engineering data, projects, processes, items, etc.

1. File Management

SOLIDWORKS MANAGE’s file management system controls all your product development data, you can create and maintain a single data repository and vault that can be accessed by users to store and retrieve files. SOLIDWORKS MANAGE manages all file references and automatically updates them whenever you move a file to a different folder or rename it, eliminating broken references or the time required to locate and fix lost references manually.

2. Design and Reuse

Quickly locate and reuse existing design data to save time and control costs. You can create a framework for quickly locating and reusing or repurposing existing design data. Instead of spending time trying to find prior designs on shared drives or local workstations—or recreating designs when you can’t find them—you can use SOLIDWORKS MANAGE tools to locate them quickly.

SOLIDWORKS MANAGE Design & Reuse

SOLIDWORKS MANAGE Design & Reuse

3. Version Control 

Ensure you are always working with the “right version” of a design by using the revision and version control capabilities. Customize file naming and revision control schemes, maintain document history, and easily manage document versions to avoid the costly manufacturing errors associated with working with the wrong revision.

4. Revision Management

Track design changes and avoids the errors of manual methods. Track changes and maintain a complete revision history of a design’s evolution.

5. Secure File Vaulting

Establish a secure file vault to control access to sensitive or proprietary product information. With SOLIDWORKS MANAGE, data is kept secure, up-to-date, and accessible. The system eliminates duplicate work and delays while saving time and development costs. Easily establish and assign individual and/or group user rights. Graphically represent the product development process through an easy-to-use flowchart interface in SOLIDWORKS MANAGE.

SOLIDWORKS Manage Secure File Vaulting

SOLIDWORKS Manage Secure File Vaulting

6. Audit Trail 

Maintain a complete history of your product design, engineering, and development activities for reporting and auditing purposes.

7. Integrated Search 

Save time and reduce development costs through design reuse by quickly finding needed data across a range of file types using the powerful searching tools SOLIDWORKS MANAGE offers. You can quickly perform file content searches on multiple data types (such as CAD files, Microsoft Word documents, Excel® spreadsheets, Outlook® emails, and image files) and locate documents using a range of customizable search criteria (including name, date, metadata, and workflow status).

8. Engineering Change Management 

Reduce the time to complete your design approval and Engineering Change Order (ECO) processes. Graphically represent the product development process through an easy-to-use flowchart interface. Engineering change documentation and change approvals become completely electronic with SOLIDWORKS MANAGE.

9. eDrawings Preview

View eDrawings®, SOLIDWORKS, and AutoCAD® documents in eDrawings inside SOLIDWORKS MANAGE.

eDrawings preview in SOLIDWORKS Manage

eDrawings preview in SOLIDWORKS Manage

10. Bill of Materials Management

`Maintain, manipulate, and leverage Bill of Materials (BOM) information to support downstream applications and systems. Create BOM Variants and individual BOM objects from existing CAD file structures that automatically update in parallel with the evolution of the CAD model, eliminating the frequent manual updates required when using spreadsheets. Connect your CAD data with your Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) or Manufacturing Resource Planning (MRP) systems, enabling you to easily update BOM information in other businesses ‘ enterprise systems. Use customizable templates to display BOM information in multiple formats or to format BOM information to meet the needs of a user or group.

11. Regulatory Compliance

Facilitate compliance with government regulatory requirements and industry standards. SOLIDWORKS MANAGE can bolster compliance for several types of regulatory requirements, such as FDA, RoHS, ISO 9001 and 14000, ANSI, and others.

12.Distributed Collaboration

Collaborate throughout your organization while keeping people connected, current, and working on the same set of data. Create and maintain a single data location and vault that can be accessed by users worldwide to store and retrieve files. Configure the SOLIDWORKS MANAGE system to automatically notify users when documents have progressed through various states or stages in the electronic workflow you establish. Automatically create many types of neutral file formats from SOLIDWORKS and other file types.

13. Enterprise Scalability

Connect the design data needs of your entire enterprise. Create and maintain a single data repository and vault that can be accessed by users worldwide to store and retrieve files. In addition to preserving a secure backup of product design data, secure file vaulting eliminates multiple “silos” of information, duplicate files, and unsynchronized revisions. SOLIDWORKS MANAGE software includes tools that enable you to configure and customize many aspects of your SOLIDWORKS MANAGE system to match the specific needs of organizations of all sizes.

Enterprise Scalability

Enterprise Scalability

14. Automated Neutral File Creation 

Save time and effort communicating by configuring SOLIDWORKS MANAGE to automatically create neutral file formats.

15. Custom Configuration

Map variables to both predefined properties (such as Drawing Number and Approved By) and custom named properties in SOLIDWORKS files. If a SOLIDWORKS file contains configurations, the configuration names appear as tabs in the Datacard. Configuration-specific values are shown in the corresponding tab.

16. Automated Data Import and Export

SOLIDWORKS MANAGE can import variable values from an XML file into a vault database. In the vault, existing files or items that match import criteria acquire the values at specified points in the file workflow. Create an export rule to export SOLIDWORKS MANAGE BOM variables that can be read into ERP systems.

17. Serial Number Generators

Use serial numbers to assign automatic names to files and folders, to assign unique IDs to items, or to add unique running values to card controls. You can set up any number of serial numbers in each vault. Item Number serial numbers are defined by default to generate unique item IDs.

18. Project Management

Provide critical information to help teams focus on important tasks, and provide an overview of resource capacity for better planning and utilization. Manage project stages, timelines, and milestones along with resource utilization and capacity. Utilize user tasks and timesheets to automatically track progress.

Project Management

Project Management

Project Management

19. Process Management 

Streamline business processes, automate document creation and bring together all involved stakeholders for new products, from sales and marketing to production and support. Configure states and decision points for all types of business processes such as Design approvals, BOM approvals, RFQ approvals, transmittals, and Engineering Change Requests (ECR), Orders (ECO), and Notices (ECN).

Process Management

Process Management

20. Item Management

Create, edit and compare complete bills of materials (BOM) by associating items, files, and free text. Manage product variations for different use cases and applications. Drive SOLIDWORKS drawing bills of materials and item numbers directly from system data.

21. Microsoft Outlook® Integration

Create new records, like Cases, from Microsoft Outlook® emails based on information in the email including attachments. Copy emails to existing records for reference.

22. User Tasks 

Provide users with the knowledge they need to work more effectively by utilizing tasks and calendars.

User Tasks

User Tasks

User Tasks

User Tasks

23. Distributed Design Teams

SOLIDWORKS MANAGE provides the tools and capabilities that your enterprise needs to keep people connected, up-to-date, and working on the same set of data, regardless of location. This global connectivity supports the distributed collaboration that is essential for compressing engineering cycles and accelerating time-to-market.

24. Remote Access

Enable staff and partners to contribute through web-enabled portals from various connected devices including smartphones and tablets.

25. Dashboards and Reports 

Create and distribute interactive graphical dashboards to display critical information. Display continually updating dashboards on community monitors. Configure reports to company standards and publish automatically or on-demand.

 Dashboards and Reports

Dashboards and Reports

26. Automated Approval Process 

Automatically facilitate multiple required approvers with parallel transitions.

27. Email Notifications 

A SOLIDWORKS MANAGE Notification can be added from the Local Vault so that the logged-in user will receive an email message when a predefined event occurs in a file or folder.

 

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AUTHOR: Shishir R Murthy, Application Engineer

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