Karl Zemlin

Global Data Sharing and Colaboration

Discussion created by Karl Zemlin on Sep 21, 2007
Latest reply on Sep 21, 2007 by Pete Yodis
I'm a diehard Pro/E fan working for a company that went from SolidEdge to SolidWorks about a year ago. Currently we have no PDM. We have two other engineering groups in the world. Japan uses an NEC 2-D system (and was/is planning to move to Pro/E) and Germany uses Solid Edge. Key reasons that SolidWorks was selected over Pro/E for the US group was initial cost and ongoing cost of ownership for the data management side of things.

A project is underway to globalize our engineering - get our three groups singing from the same hymnal to make beautiful engineering music. We've had a couple of failed attempts in the past and feel we've learned from our mistakes so we are ready to give it another go. I'm optimistic that we can make it happen successfully this time. Moving to a common CAD platform with one global database and a PDM system capable of managing data at the multiple locations are considered key enablers in this move.

It has been said that since the US recently moved to SW, that we should standardize on that and move forward with SW in Japan and Germany along with a PDM solution.

I have suggested that the criteria used to select SW may not be applicable for a globalize engineering group and perhaps we should evaluate Pro/E vs. SW again before charging forward. Below is a note I sent to my boss a little while back that highlights one of my concerns.
Something to consider regarding global PDM, database sharing, and all that.

File size of a SW capper assembly and drawing caught my attention recently.

200E0078 solid works drawing - 30.8MB

200E0078 assembly model - 16.6MB

For comparison, the top level assemblies and drawings for an SE24 sorter are less than 100k each.

The network bandwidth required to transfer the SW assembly and model is about 280x (as in 28,000% greater) than the bandwidth required to transfer the Pro/E drawing and assembly. Part file differences are not as significant - I've seen SW models be larger than Pro/E and Pro/E files that are larger. Part drawings, however are again dramatically different - most Pro/E chuck drawings are between 50k and 100k. SW chuck drawings are averaging between 2.5MB to 3MB each - 30x-50x larger for the SW files.

Not whining - just want to be sure we make the right decision for the right reasons.

In case it isn't obvious, I'm a long-time Pro/E user and if I had my choice ...

So, with that background, I'd be interested in knowing what experience folks have had with global data sharing and collaboration. Horror stories, success stories, Pro/E, or SW (or ???) are all welcome.

Is SW and Enterprise the right answer for a unified, global engineering group?