5 Replies Latest reply on Mar 2, 2010 9:07 AM by John Matrishon

    Collaboration with manufacturing?

    Jennifer Loppnow

      Hello Solidworks friends,

       

      Several of you were gracious enough to give me some pointers on justifying PDME to the higher ups of my company and I greatly appreciate it.

       

      One of the things I've noticed while searching endless data on Enterprise, is the statement "improve collaboration between engineering and manufacturing" but I've yet to find examples of what this really means. How does Enterprise achieve such improvement? Can someone give me some examples?

       

      Also, can this software help out my manufacturing engineers? Can it make writing mill programs more efficient? Generating routers? Etc.  What I'm looking for now is what can Enterprise do for me outside of engineering.

        • Re: Collaboration with manufacturing?
          Lou Gallo

          Depending on they type of collaboration you would like to extend you can give MFG a portal to the data they need to see.  There are ways to export data to ERP/MRP systems or within EPDM you can give them access to only released drawings or documents.  Many places will let Dispatch (customization capability) save PDF's of drawings to an outside folder for MFG to access so they are ensured to have access to only up to date documentation.

          Sometimes the ability to be in the PDM system allows MFG to push a product back to engineering and start a change process that may have been uncovered. Bill of Material access can also be a visibility that is currently not seen by MFG that can now be extended via EPDM.

          • Re: Collaboration with manufacturing?
            Jon Brunke

            Jennifer,

             

            Do you have CNC programming going on in house? If so what CAM software are you using and where are those programs stored today?

              • Re: Collaboration with manufacturing?
                Jennifer Loppnow

                I guess I should have mentioned that we are running PDMW now and my ME's do have access to the vault.

                 

                Jon, yes, we do CNC programming now and we use MasterCam. Quite honestly, I don't know where the programs are stored.

                  • Re: Collaboration with manufacturing?
                    Jon Brunke

                    Jennifer,

                     

                         Our case is a little different so I'm not sure this will useful.  We went with CAMWorks because it provides the programmers with direct access to our SolidWorks models. That put us in a postion to address the next big question.

                     

                         Do we allow the programmers to check out models and add their tool path programs or do we only allow them enough access to copy the part for programming purposes. Like most things there are argumernts for and against both options.

                     

                         We haven't made the decision yet but would like to go with allowing the check out. The immediate benefit should be that as parts are revised in Engineering the programmers will be able to update their programs based directly on the new SolidWorks model "versions". All versions being inside of EPDM should allow us to track and coordinate the changes.

                     

                         Let me qualify what I'm about to say. I "think" what follows is true. There may be some cool solution to the issue I'm about to outline.

                     

                         In your senario (MasterCAM) you don't have direct access to the SolidWorks models. You will be handing off copies of SolidWorks files to the programmers for use with MasterCAM.  This will create the need for some way to manage these now separate files.

                     

                         As I said earlier we are leaning towards the more integrated solution so I haven't had to really think about a situation like yours.

                     

                         Having said all of that I'm told MasterCAM is a very capable program with good support. I would contact them and outline your situation.  They may not be familiar with EPDM but given the nature of the CAM business they should be able to shed light on how others are managing hand offs.

                     

                         I know...    your not jumping up and down in your seat right now, but my hearts in the right place

                      • Re: Collaboration with manufacturing?
                        John Matrishon

                        Hey Jon, came across this thread and read yours and Jennifers posts.   We have been dabbling with this situation for a long time now, and really need to nail down a process.   We are using PDMW in a similar fashion, as MFG can check out the files, but cannot check in their paths.  We are also using CAMWorks, MasterCam, and a few other 2D apps to do our code.   Our models can be quite complex and have multiple configurations, and now that MFG is using the models the complexity is rising.  There is more to it than that, but in a nut shell Product creates a model, checks it into PDMW, mfg takes the model, and reprocesses the model based on current MFG capabilities and machine centers.  Some issues have arose when changes happen rapidly, and MFG is unsure what model they are working to.  I'm torn between trying to control it by education or trying to use software.   My gut tells me that this is an educational issue, and we just need to teach ourselves how best to do this, and be disciplined in it's roll out.  There are a few other hiccups as in part numbers, generic models, etc. to contend with, but I would be interested in how far you've come along in the process.