9 Replies Latest reply on Oct 29, 2009 8:05 AM by Aaron Hubert

    What's Good, Bad about EPDM?

    Bob Phillips

      We're looking at switching from PDMWorks to Enterprise PDM, and I'm looking for feedback from current users:

       

      Is it as good as it looks in the demos?

      How easy was the transition?

      How flexible is it? Are there problems making changes to the states, workflow, vault/data card structure after you've been running for a while?

      What decisions need to be made up-front that are difficult to change?

      What are the shortcomings?

      How is Dispatch for ease of use and functionality?

      Do you automate the transfer of SQL data?

      Is SW performance improved? is check-in faster than with PDMWorks?

      Any other comments about the product?

       

      Your comments are greatly appreciated.

       

      Thanks,

       

      Bob

        • Re: What's Good, Bad about EPDM?
          Wayne Tiffany

          We have been using it (and Conisio) for about 8 years now.  Never used Works so I can't give you any direct comparison.  Probably the easiest thing would be for you to give me a call and we can discuss what we have learned.

           

          One thing that I have found over the years is that there is a difference in how you implement it and use it based on whether you are project based or product based.  We are project based and so started using it with the next projects and added the old stuff as time and need dictated.  If you are product based, you probably have to get it set up, tested, and then cut over overnight.  Food for thought.

           

            WT

          • Re: What's Good, Bad about EPDM?

            Is it as good as it looks in the demos? yes and no, they make it seem a lot more simple than it really is.

            How easy was the transition? fairly easy.

            How flexible is it? Are there problems making changes to the states, workflow, vault/data card structure after you've been running for a while? not with out of the box functionality, but when you start getting into custom stuff it can be a pain.

            What decisions need to be made up-front that are difficult to change? look at the installation guide, it outlines this.

            What are the shortcomings? Still seems to be lots of little bugs that require trouble shooting by SW, especially with Solidworks integration.

            How is Dispatch for ease of use and functionality? fairly easy if you understand API, but support on add-ins is not great.

            Do you automate the transfer of SQL data? I think we do, but may be different for others.

            Is SW performance improved? is check-in faster than with PDMWorks? SW performance is far from improved, quite the opposit actually. Check-in/out is much faster.

            Any other comments about the product? generally a good product but it still has a lot of little issues that keep the administrator busy trouble shooting user issues.

            • Re: What's Good, Bad about EPDM?
              Jim Sculley

              We're about a month away from doing an EPDM implementation for our 20+ SW users.  I'll let you know how it goes.  I asked my VAR for any documentation they could provide so that I could be familiar with the terminology and tasks prior to a demonstration.  They were not allowed to provide the user manual, but they did give me the admin guide which was helpful.

               

              Jim S.

                • Re: What's Good, Bad about EPDM?
                  Aaron Hubert

                  My company is having our VAR do a Enterprise demo tomorrow. Is there any specific questions anyone would recommend that we ask? I am coming from the Engineering side of Solidworks, so I am not really involved with the IT stuff.

                    • Re: What's Good, Bad about EPDM?
                      Jim Sculley

                      If there are any 'odd' things in your normal work process, ask how the PDM would handle it, or how it would replace those things with something more 'normal'.  These corner cases can make our break the system. If the PDM would have to read your mind to do what you want, the process probably needs to be re-evaluated.

                       

                      If you feel that you have a fairly good process in place, look for ways that the PDM can help automate that process. Our EPDM presenter approached it from the viewpoint of 'tell me everything you wish the PDM system could do for you'.  At the end of the discussion, the answer was essentially, 'Yep.  It can do all that.'  Having read the admin guide, I'm pretty sure this is true.

                       

                      As an example, at my employer, Engineering works from project specific directories until the part design is complete.  Then a part is assigned a part number and 'Save As' is used to save it with that part number to a well-defined directory that makes it simple for anyone to find that part or drawing given only the part number.  This works but has some flaws such as the project directory being littered with abandoned parts that are copies of the design when a part number was assigned.  It can be error-prone due to SW changing where it wants to save things.

                       

                      I intend to have a workflow that includes assigning a part number and moving the model and/or drawing from the project directory in the vault to the  same sort of part-number associated directory in the vault.  No mess left behind.  All references updated whether upper level assemblies are open or not.

                       

                      As a hobbyist software guy, I can see all sorts of ways to make the PDM system work for us.  Near the top of the list is the ability to select an assembly and have the PDM generate a fabrication request for the shop listing all the manufactured items and quantities along with user defined job number and due dates. Eventually, this will also extract the purchased part information and inject the data into Oracle Applications to generate a purchase order.

                       

                      The power you have with an SQL based database is phenomenal, provided that the data you put in is well thought out.

                       

                      Jim S.

                      • Re: What's Good, Bad about EPDM?
                        Aaron Hubert
                        Well we had our Enterprise presentation yesterday, and I came away with a pretty good impression. It looks like the software would give us much of the flexibility that we lack with PDMWorks. Things such as Windows Explorer integration, notifications, and multiple admins with different levels of access would all be big benefits for us.
                      • Re: What's Good, Bad about EPDM?
                        Kenneth Barrentine

                        "They were not allowed to provide the user manual,"

                         

                        You bought licenses and well ... that just seems odd to me.

                        They probably insist on training right?

                          • Re: What's Good, Bad about EPDM?
                            Jim Sculley

                            My request was before we purchased.  As a matter of fact, we still haven't purchased.  Waiting on some final cost numbers from IT on server related hardware.

                             

                            Jim S.

                              • Re: What's Good, Bad about EPDM?
                                Mathew Stevenson
                                We started with EPDM (gone live) as of May 2009. Our Var was very helpful in the set-up and moving our old files into the database. As the way we filed our files before, we made the old file area as Archived and started new with everything new. Hard part is adding the old into the new area and obsolescing the old, not deleting it so we have a back-up. I did a two day admin training with our Var and I recommend you get all the training you can and spend the money to have them on site for maybe three or more days to set-up the system. Pay them to set-up the system over weeks so you have one day to set-up the server and start some simple vault set-ups and then maybe a week later have them come back and so on.

                                 

                                I have made weekly tips and am willing to share by just emailing me at mstevenson@rainforrent.com (may own doing as we needed better how-to’s, tips may have errors). What I did before going live was have a simple training section with the engineers and then make one weekly tip every week giving them a new tool and how to each week. You then have the tip to fall back on for new people and refreshers later on. We don't use EPDM yet like I have seen on YouTube and have not gotten into the Rev or BOM areas. I like to workflow area for beginners but looks like a 3 year old made it as you get more into it. Maybe if they just scaled the workflow boxes smaller, I would be happy. I don’t know API so we still don’t use this as I wouldl

                                ike too.