6 Replies Latest reply on Jan 11, 2012 12:05 PM by Ryan McGuinness

    Looking at ePDM as a PLM system but need advice

    Peter Launie

      We have infor Visual as an ERP system installed and management does not want to look at any solutions that have not been successfully integrated with Visual before. (By integrate I mean they exchange some data behind the scenes, mainly bom structure, costing, vendors, etc...) I would like to deploy ePDM as it has all of the functionality we need and very little learning curve for my engineers.  I also don't agree that integrating it with visual should be all that difficult as really it is two SQL databases that need to talk.  Has anyone out there managed to run ePDM with Infor Visual before?  if so, who was your VAR?

        • Re: Looking at ePDM as a PLM system but need advice

          Peter,

           

          Please let me know how you fare as we are in the same exact situation.  Thanks.

          • Re: Looking at ePDM as a PLM system but need advice
            Daniel Rohats

            Peter,

             

            There are several methods for getting meta data in/out of the SolidWorks Enterprise PDM system (EPDM).  Out of the box there are XML import/export tools built in that allow you exchange data between systems.  The creation of an XML file for export can be initiated during a state change in the EPDM workflow system.  So when a file/project/folder/item gets sent into a specific state (Released, Approved etc) then the XML file creation is kicked off and once created the XML file is placed into a folder of your choosing.  This can be set up for any number of workflow state changes.

             

            Both data import and export are managed from the EPDM Admin Tool under the Import/Export Branch on the tree. There are import and export rule sets that let you determine how/when/if information is transferred.  There is also an alias set that you can create. So if in your ERP system you call the document number doc_id and in EPDM you call it doc_no you can have those two matched up without having to manipulate the data separately.

             

            The Rules (see attached PDF with some screen shots) allow you to determine what type of information is exported from EPDM.

             

            Some of our clients have found that they need more than the out of the box data exchange, and for that we can write a custom script or program that does the data exchange or handoff to the external system.  We have lots of experience doing this, and I am checking to see if we have any one with Infor Visual experience on the ERP side of things.

             

            If you have any more questions, feel free to post them here, or reply to me directly.  Our company website www.razorleaf.com also has new articles monthly on the EPDM system (as well as other PDM/PLM solutions) that you might find interesting or helpful in your decision making process.  Hope this was helpful to you.

            • Re: Looking at ePDM as a PLM system but need advice

              Peter - Daniel (see his response below) and I work together, but I have worked primarily with another PLM system, ENOVIA SmarTeam (also from Dassault, and with SolidWorks Gold Partner status).  I worked with a client that integrated ENOVIA SmarTeam with Visual, and they did so through custom programming against the back-end databases of both systems (they were running Oracle database as the back-end for Visual and as the back-end for SmarTeam).  They actually had one global instance of SmarTeam and 7 instances of Visual, so they used an intermediary database to take information from PLM and then distribute it to only the appropriate instances of ERP.

               

              Long story made short, there are a number of ways to integrate PLM and ERP, and the choice will be less about the right PLM system as much as about how you want to tie the two systems together and finding the right people to do it.  You just need to make sure that the PLM system you're choosing has the basic tools needed to exchange information like this (and Enterprise PDM and ENOVIA both do).  Good luck with your selection process.

              • Re: Looking at ePDM as a PLM system but need advice
                Ryan McGuinness

                Any updates Peter?  I'm trying to do the same thing with VISUAL right now.  I'm also looking into a VISUAL module called DesignLink.