What specifically is the performance issue you are trying to solve?
What are your engineering workstation specifications, in detail?
What do you expect EPDM to do for you to get 10-20% improvement?
How long to your projects take to complete today? What does a 10-20% improvement equate to in hours?
What do you do, what are the size of your file and assemblies?
How big are the files you are accessing in MB?
Work local or over the network?
Does the whole company work off of one server or does engineering have a high quality dedicated server?
What are you always waiting for assuming that is the issue?
What is your current roadblock to completing the project?
It hard to give objective answers without specifics about your perfomance issues?
There are some issues we want to improve like open file, rotate model, save, system responding, rebuild, open drawing, create drawing view and we regularly get not a responding window which we want to prevent.
Our workstation spec is:
Dell precision T3400 (in use since 2008/2009)
Windows Vista 64-bit OS
Intel core Duo 3GHz
8 Gb RAM
Our currently output is 15-25% lower as before (order handling time measurement). At that time we where using 2D autocad.
The size of our files varies from 5-40 Mb and we are working over the network.
I am curious if EPDM can help us to improve performance and if so how much (in %).
It may, as you will be able to bring your files local to work on. Try some tests working locally off your hard drives to see if you will get the improvement you need before taking the dive into ePDM. You do not need to set up a server and install ePDM to see if it will help you. Just setup a test scenario with what you do now on a few users local hard drives. If it gets you the improvements you need then go ePDM.
How long have you been working on your conversion to 3D? Are your users still a bit green in SolidWorks? Have you fully developed your best practices and models or are you still in the big learning curve transitioning from 2D? It takes time to get up to speed in 3D from 2D, especially if you had a lot of legacy and custom macro and programming that needs to be redeveloped in SW. Your 2D wasn't fast when you made the transition from board drafting back in the day either. It took time to train the workers and get the processes and programming in place that you were able to take advantage of. Just some food for thought.
What video cards are in your systems? Do you have approved video card drivers installed for your systems?
Also are you detailing your whole assembly in a multi-sheet, many details slddrw file? Or one part/asm/sub-asm per drawing file? The old 2D notion of many details to one dwg file is not very efficient in 3D CAD. Your drawings will be painfully slow to work with in that scenario for anything that is large and complex.
Trying to get a better feel of what your engineering environment is. Our help here depends greatly on understanding what you do and how you do it.
How good is your server? Is it just dedicated to engineering or is the whole company accessing it. You are likely constrained by your network as much as anything I suspect. How many engineers do you have accessing the server.
We have 4 engineers working over our network here plus a few CAM programmers. 6 seats of SW in use most all day. We do everything on the network server. We are working with several generations older computers then you (P4 and first generation Core 2 Duo). We have no issues with speed of our models, drawings or assemblies. Sounds to be about the same size as what you are working on. We have a very good network with high end servers and very good connectivity to our servers. Works great for us with the right IT setup.
Do a test working local so you can see if your issues are with the network or your current design practices with SolidWorks.
We tried working locally. There was slight improvement but not as much as we hoped for.
At the moment we are working about 2 years with 3D Cad SolidWorks. Conversion still going on. We have had sufficient training (I think). Must say that we are working as we were used to in 2D Cad (Autocad). Many details in drawings and multi mono sheets are commonly used. Workshop/Factory is supplied with minimal number of drawings. Multi mono sheets are commonly used. Assembly drawings with multiple views and details (as we used to do in 2D-Cad) are frequently generated.
Maybe users are a bit green and excepting to much from 3D-Cad. But we want to use as much 3D Cad intelligent modelling as possible to create easy adjustable parts and assemblies. Normally we apply the engineering to order principe. (Our products are commonly not reusable and order specific. Our company is sub contractor and we do not produce own products/productrange.)
IT has carefully tested the data connection and found no failures.
If EPDM doesn,t give us the desired performance boost. What can help us?
EPDM can give us the oppurtunity to create reusable parts and re-organize the part file location and so on. I hope that these actions will give a better performance.
What can we do to improve performance without EPDM?
I am thinking about:
- managing the SW options (at the moment has each user diffirent settings so it is difficult to compare)
- Create well built library parts. (At the moment we are creating almost perfect detailed library parts and assemblies).
- Check and set the workstation settings identical.
Hope this will help us.
ePDM is not a performance booster, it is a data manager so you can keep track of your model/drawing relationships.
Many people get a bit of performance increase from being able to work in a local workspace and not over a network.
If you do not get the performance increase you want working local, then PDM of any kind will be a disappointment to you. You would be implementing it for the wrong reasons.
I would suggest getting a consultant in to work with you to help maximize your best practices and use of SolidWorks. Without spending some time in your office seeing exactly what you do it is impossible to give you advice on what to do. We can only talk in generalities. I suspect there are things you can do. It may require changing the way you do things from what you did with AutoCAD. You need to get someone in to understand your complete engineering workflow and then suggest ways to improve it.
Get with your VAR, bring them into your office, have them offer advice or suggest consultants who can help you. It will take time and will likely be many small improvements to gain what you need over time.
Are you working over the network or copying the files locally?