Hello dear SW community,
we are currently in the process of getting a new server installed. We run SW 2012, and have (but never used) Workgroup PDM to go with.
The company is small: 25 employees, only 2 CAD users (one of which is myself).
Because of this, I fear that workgroup PDM may present too much work to implement and use. I say this because we have no need for approval workflows, or never have more than 1 CAD designer assigned to the same project.
When new projects come in, they are assigned to one CAD designer who is now the owner of that project 'for ever'. We do hold design reviews, but it's always the CAD designer assigned to that project that will perform modifications, or manage CAD files, drawings, etc.
So as you can see, we also don't have much of a need for the whole 'checking out / checking in' functionality.
However, here are the 3 functionalities I was hoping Workgroup PDM could provide us:
1) Revision Control and CAD files sharing (with a twist)
I was hoping that there was an area where we could design parts that is not tightly regulated by revision control, etc, and where we do not have to check-in/check-out; some kind of 'personal provate space' for each CAD designer to work from. Like I said, I will never open files from the other CAD designer while he is in the development phase, and neither will he ever open my files during the development files, so we do not need to share them.
100% of our projects are one-offs, meaning a project comes in, we design from scratch, manufacture, and move on to the next project. However, there are A LOT of changes made during the development phase (following design reviews with or without the customer). There is no need to keep track of all this.
Once a project is released to production, then things change.
At this point, both CAD designers need to access any CAD files. So I was thinking that once a project is released to production, only then is it placed in the vault where we can access each other's files. Also, this is where revision control begins.
2) Part viewer for non-CAD designers, and MasterCAM for SW
This is more of a future-proofing requirement.
Some time in the future, we would like to allow non-CAD users to view the 3D files. (I think this is easily implemented with Workgroup PDM viewer, which can be purchased and installed when it becomes needed).
Also in the near future, we would like to begin using MasterCAM for SW. I assume the people in production who would be using MasterCAM could just pull the files from Workgroup PDM.
3) Part Libraries
Finally, the other obvious functionality of Workgroup PDM was to create one standardized part library. At this time, the other CAD designer and I have our own seperate design library which we've each been building over time. Definitely not very efficient.
So, can Workgroup PDM be used in this fashion (please say yes!!!)