Dear Desktop Engineering Reader:
Multi-CAD environments are the norm. But managing multi-CAD data is an expensive and frustrating task for many small- and mid-sized engineering organizations who must meet the expectations of multiple clients and their multiple CAD systems of choice. A single, proprietary solution to manage, say, AutoCAD files might offer some relief, but what about those Inventor or SolidWorks files? Do you turn away that work? Or do you muddle through with a shared server and the hope that nobody accidentally works on an old version or overwrites the master file of day?
Compounding engineering's multi-CAD frustrations are two realities. First, many PLM systems are too expensive and vast for small outfits. Second, and perhaps most irksome, is the knowledge that technologies such as Microsoft SharePoint provide the backbone and functionalities for business document management and sharing, but does not work with the larger, more complex engineering files. Leaving engineering, the foundation of your company's success, to its own devices while support staff gets the document management and collaboration tools they need.
These frustrations are what PTC's Windchill ProductPoint is out to eliminate, and it's off to a good start. Windchill ProductPoint leverages and expands SharePoint to provide engineering what your business departments have. Windchill ProductPoint has the tools and services to manage, control, track, search, secure, access, view and markup complex product and product structure files. And that includes discrete CAD files generated by PTC's competitors.
You can read all about the functions, services, and collaboration tools in Windchill ProductPoint in today's Check It Out download. Written by industry analyst Ray Kurland, “Windchill ProductPoint: Exploring the Product,” an 8-page PDF, covers the soup to nuts of this emerging solution to the management and collaboration problems inherent in multi-CAD environments. It has a quick review of the installation process and explains how you use and administer Windchill ProductPoint. Administration, BTW, is a snap as well as relatively inexpensive if you have SharePoint already.
Right now, Windchill ProductPoint provides an answer to managing multi-CAD data in organizations working with Pro/ENGINEER and AutoCAD files. I'm told that future expansion will include support for Inventor and SolidWorks files. And that means that today and soon, Windchill ProductPoint offers the potential to manage the data created by the most widely deployed design engineering CAD systems. Which really means that, for small and mid-sized businesses, the days of cumbersome, ad hoc multi-CAD document management are at the end.
If you work for a small- or mid-sized business or have a handful of people in product design, Windchill ProductPoint has the potential to solve your engineering data and collaboration problems quickly, easily, affordably, and well. It's your productivity. A productive use of your time would be to click the link over to the right to learn more about Windchill ProductPoint.
Thanks, Pal. -- Lockwood
Anthony J. Lockwood
Editor at Large, Desktop Engineering
Check out Windchill's ProductPoint PDF.