By Anthony J. Lockwood
Dear Desktop Engineering Reader:
Ray Kurland is a no baloney type of guy. The principal editor and consultant at TechniCom Group, Ray’s beat is mechanical CAD/CAM/CAE and PLM systems. Ray is one of those guys who when he says something, you pay attention to it. Over the years – well – let’s say that Ray has often pointed out that many a PLM system is more work than most design engineers want to bother with. So, when Ray recently produced a paper saying that PTC’s Windchill ProductPoint is changing his mind about PLM, it made me sit up and take notice.
The nickel tour of Windchill ProductPoint is that it is based on SharePoint, Microsoft’s technology for collaboration. What it does, in a nutshell, is extend SharePoint to be able to handle CAD data and all it’s associated complications. Windchill ProductPoint brings to SharePoint such features as 3D visualization, engineering calculation management, reports, and part libraries. The combination of the two provides small and mid-size organizations as well as collaborative workgroups most of the basic tools, functions, and capabilities of proper managing product data over its lifecycle—vaulting, multi-CAD services, design reuse, etc.—at a relatively light financial and administration cost.
So, what does all this mean to you? Is there anything in it for you? Does Windchill ProductPoint have the necessary product data management functions for my special circumstances? You’ll most likely get the answers to both questions from today’s Check It Out white paper titled “Windchill ProductPoint: Exploring the Product.”
In spite of its being a single paper, this 8-PDF is actually two papers in one. The first part of it explores and explains the Windchill ProductPoint and SharePoint combination. There’s a brief overview of how you set up and install the software, how you operate it, operating Pro/ENGINEER from it, and what benefits you get out of both SharePoint and Windchill ProductPoint.
The second part of the paper focuses on Windchill ProductPoint itself and what it is all about. This covers everything from the user interface, moving files around, using 3D visualization, and creating a parts list that automatically exports to Excel for bill of materials manipulation. Frankly, this discussion is one of the best tours I’ve seen of this web-based software’s features and functionality. It’s worth the price of admission all by itself.
Kurland concludes his analysis of Windchill ProductPoint by saying that it makes a “compelling PLM solution for many small and medium sized businesses.” I happen to agree with him: Windchill ProductPoint has a lot to offer small and mid-sized organizations need to get into PLM without getting in over the heads.
Still, I leave it to you to make up your own mind. Hit the link and download Ray’s white paper and give it a read. It’s well well written and very thorough. It’s a very good use of your time.
Thanks, Pal. — Lockwood
Anthony J. Lockwood
Editor at Large, Desktop Engineering