How to fix manufacturing data silos
The primary challenge of collaboration between different engineering departments in the product development process is that each group is using its own specialized applications. There are usually competing vendors and products for each specialty use, so you can only imagine how many individual software products are available in the broad field of engineering technology. In turn, each software application has its own proprietary format in which it saves the data. Proprietary formats include application-specific types of data unique to that application and they often change from one release to the next due to additional features added to the software and other factors.Translating data back and forth between various applications is a frequent source of errors and causes loss of design intent. There are two solutions that are covered in this white paper. Download your free copy today.
Picking the right data interoperability solution for small business
Small and medium businesses don’t have the large IT departments that enterprise companies enjoy. To this end, a cloud-based SaaS solution can compensate in this area. Removing the burden of managing installations, keeping up with software updates and integrations in every department are simplified and accelerated. This enables your business to focus on what it does best instead of developing IT departments.
The value of using a project lifecycle management solution
In addition to applications that primarily create product data, it is just as important to consider applications that manage the product data and help you govern the process. While it is possible to use simple data management applications to keep track of files, you might consider a more integrated approach.
Beyond the computer-aided design (CAD) files themselves, there are a lot of non-geometrical data types that can be attached to the parts. Nongeometrical data comes in all forms. It can be material data, cost, process-related notes and inspection criteria. It can be PDF documents, such as specifications and spreadsheets, calculations and simulation files. Small and medium size businesses are often in the habit of using ad hoc systems to keep all their data together, most often resorting to the file management included in their operating system. In most design and manufacturing environments, file management is done with Windows File Explorer.
More advanced manufacturing operations may have installed a PDM system or a “vault,” a task-built application for managing engineering and design data with check-in/check-out and versioning capability that may provide rudimentary support for non-CAD files. The most advanced companies employ a PLM system that connects all related data created or collected during the product development cycle.