Pros and Cons of multi-CAD PLM strategy in 2017

Pros and Cons of multi-CAD PLM strategy in 2017

Siemens PLM Teamcenter blog – #MCAD users! Get connected with PLM inside MCAD! is calling MCAD users with the exclamation mark. It gives you a set of videos demonstrating the same design challenge – following ECN process with Teamcenter Active Workspace. All videos are highlighting tight connection between Teamcenter and MCAD systems, It is interesting that Siemens PLM put in the list their own MCAD systems – NX and Solid Edge.

Here is a justification given by the article why to make MCAD – PLM bundle even stronger.

By bringing together #MCAD and PLM, you can reach beyond functional boundaries so you, and everyone in your business, have visibility to the basic information you need to make good product decisions – whether it’s designs (no matter what #MCAD system they were created in) … or documents (so everyone understands specifications and requirements) … or BOMs (so everyone has a common view of the bill of materials).

Article shows all MCADs-  Autodesk Inventor, CATIA, Creo, NX, SOLIDWORKS, Solid Edge. Here is SOLIDWORKS example:

The article reminded me an old blog I wrote back in 2012 – Multi-CAD PDM integration: yesterday today and tomorrow. I outlined 3 options – multi CAD PDM strategy; CAD-PDM bundles and multi-PDM CAD strategy. I want to ask my readers – what option is wining these days based on your experience in knowledge?

Siemens PLM Teamcenter is making a point of developing even stronger support for multiple CAD systems from Teamcenter (PDM/PLM). The idea of integration between MCAD and PLM is the oldest one available on the market for the last 20 years. My hunch, Teamcenter has integrations with all CAD systems for all these years.

So, maybe it is a right time to refresh my take on CAD-PDM integration strategies? What are pros and cons? What is better – to have all CAD systems connected to a single PDM/ PLM system or actually deploy best bundles of CAD and PDM systems available from each CAD vendor?

So here is my  take for Multi-CAD PDM pros:

1. Centralized data management for all CAD files. All data is stored in the same relational databases (all PDM/PLM systems are using one today). Easy and simple.

2. Centralized file storage for all CADs. All files are located in a single place (vault) managed by PDM. Easy to manage. Centralized model.

3. Seamless integration of change processes (ECR, ECO, ECN) for multi-CAD environment. Engineering  and manufacturing environment can be easier connected to design data. Documents are linked to processes and updates.

At the same time, why you would consider CAD/PDM bundle from a single vendor:

1. Seamless WIP data management for CAD (specific CAD features support). CAD systems are getting even more complex than usual. Some specific CAD features are hard to support in a seamless way. CAD-PDM bundle can do a better job.

2. Faster update and support for new versions and CAD service packs. Same vendor is getting updates faster, because they are just rolled from the same R&D.

3. Easy transition into future cloud-CAD options. All CAD vendors are offering some sort of cloud-based technologies today. When CAD goes to the cloud, PDM should follow. And this is much easier to do if you hold both pieces – CAD and PDM.

What is my conclusion? Teamcenter is offering Active Workspace product to demonstrate a better user and data experience with Teamcenter MCAD integrations. Existing Teamcenter MCAD integrations might suffer from various UI/UX problems. Active Workspace is developing a replacement for Teamcenter old user experience MCAD connection for Teamcenter. Overall, it looks like Teamcenter looking how to improve MCAD/PLM bundle in case options to work with dedicated and integrated CAD/PDM system is becoming real and more attractive. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg

Want to learn more about PLM? Check out my new PLM Book website.

Disclaimer: I’m co-founder and CEO of OpenBOM developing cloud based bill of materials and inventory management tool for manufacturing companies, hardware startups and supply chain. My opinion can be unintentionally biased.


Share This Post