2D Sales Drawings
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And if that happens on internal engineering data you better ensure it doesn’t happen on data you publish to help prospects and customers produce better design files, faster, incorporating your products!
If you are already familiar with PDM, skip this answer and jump to the next question.
If you use computer aided design (CAD) your design data is in digital files, probably in an enormous volume of CAD files that demands organization. That’s where PDM comes in. As paper drawings were managed in pre-CAD print rooms, PDM systems provide centralized control of CAD files with version control and check in/out. Companies with a few hundred products may have thousands, even millions of parts, assemblies and drawings or models. Some companies have been using CAD without PDM, relying on manual methods, or file folder structures on shared network drives but that can lead to mistakes and lost productivity.
For example, according to The State of Product Development and Hardware Design 2019, an independent research report published by Onshape, “86% of design and manufacturing industry companies said they need to reduce errors resulting from working on the wrong version of a design or receiving important project information too late.” That identifies two of the reasons to use PDM on your master engineering CAD 2D drawings and 3D models but here’s a fuller list:
These PDM capabilities are obviously critical to effective and repeatable management processes for engineering CAD files. And if your design team works collaboratively with other organizations, or design teams, the complexity of the CAD data management can easily increase many fold.
There is something else that can increase CAD data management requirements exponentially. It occurs when you reuse CAD models for new purposes such as:
CAD for these other purposes requires PDM for the same reasons as outlined above, but they also add other new PDM requirements. For example, in the case of online CAD drawings and models, you’ll need to decide the following questions then have your PDM system manage the processes:
1. If you publish CAD data it needs to be correct and maintained that way.
2. If you do it yourself, ensure your PDM system processes reliably deliver that accuracy.
3. Many companies avoid extending their PDM system by outsourcing their online CAD marketing to cloud based SaaS solutions. They provide their engineering CAD models in one CAD file format and the SaaS solution provider creates IP protected versions for their review, and then totally manages real-time production of any requested 2D CAD drawing files or 3D CAD model files in required formats, all syndication to other websites, all lead generation (possibly with integration back to your CRM) and all analytic reporting. They can also, via user surveys, monitor and report on customer experience and satisfaction.
Lastly, if you’d like our opinion on your particular PDM issues with online content marketing, please call or click either button below: