Medium-sized ventures such as London-based Prestolite Electric are taking PDM on board. Prestolite Electric designs and manufactures electrical parts for heavy-duty vehicles, and has bought 15 seats of CAD and PDM as a £250,000 turnkey package from Cadtek.
Chief engineer Ian Smith selected SolidWorks as a solid modelling package with PDM system SmarTeam from Smart Solutions as a data management system. `We wanted a solid modelling package to handle legacy data from our two previous CAD systems (an Anvil 1000 2D package and Anvil 5000 3D wireframe system), and needed a supplier which could commission a data management scheme around it,’ he says.
Cadtek is installing SmarTeam to replace a manual system which involved microfilming all CAD drawings, then distributing them physically to manufacturing, quality and after-market departments, using a paper-based system. `The electronic database will run on a local area network giving all users instant access to the latest engineering data. This will cut the delays caused in the manual system, particularly as we operate on multiple sites,’ says Smith.
The system will be implemented globally across Prestolite’s operations in South Africa, Argentina and North America, and its joint ventures in Asia.
Smith anticipates significant benefits from the PDM system. `It will reduce the number of man-hours spent in managing a traditional paper-based system, and eliminate delays and confusion when design changes are implemented, as only current data will be available on the system at any time.’
Cheshire-based Cadtek is about to release version 3.0 of SmarTeam, which will include a graphical workflow module and enhanced internet and intranet capabilities.
Allen Behrens, the company’s vice-chairman, sees PDM becoming more popular, as `PDM is about getting the right information to the right person at the right time’.