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PTC has announced the availability of Windchill Productpoint software for sharing CAD and other structured data, and Hess Services has been quick on the uptake.

Windchill Productpoint provides an opportunity for smaller companies to experience the benefits of product lifecycle management (PLM) without a large investment.

It also gives companies with an active Sharepoint strategy the flexibility to extend a product development system to broader user communities.

Hess Services, headquartered in Hays, Kansas, understands the product development challenges facing many small and medium-sized businesses (SMB).

Founded in 1989 as an industrial and petroleum equipment refurbishing company, Hess Services has grown to over 140 employees and offers design and manufacturing services for oil well servicing rigs, petroleum surface production equipment, and steel and fibreglass tanks.

Like many small companies, Hess Services lacked the technology infrastructure to support the company’s growth, tripling in size during the past three years.

As a first step to resolve this challenge, the company standardised on PTC Pro/Engineer to provide the scaleable design capabilities it needed to handle large, complex assemblies consisting of more than 3,000 components.

The use of Pro/Engineer has reduced production costs by as much as 30 per cent due to eliminated rework.

It has also helped optimise product development by streamlining the design review process.

In order to support its business initiatives for expansion into new markets, Hess Services is pursuing ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers) pressure vessel certification, which requires the demonstration of a document control system.

The company recognised that its current system, based upon the use of PDF files and shared network folders, was inefficient and prone to errors.

To accomplish its objectives, Hess Services needed a product that would enable its design teams to share and revise information without overwriting each other’s work, provide version control and offer the capabilities to search and reuse product development information.

After a thorough evaluation of available solutions, Hess Services chose Windchill Productpoint as its entry point to product lifecycle management.

Windchill Productpoint represents the combination of the Microsoft Sharepoint social computing platform with PTC’s expertise in product development.

Windchill Productpoint helps teams to connect to each other in a variety of ways including: instant access to colleagues via presence detection; personalisation of workspaces to organise relevant content; and the sharing of rich product information throughout the company and with customers.

Windchill Productpoint provides key features including: quick search and find for the latest versions of the right files; extended access to engineering content throughout the company; and timely information sharing through the use of the Sharepoint Web 2.0 social computing capabilities.

‘Windchill Productpoint offers us a PLM solution that can be quickly and easily deployed on our Sharepoint platform and will provide immediate value for our product development team by increasing productivity, efficiency and quality,’ said Nick Jensen, chief engineer, Hess Services.

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