Multi-CAD Configurability and the Heterogeneous Data Model of Upchain PLM

CAD integrations are a must have with any PLM, especially having integrations with multiple CAD softwares. Unfortunately, not all PLM providers offer multi-CAD systems to be used for one product. This can be problematic and time consuming if you have to use only one CAD system for all of your work, yet you are used to using multiple, as many people are. At the end of the day, we all learned how to work on different systems, and we all work differently, therefore we need a PLM that will make our lives easier by integrating into our native workspaces, not harder by narrowing what we can do and where. Unfortunately, more often than not, this is not the case, leading users to turn to third parties to get their work done. Of course, when involving yet another system, your workflows and information are no longer as tightly integrated, leading to the question: when/if something goes wrong, to whom do you turn? Do you turn to your CAD provider? This may be the simplest option, but your CAD provider may not be working with your PLM vendor, and so this option is cut off. And if your CAD provider isn’t working with your PLM vendor, we can assume your PLM vendor isn’t working with your CAD provider, thus two roads lead to the same dead end. Therefore, traditional PLM vendors prefer to only offer one CAD integration for the same product in order to avoid this issue and the liability it brings on them, to the detriment of the user. But Upchain has cracked the code on how to merge the data from different CAD systems into a full digital thread representation of the total product while also offering multi-CAD.

Ensuring that your PLM vendor offers multi-CAD integrations is important for maintaining your natural state of work, and configurability of the system within any CAD integration is a necessity. Upchain goes above and beyond this necessity, ensuring that our integrations can handle your heterogeneous data model. Any organization, big or small, is going to have a range of diverse processes behind the scenes in order to achieve their end product. These heterogeneous processes come along with heterogeneous data, and Upchain is the first PLM specifically designed to handle this sort of data, in all of our integrations. Within just our CAD integrations, a user can configure different attributes, and CAD systems for their own business needs. Most importantly, a user can configure their workflows. 

The benefits of configuring a workflow are obvious. Without being locked into one unchangeable template, you can mold it to your needs, rather than adjusting your own work to fit the preset workflow. You also save time by avoiding complicated customizations and back and forths with your PLM provider. So why is it that so few, if any other PLM’s provide truly configurable workflows? Well, to put it simply, it’s harder on the PLM vendor. It’s more complicated to build, and some people believe that if a workflow is too configurable, you can lose industry best practices built in. Upchain does not take the easy route, because it should be easy for you, the customer, not us. We have industry best practices built in to our workflows so that you can use them without the need for any configurations. This is ideal for smaller projects and newcomers to PLM. For those already familiar with PLM, and for those looking for something to fit their own processes built up in the culture of their organization, many configurations are available so that your workflow template becomes your own. You can also create “candidate” workflows like IR, ECR, and ECN. This way you commit to a revision process only when is best for you and your team. The manager of the project’s workflow can even change permissions themselves, thereby avoiding the time it would take to get approval from the manager of the entire PLM system, or even the vendor themselves. We’ve made it as simple as can be, with an easy drag and drop function that allows you to do it yourself with no programmers or programming knowledge required. This workflow engine can even check and see if everything you require is in the file. Not only are our workflows configurable, they are also smart and understand the diversity of your organization and are designed to function with this heterogeneity in mind. If there is information in the file that can be used elsewhere, the system will pull this information into another workflow for you, programmatically making decisions and distributing information. 

Upchain is the first PLM to fully recognize and embrace the complexity and diversity of PLM users and build our system specifically with that in mind. To learn more about these and other functions we offer, request a demo, check out our resources page, or read some more articles here on our blog.