Windchill and ZWCAD Integration for Global Company - Case Study

The goal of the project was to establish a bi-directional connection between ZWCAD and Windchill PLM system in the same manner as it had already been implemented for other CAD packages. AMC Bridge developed a highly specialized solution designed to fully meet specific customer needs. It provides seamless collaboration between the newly adopted CAD system and the customer’s primary PLM tool, which helps avoiding the risk of failures in the manufacturing process while improving the engineers’ productivity at the same time.

 

  • PROJECT HIGHLIGHTS
    • Seamless integration of CAD and PLM systems for maintaining efficient design and manufacturing process
    • Replication of existing workflow due to infrastructure updating issues
  • WHY AMC BRIDGE?
    • Extensive expertise in creating CAD/PLM interoperability workflows
    • Partnership agreements and experience with APIs of the top engineering software vendors
  • CUSTOMER BENEFITS
    • Distinct software solution customized accurately for the specific needs, delivered on time and on budget
    • Full potential of the new CAD package as a part of accustomed workflow

 


Client:
Global multibillion-dollar leading technology company that designs and manufactures connectivity and sensor products for harsh environments in a variety of industries, such as automotive, industrial equipment, data communication systems, aerospace, defense, medical, oil and gas, consumer electronics, energy and subsea communications. The client’s unmatched breadth of connectivity and sensor solutions, proven in the harshest of environments, helps build a safer, greener, smarter and more connected world. Several tens of thousands of employees – including more than 7,000 engineers – work alongside customers in nearly 150 countries.


Challenges:
The client, as a global, multidisciplinary organization, uses various software packages for product design and management. In particular, the company employs Windchill PLM system from PTC (NASDAQ: PTC) to manage an extensive product design process. This system in turn is connected with various CAD software packages to facilitate e-collaboration between different engineering teams.
As part of their technology roadmap, the client recently acquired ZWCAD software from ZWSoft to support and manage 2D drawings. While being a very efficient system to generate and support a drawing workflow, ZWCAD is not connected to Windchill, which is the company’s primary PLM tool. These shortcomings created inefficiencies in the enterprise design workflow.
In order to use the full potential of the new ZWCAD system, it needed to be integrated with the PLM platform. Moreover, this integration had to be accomplished on a tight schedule. Based on the proven track record in multivendor engineering software integration projects delivered on time and on budget, as well as strong references from the PTC community and PTC itself, AMC Bridge was entrusted with development of the solution described below.


Solution:
The goal of the project was to establish a bi-directional connection between ZWCAD and Windchill PLM system in the same manner as it had already been implemented for other CAD packages. As a result, AMC Bridge developed ‘Windchill Workgroup Manager Adapter for ZWCAD’ as add-in that allowed the client’s engineers to manage their design data within a single environment:

  • Open .DWG files, stored in PTC Windchill, directly from ZWCAD;
  • Perform key PTC Windchill operations, such as Revise, Check-In and Check-Out, directly from the ZWCAD environment;
  • Notify ZWCAD users regarding any relevant PTC Windchill issues via pop-up messaging system;
  • Upload .DWG files to the PTC Windchill database using background processes;
  • Personalize and simplify ZWCAD interaction with PTC Windchill with a comprehensive set of preferences;
  • Save drawings and their references directly to PTC Windchill.

windchill-and-zwcad-1
The implemented integration of the PTC Windchill PLM system with the ZWCAD application ensured a smooth extension of the process management system with the new drafting software, while retaining well-established collaboration processes.

windchill-and-zwcad-2
The new solution’s interface and main functionality replicates the accustomed system, therefore minimizing additional training investments.

windchill-and-zwcad-3


Process:
In-depth understanding of WGM architecture, comprehension of the CAD file management process and its role in PLM along with experience in the integration of Windchill and other software products available on the market, allowed AMC Bridge to implement a seamless integration that satisfies all customer needs.
AMC Bridge conducted a detailed investigation of the existing approach to integrating different CAD systems with Windchill software in order to build a similar solution for ZWCAD. Once completed, the AMC Bridge team handled the development stage using Windchill Workgroup Manager and ZWCAD APIs.
Based on the rich experience working with existing integration of the PLM system with other CAD software, the AMC Bridge QA team performed a scope of various tests to check functionality for every possible regression while migrating to the newly developed solution.
After successful delivery, AMC Bridge provides the full technical support for the implemented solution, in particular, with compatibility issues upon rereleases of new Windchill and ZWCAD versions.


Results:
AMC Bridge developed a highly specialized solution designed to fully meet specific customer needs. It provides seamless collaboration between the newly adopted CAD system and the customer’s primary PLM tool, which helps avoiding the risk of failures in the manufacturing process while improving the engineers’ productivity at the same time.

 

Dec 22, 2017
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