If you are a small OEM or job shop you probably are not using a PDM system. If you are not familiar with what PDM stands for, PDM stands for Product Data Management. PDM software manages and controls the life of CAD files from beginning to end. PDM automatically reduces human error with cad drawing, limits accessibility, and helps companies become more organized with their CAD files. Most people call these systems vaults. Once your assembly or DXF file is inside the PDM system shops struggle to get that file into their CAD/CAM nesting system. Due to your company’s growth, it’s important to look for and maintain automation. How should the process really work?
It’s simple. Any good CAD/CAM nesting solution should have the ability to connect directly to the PDM system you are using. If your current solution does not allow for automation between software, it will make getting your files to your nesting software very difficult. If your CAD file transfer is being manually entered that means that they are no longer in the vault, leaving you with a serious flaw in your system. There are two types of PDM systems out there, web based and desktop application. It really doesn’t matter which one you have, the only differentiating factor will be how the integration is implemented.
Let’s talk through some integration options:
- Your first option is to import parts. Your nesting system should be able to go out and connect to the PDM and you should be able to search and choose the parts you would like to import.
- The second solution is what we call release based automation (RBA). This means, based on the release status of a part, the parts will automatically be transferred into your nesting system. RBA can be more expensive, but if you are growing fast you might want to consider this approach.