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GAIN Collaboration Interfaces

CAD, CAM, Office, ECAD and ERP interfaces: More potential for all employees

Infographic PDM interfaces

What is a PDM interface?

All employees involved in product development – from different branches, divisions or departments – must be able to access up-to-date product information relevant to them at any time.
Product data is collected, processed and passed on by different systems such as ERP, PDM and DMS systems. One interface between these systems is a PDM interface.

Use of a PDM interface

PDM interfaces make workflows considerably more efficient:

  • Required information can be retrieved by employees at any time and up to date.
  • PDM interfaces allow the data flow to be controlled from within the workflow. For example, when a component is released by the design department for subsequent processes.
  • Only through PDM interfaces is an overview from different perspectives of the product life cycle possible.
  • PDM interfaces ultimately optimize your decision-making capabilities.
  • In principle, all employees involved in the product development process benefit from the use of PDM interfaces.

What information do GAIN Collaboration interfaces transmit?

Basically, 2 areas of information can be distinguished:

1. product data from or for design, development or manufacturing:

Among other things, article information and parts lists are transferred to the ERP system via an ERP PDM link. Depending on the definition of the workflows, articles can also be transferred from the ERP system to the PDM system.

2. product accompanying documents, such as pictures, product descriptions, maintenance and electrical plans:

The creation of a product usually begins in the design phase. Product data in the form of drawings and 3D models are created there. If required, neutral files such as PDF or DXF documents are created for these product data. Furthermore, they are often supplemented with additional documents – such as calculation data or data sheets. All of these documents enter a data management system at a certain point in time (for example, when they are released), to which all employees in the company have access.

What possibilities does a PDM interface offer?

PDM interfaces link, for example, the product data from the MCAD, CAM and ECAD areas with each other. Or they make product information from the PDM system available to other departments or subsidiaries in a DMS or ERP system. For example, employees can call up article information such as material or weight information or print out parts lists.
In addition to product information, neutral formats of product documents are often available in the form of PDF, TIF or DXF documents. Documents that are important for information exchange and production.

What are the differences between interfaces?

The differences lie in the benefits. A PDM interface implements, for example, the coupling of a PDM system with an ERP system or the coupling of a CAD system with a PDM system.
The interface from the CAD or ECAD system (application) to the PDM system transfers documents and document information from the respective system to the PDM system. The PDM system creates neutral formats for the documents. It brings together information such as parts usage and makes it available to the user.
Via an interface from a PDM system to an ERP system, information in the form of metadata is transferred from one system to the other. This information is for example articles and parts lists, sometimes also project information and neutral formats.