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PDM Success Story: MSD Werthenstein

GAIN Collaboration as the successor to PSP was an obvious choice for us.

PDM Pharma

MSD Werthenstein BioPharma GmbH, based in Schachen, Switzerland, is part of the MSD Group, which in turn is a subsidiary of the Merck pharmaceutical group. MSD is active in research and development for new medicines in over 140 countries. In Schachen, MSD Werthenstein prepares and manages the construction plans for the Schachen branch. They include 2D drawings in DWG format and most of them have external references such as further drawings, pictures and also MS Office documents. “That’s several thousand CAD drawings that we need to access as quickly and flexibly as possible,” explains Lars Marbacher, FM Technician Building Efficiency Global WorkPlace Solution at MSD Werthenstein. MSD Werthenstein have replaced AutoCAD® with ZWCAD from the company ZWSOFT Schweiz GmbH. “The feature set is no different than AutoCAD®,” says Marbacher, “however, ZWCAD’s licensing costs are much more affordable.”

Achieved the goal: Maintain familiar user habits

“The decision for GAIN Collaboration as PDM software and PSP successor was not difficult for us”, says Marbacher. “Especially since GAIN Software was the only vendor in the world that could provide us with a PDM interface to ZWCAD, which we just switched to,” Marbacher said.

“GAIN Collaboration is quite similar to Productstream Professional (PSP) in many ways. For example, the interface with its window arrangements. The search option across all properties, the maintenance of the article master data and where-used lists also remain the same in principle. Compared to PSP, the GAIN solution is much more modern. The clearly arranged user interface allows direct access to documents as well as search and filter functions. Details such as history, references, usage, etc. are clearly displayed for each file.”


Open for international cooperation and different CAD systems

GAIN Collaboration can also hold its own in national and international data exchange with its multilingual capabilities thanks to UNICODE and dictionary, in addition to the project management, definition of workflows and replication to other locations that are familiar to PSP.


GAIN Collaboration is easy to use

The PSP alternative brings together previously incompatible data from different applications such as SolidWorks or Autodesk with Office documents. Design, product and accounting documents can be stored in a project together with the associated e-mails. “For example, if I insert an image into a drawing, I can simply drag and drop the image file into GAIN and couple it to the project,” Marbacher explains. The import is not only possible from applications but also from the Windows Explorer. GAIN Collaboration automatically detects the file format and inherits the existing properties, relationships and references.
The multi-processor technology together with GAIN Collaboration’s multithreading ensures fast opening and editing even with large files. Says Marbacher, “Multiple PDM processes can run in parallel because GAIN Collaboration distributes its performance demands across multiple processor cores.”


Simple: The graphical configuration

To meet the different needs of each organization, GAIN Collaboration can be configured for customization with graphical tools. This includes, for example, the user interface, toolbar, database, masks and status definitions (workflows).


Fast, secure access

The server-based system of GAIN Collaboration is based on an MS-SQL database architecture. While MSD with Productstream Professional (PSP) directly accessed the file server (archive) to open files, the access to documents with GAIN Collaboration as PSP successor is done via “Check-In/Check-Out”. GAIN Collaboration first saves the file in a workspace on the user’s computer. From there it is opened with ZWCAD. The advantage: The file can be viewed by other users, but cannot be changed during editing.


Rapid implementation and data migration

At the beginning of 2015, MSD Werthenstein replaced Autodesk® Productstream® Professional with GAIN Collaboration. During the PDM migration, the metadata was transferred from PSP 1:1 to GAIN Collaboration. A total of 8,000 documents, including approximately 6,000 2D drawings with external references, were transferred. The rest of the data consisted of Excel, Word, PDF and image files.

“GAIN Collaboration makes product data management much easier for us,” concludes Marbacher. Data exchange between individual user groups within the company is easier, because standard document types can be managed, organized and edited directly in GAIN Collaboration. All work steps are easily traceable, which means that the causes of errors can be found and eliminated quickly. With the PDM implementation or EDM/PDM solution of GAIN Software GmbH as PSP successor, MSD Werthenstein is also comprehensively equipped for future requirements.