“We started to develop our own PDM system, but it turned out to be a never ending story and the system did not cover all our needs. We instead decided to focus on a commercial system. We examined five different systems, but were reluctant to invest in hardware to run the systems. When we were introduced to HostPLM from PLM Group, we were really pleased to see an easy to use PDM interface combined with a Hosted Infrastructure solution,” says Petri Perälä.
Since its inception, the company has been using SolidWorks as its CAD system. Recently the 3D CAD system has been supplemented with the addition of HostPLM from PLM Group as well as SolidWorks Composer for the preparation of technical documentation. Defour has a portfolio of four SolidWorks licenses, six HostPLM licenses and one SolidWorks Composer.
“We have chosen SolidWorks as our CAD platform because of the very favorable balance between price and performance while fully covering our needs,” explains Petri Perälä.
HostPLM has become the backbone of an ambitious plan for growth. Petri Perälä stresses that the growth strategy calls for applying a PDM system: «When more people work tightly together on projects, the need arises for a single system that can keep track of all the information that is generated. This applies not only to 3D CAD files and other engineering data generated during the development process, but also to the company Management System.”
One of the major benefits of using HostPLM according to Petri Perälä is the ability to access data from any geographic location on any kind of device. Defour has used the system via smartphones with a 3G connection: “We are sometimes doing design workshops with our customers. The online connection with HostPLM has both increased the speed in our design processes and enabled our designers to utilize back office support. Data is now safely available everywhere, online and fully updated,” he says. Defour will also use HostPLM to provide their clients direct access to the data generated in connection with development projects as well as the cornerstone for quality management.
Like HostPLM, SolidWorks Composer plays a crucial role in the growth strategy. The system has so far been used mainly for the production of technical documentation, but Petri Perälä suggests that the next step will be to create assembly instructions, user manuals and other forms of more advanced 3D documentation: «We see a great need to produce vast amounts of various forms of documentation based directly on 3D files from SolidWorks,» he explains.
Bransjer: Engineering Services