After a successful implementation project with PLM Group, HTC Sweden has replaced its PDM and CAD software that did not meet the company’s requirements with an efficient PDM solution, which integrates both mechanical and electrical design
Dissatisfied with its former CAD and PDM software, the Swedish company HTC Sweden AB chose to replace them with SOLIDWORKS PDM and CAD software from PLM Group. In close collaboration with the PLM Group solution team, the company has specified and implemented the new software for product life-cycle management. The project has resulted in a CAD and PDM solution that meets the company’s requirements for user-friendly and efficient handling of the product development data.
HTC Sweden is the world’s leading provider of grinding and cleaning machines for horizontal surfaces, typically floors of all kinds of materials from wood to concrete. The machines are also used for maintaining roads and bridges. The typical customers are floor contractors, civil contractors and private companies. The products are electromechanical machines and are developed with SolidWorks supplemented with SolidWorks Electrical for the electrical portion of the products and SolidWorks Simulation to simulate airflow and making strength calculations.
For a number of years HTC Sweden had a PDM solution that was both difficult to use and very poorly integrated with the company’s electrical CAD software. In addition, support of the system was inflexible and time consuming, explains CAD administrator, Daniel Gustavsson.
Pre-study leads to efficient PDM solution
After a survey of the PDM marketplace, HTC Sweden chose to conduct a prestudy together with PLM Group around implementation of EPDM and SolidWorks as CAD-software. After a thorough review of opportunities and requirements, PLM Group developed a proposal describing how the system could be set up with a variety of automated workflows to support the company’s business needs.
HTC Sweden accepted the proposal and Daniel Gustavsson describes the implementation project as a partnership, where the PLM Group solution team managed to translate the requirements from HTC Sweden into an effective solution: “We have gotten a PDM solution that meets our requirements for safe and efficient management of product data, version control, automated workflows and user friendliness. The users want to work with CAD and not spend a lot of their time on searching data. Therefore, it is essential to us that they have quick and easy access to their data,” he says: “Most importantly the downtime of the system, which can be particularly costly in very hectic phases of a development project is reduced to a minimum. Our development processes and workflows have become more streamlined and much faster.”
Integration between mechanical and electrical engineering
Together with PLM Group, HTC Sweden has set up the PDM solution to handle all CAD files whether they are mechanical or electrical in the same way. This means that the communication between the different development teams has become much easier:
“The mechanical and electrical engineers can very easily help each other out with PDM questions as they are using the system in exactly the same way. Previously the PDM-solution was different worlds for them even though they used the same software,” says Daniel Gustavsson.
Add-ons to support business processes
PLM Group has set the system up to automatically execute a series of predefined tasks. The setup of the workflows includes a few add-ons for EPDM. The add-ons include a program for automatic generation of serial numbers of the active parts in the products HTC Sweden is currently selling. All design files that are approved in the CAD software automatically generates both PDF files containing drawings and 3D CAD models and store them on a server.
Via a specially designed web interface, the employees in production, purchasing and quality departments are able to search the files when they need product information without employing a full PDM client.
PDM integrated with ERP
The PDM system is also integrated with HTC Sweden’s ERP system. The connection is so far quite simple. Today the PDM system reads data in a few tables in the ERP system, such as units and HS classification numbers for traded products, so the data is identical in the two systems, explains Daniel Gustavsson: “In the future, we plan to have parts automatically created in the ERP system. The system now generates BOM files in Excel format, so they are ready for use in the ERP system at a later date.”
Strong training for PDM administration
Together with a colleague, Daniel Gustavsson has attended a PDM administrator course at PLM Group. He is very happy with the training. He explains that one of the biggest advantages of the new solution is that it is easy to maintain and that the training has meant that the R&D department can undertake most of the maintenance work by itself: “The possibilities to adapt the tasks in the PDM system are much more comprehensive than in our previous system. After the training we are able to administer the system and change the setup very easily without having to call on experts from PLM Group, every time we encounter something we need to change,” he explains, adding: “With our previous solution it typically took one day to upgrade it where our seven employees in the development department had idle time.”
Professional support from PLM Group
Daniel Gustavsson compliments the support staff at PLM Group: «They do a great job. We get both professional and fast help when we need it. The support department always responds to inquiries quickly and I get a lot of useful information. That also includes information about advanced features in the software, which I have never heard of before. The support team is highly trained and very professional, and I always get appropriate answers to my questions.”
Although the CAD and PDM solution is still quite new to the users, their level of satisfaction is much higher than previously, emphasizes Daniel Gustavsson: «We measure the effectiveness of the solution by the number of questions we receive from users, and we have much less questions than before. The automation of a wide range of workflows and processes also means that it is no longer important for the users to know about the IT-systems they do not normally work with. Instead they can fully attend to their core tasks developing new products.”
“The project with HTC demonstrates that our way of defining and delivering solutions is really successful. Our dedicated teams are focusing on four business solution areas and sharing knowledge across the geographical borders. This ensures that we have the necessary capabilities to deliver powerful, yet simple solutions. Our setup and geography gives us the possibility take on projects of any size, regardless if it is local or international,” says PLM Group’s Solution Team Manager Christer Blomqvist, adding:
“Our skilled and experienced staff in combination with our broad portfolio of state of the art products and best practice methodologies enables us to provide solutions that are tailored to meet company’s specific needs. Short implementation times, controlled scope and fast return on investment are all factors that contribute to the success.”