Productivity during the design process can make the difference between being first to market or becoming an also-ran. That makes your choice of product lifecycle management of critical importance, not just to the engineering team but to the entire company.

Your choice of PLM or PDM software is key in keeping your organization competitive.

To help you make the right choice, we’ve done some analysis for you by comparing PTC Windchill and SOLIDWORKS EPDM. Even though we have a little bit of a bias—we are the largest PTC partner on the west coast—we’ve tried to be as fair as possible in comparing the two to help you make an informed decision.

Interested in pricing or deployment information for PTC Windchill?

PLM vs PDM: Benefits and Feature Comparison

Role-Based Navigation: PTC Windchill

PTC Windchill offers role-based navigation that lets you deploy the solution quickly. Users are able to easily navigate through the software to find the tools they need because they are not bogged down or confused by a complicated interface that requires them to look past options that they don’t need or have access to.

SOLIDWORKS EPDM uses Windows Explorer as it’s navigation metaphor. Users may be immediately familiar with how to navigate from task to task, but Windows has never been known for its navigational elegance.

The PTC Windchill interface is easy to use, which allows your designers and engineers to be more productive rather than getting bogged down by complicated tools.

IoT Extension: PTC Windchill

According to research from IHS Market, the number of connected devices will increase from 27 Billion in 2017 to 125 Billion by 2030, an increase of 12 percent per year on average. That means supporting IoT connectivity requirements needs to be a primary consideration when selecting any software tool. PTC Windchill has a ThingWorx connector that captures real-time IoT data for on performance and quality, which can be used for further analysis.

This connection helps speed up root cause analysis, driving faster corrective and preventive action (CAPA) or service directives. This increased speed helps reduce scrap and rework while preventing or limiting potential liabilities and risk. It can also make next-generation products perform better, as organizations have the information they need to make educated modifications to products.

Automatically Reports Support Issues: Windchill

Keeping users productive is critical to meeting deadlines, so anything that can slow them down should be avoided. But even a small glitch can slow them down, regardless of whether it’s caused by a software or a user. PTC Windchill automatically connects with PTC support when there are any issues, transmitting problem details that can help both sides resolve problems faster so users can get back to their work sooner.

Parallels Design and Manufacturing Planning Processes: PTC Windchill

The transition from design to manufacturing is a process fraught with issues and delays, and PTC Windchill enables parallel processing of eBOM and mBOM to minimize any unnecessary hold-ups. It also offers powerful comparison tools that identify any discrepancies and help ensure that manufacturing works with the most current product versions.

PTC Windchill simplifies the transition between design and manufacturing by keeping the processes parallel to minimize issues.

This capability can help shorten time to market and prevent costly manufacturing errors and rework.

SOLIDWORKS EPDM includes CAD connectors and integrations to ERP systems but doesn’t have the elegant toolset provided by PTC Windchill.

Data Security: PTC Windchill

In a world that must accommodate a global workforce, collaboration with supply chain stakeholders while also ensuring the protection of organizational data is key. Finding a way to offer collaboration securely is no small feat. Both of these contenders have done a fine job in this area.

PTC Windchill includes security labels at check in and within BOM structures. Its role-based structure simplifies allowing or disallowing access to data, even down to the field level. It enables a secure collaborative workspace and simplifies the creation of technical data packages for outside organizations that protect IP.

SOLIDWORKS EPDM offers a secure collaborative workspace, but without the advanced capabilities that give PTC Windchill the edge here.

Automated Design and Approval Processes: SOLIDWORKS EPDM

Every company has unique design and approval processes, and they are often one of the biggest sources of delay in reaching target dates. SOLIDWORKS EPDM includes a graphical approach to designing unique workflows for approvals and other key processes. Once in place, the system issues automated alerts and tracks the approval processes through to completion.

PTC Windchill also allows companies to create custom workflows, but the integrated modeling capabilities in EPDM gives it a slight edge.

Although PTC Windchill is strong in other categories, SOLIDWORKS EPDM includes useful automated approval workflows.

Deployment Options and Fast Implementation: PTC Windchill

Many in-house IT departments have adopted a cloud strategy, migrating old applications and deploying all new applications in the cloud. Cloud deployment allows IT to focus on more-strategic objectives while still ensuring that routine maintenance such as updates and backups occur regularly. Cloud applications are often faster and more cost-effective to deploy.

PTC Windchill offers the ability to deploy either on-premise or in the cloud, so it offers more flexibility and easy migration.

SOLDIWORKS EPDM has been deployed on Azure and a few other cloud hosting sites, but cloud deployment options do not seem to be a focus for the company.

Conclusion: PTC Windchill is the robust solution for all of your PLM needs

We think PTC Windchill offers distinct advantages over SOLIDWORKS EPDM, not just when comparing existing features but also when looking at long-term strategy. PTC Windchill has been quick to adopt emerging trends such as IoT and cloud deployment which have now become core requirements for most companies.

SOLIDWORKS EPDM, on the other hand, has been slow to adapt to these ideas, and many of its features in support of these important areas are rudimentary at best.

We admitted up front that we have a bias toward PTC Windchill, but that bias isn’t solely because we resell it. PTC Windchill has consistently proven itself a leader in the market, and it outclasses all competitors when it comes to supporting new initiatives.

PTC Windchill has consistently proven itself a leader in the market and is the clear winner of this showdown.

To learn more about how PTC Windchill answers your product data management needs, contact us today.

Interested learning more about how PTC Windchill compares to other products? Check out our other software showdown Windchill vs Teamcenter: A PLM Comparison.