Effectively managing data is key in manufacturing operations but can be complicated depending on your tech stack. You want to make sure all of your solutions work together to support your organization, provide the tools you need, and ensure products get to market on time. When it comes to efficient Windchill data management – don’t worry, Windchill is compatible with a range of CAD solutions – including SOLIDWORKS.
Windchill is a PLM web application from PTC that helps manage 3D CAD data throughout the product lifecycle. It tracks changes, streamlines workflows, and makes it easy to find files using search and filter capabilities. Plus, advanced visualization provides 2D representations of parts and products to improve communication.
Windchill also includes a support application called Thingworx Navigate, so stakeholders can access the data they need without needing a complete license. Users can access and reference any files within Windchill without navigating through complicated engineering tools or requiring any additional training. Using Thingworx, users can:
- View design files
- View and measure in 3D
- View the parts list
- View drawings
- View part properties
- View part structure
Windchill and Thingworx work seamlessly with Solidworks to share data whether you work with it internally or need integration for customers or suppliers.
SOLIDWORKS is a 3D CAD platform from Dassault Systèmes. It helps designers and engineers develop mechatronics systems used in a variety of products from smartphones to cars. SOLIDWORKS streamlines product development from beginning to end including planning, visualization, and digital prototyping. Just like any CAD platform, SOLIDWORKS creates a lot of files and data for all of its components – and that’s where Windchill comes in.
Tutorials: How to Use SOLIDWORKS with Windchill
Just because SOLIDWORKS and Windchill come from different companies, it doesn’t mean they can’t be used in the same tech stack. Windchill has the tools and integrations needed to seamlessly work with SOLIDWORKS data.
How to Annotate Files
Windchill makes collaboration between teams, stakeholders, customers, and suppliers simple. The Windchill data management capabilities allow you to create and save annotations within design files without making any permanent changes and without requiring a CAD solution.
Here’s how it works:
- Open Windchill
- Search for the part using the part number
- Find the part by using advanced filters like file type, authoring application, file category, etc. in the left sidebar
- Results display different part attributes like Windchill number, thumbnail, object type, descriptive state, etc.
- Click the Windchill number to open the detail page
- Click structure to show all the parts within the top-level assembly
- Open the part in Creo View Lite (login with Windchill credentials)
- Explore part within the viewer with tools to pull elements apart, isolate, measure, etc.
- Add a markup annotation and save to share with the team
- Team members subscribed to the assembly or part will be automatically notified of the annotation
Using annotation tools across assemblies and parts improves communication and collaboration throughout the product development process.
How to Make Changes to SOLIDWORKS File from Windchill
Users can even make changes to SOLIDWORKS files using Windchill by using the workgroup manager. This manager is a plugin that allows Windchill and SOLIDWORKS to communicate seamlessly.
- Login to SOLIDWORKS and find the part
- Take ownership of the part by “checking out” through the Windchill tab within the SOLIDWORKS interface – this lets other team members know you are working with the part to prevent accidental overrides
- Make desired changes
- “Check-in” part to store the latest version with changes
By checking parts in and out there’s no chance of overriding work and the latest version is always available with the rest of the team.
How to Change the Part or Product State
Parts must be properly released to move products through the product lifecycle while also ensuring IP is protected. Windchill supports your organizational processes for getting the required approvals from team members.
- Locate drawing or model within the Windchill interface
- Select the object and promote, to promote both the part and the drawing so everything within the assembly is in the same release state
- Select a need by date for stakeholders that need to approve
- Validate the promotion
- Select individuals required for the review or approval process
Improve Windchill Data Management with NxRev
By improving data management within your organization, you can ensure product releases occur on time and within budget. So, using Windchill data management and collaboration tools with SOLIDWORKS just makes sense. Plus, when you partner with a PTC expert like NxRev we can get Windchill up and running within your organization in a matter of days. We offer cloud configurations that include nightly-backups and built-in security tools or more advanced value-ready deployments. Either way, your Windchill data management is sure to help support your business goals.