PTC Windchill is one of the more popular product lifecycle management (PLM) system for managing associative file-based design data (PTC Creo and others) as well as related design and engineering processes.
Because Windchill and other PLM systems are tightly integrated with authoring systems, some times they impose constraints that make it hard to support collaborative and ad-hoc processes related to cross-functional engineering and manufacturing changes, quality management and continuous improvement programs within the company and the supply chain.
The business problem that is evident is that product and manufacturing organizations need to take the product information that is created by design engineers and transform it to create a multi-functional product information for manufacturing, supply chain and logistics, quality and sourcing and release it to other groups within the organization and supply chain as well as populate ERP, Supply Chain Planning, Manufacturing Execution and Supply Chain Collaboration systems. The same data is also used to coordinate other ad-hoc manufacturing, quality and supply chain processes.
One of the core use cases of ZFlow is to serve as the process and related data management solution that acts as a bridge/glue between PLM systems and Supply Chain Planning, ERP and Supply Chain Collaboration systems.
Connecting PTC Windchill and SAP with ZFlow
ZFlow comes with out of the box integration to PTC Windchill and SAP and often for our customers acts as the bridge between design/engineering and manufacturing/quality/supply chain functions.
ZFlow uses data from PTC Windchill as the beginning point for initiating and coordinating enterprise processes such as business bill of material creation and management, engineering change management and other related processes. Specifically process and product lifecycle management extension for PTC Windchill accomplishes the following:
- Uses the Windchill’s part and as-designed bill of material and transforms it to a more enterprise ready multi-functional business bill of material (Business BOM Management).
- Offers tools for add/remove components, change quantities, create/update attributes and manage the business bill of material
- Provides multi-user change management and revision control for the business bill of material via check-in/check-out
- Supports creation of multiple views of the same product structure for individual users and departments
- Allows users to capture important baselines (snapshots)
- Neutral file management for visualization and document management
- Provides facilities for implementing a controlled engineering change management process (Engineering and Manufacturing Release process)
- Uses data from Windchill and the business bill of material as a basis for implementing change control processes
- Offers facilities for implementing workflow and related activities such as review, approvals, notifications and integration with external applications as part of the engineering change control process
- Provides ISO 9000/QS 9000/FDA GMP compliant visibility, traceability and reporting features
- Offers configurable process and applications for standards based design release, manufacturing and quality management processes (AQPQ, PPAP and other similar industry standards)
The process and product lifecycle extension offers several business benefits, which have a direct impact on the company’s bottom line. Specifically organization realize the following:
- Speed to market
- Lower product lifecycle process (BOM Management, Change Management, etc.) coordination cost
- Standards (ISO 9000/QS 9000/FDA GMP) compliant visibility, traceability and reporting
- Extend critical processes and related data to other groups in the organization and supply chain
- Improved ROI for existing solutions, including PTC Windchill and SAP