SolidWorks is an amazingly powerful software program that provides state of the art Computer Aided Design (CAD) and Computer Aided Engineering (CAE).
What is the IQMS SolidWorks Add-In?
For those of you who have read some of my past blogs, you’ve heard me mention the IQMS SolidWorks add-in. I explained some of the integration our Automation department has done within SolidWorks, but I didn’t go into much detail about what exactly the add-in does. In the past month, this application has seen some significant advancement in functionality that I can see being a huge benefit to our SolidWorks users. However, before I get into these new features, a little more detail of how the SolidWorks add-in works is in order.
The SolidWorks add-in is exactly what it is called, an add-in. If you’ve worked with Microsoft Outlook, Word, Excel or any of the other Microsoft Office suite of applications, you may have seen buttons or tabs related to other applications in the toolbars of these Office products. These are called add-ins, which have been developed to interface with Office products so the user can easily work within a single application.
The nice thing about add-ins is that they often provide integration features that will allow the user to transfer data between the application that it is hosted in and the other system with little work for the end user.
Benefits of the IQMS SolidWorks Add-In
The greatest benefit that separates the IQMS add-in from other vendors’ non add-in based tools is that the user does not have to work between three separate applications; they simply work within SolidWorks with all of the relevant functionality available from IQMS ERP.
Let me clarify what I mean through an example. Other vendors’ products often claim that the benefit of their SolidWorks tools is that they’re synchronizing data between SolidWorks and the ERP system. This means that the user is working in two systems and relying on the input or some delayed timed service to synchronize the data between the two applications. The user must also resolve data conflicts and merge conflicts when the synchronizations take place.
IQMS ERP and the SolidWorks Connector
With the IQMS SolidWorks add-in, the end user simply works within what appears to be a single, fully integrated system of SolidWorks and IQMS ERP.
There is no data synchronization that takes place because the SolidWorks files are linked right into the IQMS ERP system and the SolidWorks user can easily enter their ERP data directly into IQMS ERP! This eliminates the need for synchronization and provides a real-time update of the data as the user enters it without leaving SolidWorks.
Now for the fun part! I love explaining the cool features our development team, in conjunction with our customers’ feedback, has come up with. The IQMS SolidWorks add-in features that interest most people are the following:
- SolidWorks document control with revision tracking and approval
- PDF file generation upon check-in
- System-wide access to PDF documentation that any user (without SolidWorks) can view. This is great for your shop floor and other users who need to see accurate real-time documentation
- Version management for exclusive check in and out of files between developers to prevent overwriting changes between employees
- Quick access and multi-linking to inventory, bills of materials (BOMs) and preventative maintenance
- Create Engineering Change Orders (ECOs) upon check-in for all inventory or BOMs associated with SolidWorks files
- Easily link individual SolidWorks configurations to different inventory items, BOMs, preventative maintenance equipment and projects
- Mass check in and out of SolidWorks files at once
These features should entice any SolidWorks user to take a serious look at the IQMS SolidWorks add-in as the bridge they’ve been missing between SolidWorks and IQMS ERP.
To learn more about how IQMS provides strong choices to fit the needs and interests of manufacturers everywhere, click www.iqms.com.