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Configurator

sor

New member
We are looking into setting up a product configurator/selector utilizing Pro Engineer, Intralink, and our MRP system. A third party will be doing the programming for the system. Has anyone out there implemented this where they work? Any suggestions?company to go with or stay away from?
 

pwillia3

New member
We have implemented somthing to that effect here at my company. That is a huge undertaking if what you're doing is anything that we did here. Are you going to be giving the customer an interface where they can pick a product, customize it's dimensions, and then submit it to your MRP system? Then the MRP system hooks up to a mixed toolkit app where the objects are checked out, regenerated to the customers size, and has NC data an prints exported to the shop floor. Then all of that kicks off procurement of materials? We have the back end of that but not the front end interface to the customer. I wish you the best of luck because there is a whole bunch of issues that we ran into when doing that. Modelling a truly parametric model seemed to the the most difficult part because the models as well as the modelling standards were so complex.





Patrick
 

FishNut

New member
I've been through the process a couple times, plus a sister company just tried something. Sure it works. There are lots of ways to do it. Our first system was developed 6 years ago, and there were not the fancy tools there are today. Our sales configurator was not hooked directly into pro, it created files that were loaded into pro/e automatically. Pro/toolkit reads in these files and takes care of the rest. We have had poor results with third party people setting this up. Our first one was supposed to be written by third party, but after 8 or 12 monthsthere was nothing usable. It wasn't even close to being done.So we wrote our own in 2 months. We also wrote one for the sister company. Two years ago they thought they could hire someone to do it better. Well lets just say its 2 years later, thousands of dollars later, and take a guess what they are still using. That guys contract time is up, he hasn't been around for months. The people there still love to tell me how sweet that new configurator is. I just say "well how come your not using it yet?" then you get a bunch a blank looks. Its just a bunch of input boxes with product options. Our product line ended up using 3500 parameters. Thats definitly extreme. Thats what made it so difficult. If you want it to work, you need to dedicate someone to fully support the writer. It has to be a coordinated effort. Bottom line: They will only do what you tell them to do. So you have to have it all planned out, top to bottom, yourself, before the guy ever shows up. And you need to know who is going to maintain the system.


In my opinion, you are better off tackling this stuff yourself. But then again we have staffed programmers and always have. I have taken on the Toolkit programming. Between us all, its working well. If you have no programmers, you are at the mercy of the third party.
 

dhbigelow

New member
Be very careful of any one system solving all your problems. Most companies in this field do not know what they are doing, and as soon as you walk outside of their products capabilities, you are on your own - even PTC's DDL. Unless you want to spend 100k on something that you could have spend less than to actually get a solution.


Most people create their own solution, it is not difficult if you know what you are doing, but do NOT use companies that are not authorized to work with PTC's products - the fly-by-night factor is high and they can only get as much information as your own people can (even less typically), when it comes to solving technical problems.


Just my 2c.
 

CONFIGPRO

New member
CONFIGPRO INC provides services of software implementation, software development, training, consulting and design outsourcing. Our team has successfully integrated practical solutions that assist clients in reaching their productivity objectives, specifically in Web-based, product configuration solutions that automate the sales and design processes for manufacturers of custom, to order products.

CONFIGPRO CONFIGURATOR improves a manufacturer's sales process for custom products by giving their sales representatives, channel partners and customers the ability to specify new product configurations without the need to interact with the engineering department.


check it out : http://configpro.ca/
 

brt-solutions

New member
Hello Sor,


As a third party developer of custom product configurators, I would be glad to show you a demo of one of our most recent implementations. We can easily set this up via webcast, or even give you access to our system over the web to try on your own. We also have excellent references you can contact.


Our configurator basically offers a GUI that allows a user, customer, partner, etc., to input specific product parameters and options, then this information is run through what we call a XVU ( XML Validation Unit ) which will validate your inputs based on engineering logic and design rules. Once this process is validated, it will then send the required information to the ProEngineer Creation Unit which will regenrate the part or assembly based on the new parameters and automatically create downstream deliverables such as drawings, G-Code, costing information, etc.We also have a dynamic link into ERP which allows us to push and pull information bi-directionally.


If you are interested in learning more, do not hesitate to give me a call or send me an email:


Emilio Di Zazzo


BRT-Solutions


514-727-7113 x 242


[email protected]
 

CONFIGPRO

New member
Patrick, I used to work for Steelcase Canada, based out of Markham. I am good friends with Don Gravel, I am not sure if you know him. What a small world. I am very familiar with Steelcase products and manufacturing processes.


CONFIGPRO isa leading provider of product configuration software that enables manufacturers to sell customized products faster and more efficiently, over the Web and offline.CONFIGPro Configurator is a powerful Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solution that guides customers, channel partners and employees through the graphical configuration, comparison and quotation of complex products.





http://www.stormmaker.com/You can contact me at anytime and I can provide you with some references and more info about the product.


www.configpro.com
Edited by: CONFIGPRO
 

rpassolt

New member
Near as I can tell, only dhbigelow - and fast design -are listed on ptc.com as a software partners.


While these other firms may havegood track records andsolutions, not being a PTC software partner can be critical if Pro/TOOLKITis part of thesolution. PTC has some stipulations in their licensing agreements about how and whocan "customize" Pro/E.


If these other companies are not using Pro/TOOLKIT as a part of their solution, then dig into their architecture, references...etc. The more homework you do the better. Things like scripts and trail files usually break in future releases and can hold you hostage from moving ahead. I know oftwo companies thatare still on R20 because of this exact situtation.


Scalability can also be an issue with any automation solution so plan carefully.


Regards
Edited by: rpassolt
 

dhbigelow

New member
Thanks for clearing this point up - it is critical, now if the PTC customers can just realize the value that this brings to their equation.
 

MatthewJB19904

New member
All the other companies we have interviewed for such a configurator have fallen short in the capabilities dept. Although the cost is high.. PTC's DDL has more capabilities than the rest. More interactivity, better customer output and with it's ability to get a face lift via web programmers, makes it very attractive. Beware! it does not work well with sheet metal. We are in the process of re-vamping our models and logic base right now for easier interface. We have been using now for two years and have extensive knowledge with this product. Eagle Group.


Matthew
 

brt-solutions

New member
Gentlemen,


I must say I am really enjoying this thread and am very excited about the fact that many of you see the value and the benefits of implementing a design-to-order system - or product configurator.


There are a few available options out there including DDl from PTC, but last I heard from our PTC rep, DDL has been or will be discountinued, but I cannot coraborate that statement.


At BRT-Solutions, we have been developing, for the most part, custom point solutions to handle our customer's configuration needs. This has lead us to develope a framework and a deployable application which allows our customer's to leverage the developement we have done for others.


Today, we have a solution that allows our customers to maintain full ownership of the technology, "code free" for future modifications, a framework that allows them to add additional models at any time without becoming a hostage to us. Most of all, we emphasize the importance of being able to transfer our knowledge in designing appropriate and intelligent models.


I am currently looking at setting up a webcast in mid to late April to demonstrate our technology based on the numerous requests for information we have been recieving.


If any of you would be interested, please do not hesitate to contact me. I should have a final date and time set-up by the end of next week and send send you all a personal invitation to attend.


In the mean time, like some of you already have done, please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions you may have.


Best regards,


Emilio Di Zazzo


BRT-Solutions


[email protected]


514-727-7113 x 242
 

MatthewJB19904

New member
Just a note on the DDL side... PTC has experienced set-backs but has just dedicated new resources to make sure this product is successful. We work closely with PTC on this product and deal all levels of management in the matter. I have to say, if you really want full control and an almost limitless array of variants available... this is not bad. Still, the price can be an issue.


Thanks for the info Emilio, that envite sounds good. Always up for looking at new stuff.


Matthew
 

brt-solutions

New member
Thanks Matthew for the clarification on DDL. I keep on getting conflicting reports depending on who I speak too.


You are absolutely right, the price point of DDL is the biggest challenge and probably why we have been a viable alternative for some of our customers, including some that already own DDL.


Iwill keep you informed on our webcast via this thread. Look forward to speaking with you in the near future.


Emilio
 

edizazzo

New member
Hello all,


I just wanted to post up on this thread that we will be hosting a webcast highlighting our product configurator technology called Automatica.





The webcast is scheduled for May 18th, 1pm EST.





If any of you would be interested, please send me your email address and I can forward to you a link and passcode.





Best regards,





[email protected]
 

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