- Phase 1: Document Control
- Phase 2: Your Choice (often this is Change Management or WT Parts, depending upon what is most important to your organization)
- Phase 3: Quality Management
THE PEOPLE WHO POWER DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION AT LIVEWORX 2023
Minneapolis, MN, U.S.A – 2023 EAC Product Development Solutions, an award-winning PTC Solutions Partner and Global Services Provider, returns to Boston May 15-18 for LiveWorx 2023 with seven presentations covering today’s most impactful solutions in the manufacturing space.
EAC partners with companies to help them navigate their digital transformation journey by providing extensive capabilities that span the entirety of the manufacturing process, including solutions such as Computer-Aided Design (CAD), Simulation, Additive Manufacturing, Product Lifecycle Management (PLM), the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), Augmented Reality (AR) and more.
“We are excited to be a part of LiveWorx 2023 and to have the opportunity to showcase our latest technology solutions,” said EAC’s Chris Woerther, VP of Business Development. Our team of experts is looking forward to connecting with attendees and sharing how our solutions can help businesses succeed in the digital age.
LiveWorx 2023, the world’s premier digital transformation conference, brings together innovators, forward-thinkers, and experts to explore the latest technologies in digital transformation. EAC provides the essential services, support, and strategic expertise that manufacturing companies need to extract the maximum value from technology investments.
As such, EAC has been selected to present seven sessions at LiveWorx 2023:
[AR1088B] – Creo Illustrate for AR Developers
Monday, May 15 2:15 PM – 2:45 PM EDT | Breakout Session 102 B
Clay Helberg, EAC Solution Architect, will provide insights into Creo Illustrate, a powerful tool for creating engaging augmented reality (AR) content, and the key insights you should know to get the best use for authoring.
[PL1842B] – Minimum Windchill Implementation to Achieve Significant ROI
Monday, May 15 3:10 PM – 3:40 PM EDT | Breakout Session 105
During this session, Chris Woerther, EAC Vice President of Business Development, will present how to achieve strong ROI by expanding Windchill usage to other departments and the shop floor to share product data and create a closed-loop change process with minimum implementation.
[AR18431] – AR and Expert Capture – How Easy it Can Really Be to Get Strong ROI
Tuesday, May 16 8:15 AM – 8:30 AM EDT | IgniteTalX Stage 1
Todd Liebenow, EAC Senior Application Engineer, will discuss the significance of Augmented Reality in capturing, standardizing, and sharing workforce knowledge, including how it improves efficiency and speeds up onboarding and training for new employees.
[CA1179B – Why Model-Based Definition?
Tuesday, May 16 2:50 PM – 3:20 PM EDT | Breakout Session 205 A
During this presentation, Stephen Pralle, EAC Application Engineer, will explain what model-based definition is, why it is beneficial, and how to implement this strategy into the product development process.
[PL18451] – Assessing Your Business Practices to Find Optimization Opportunities
Wednesday, May 17 8:15AM – 8:30AM EDT | IgniteTalX Stage 2
Scott Dufresne, EAC Business Development Manager, will discuss the significant business benefits assessments achieve and how they identify areas of improvement in design, management, operations, and service sectors.
[CA11801] – Rapids Prototyping Made Simple with Creo Additive Manufacturing
Wednesday, May 17 2:45 PM – 3:00 PM EDT | IgniteTalX Silent Stage
Stephen Pralle, EAC Applications Engineer, will present the power of Creo and Additive Manufacturing together for earlier design success that enables faster time-to-market.
[CA1181I] – Simulation-Driven Design with Creo Simulation Live
Thursday, May 18 10:15 AM – 10:30 AM EDT | IgniteTalX Silent Stage
Stephen Pralle, EAC Application Engineer, will showcase the powerful capabilities of PTC’s Creo Simulation Live (CSL) to easily leverage simulation earlier in the design process with real-time feedback to save time and boost innovation.
Attendees will have the chance to speak with EAC industry experts and leaders to explore the best-fit solutions to drive business growth and achieve their strategic goals.
Check out our Digital Transformation blog featured on the PTC LiveWorx page:
EAC will be available throughout the conference at Booth No. 700.
Liveworx is happening at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center on May 15-18, 2023. To plan your agenda and attend EAC’s live sessions, visit www.liveworx.com.
For more information about EAC Product Development Solutions, visit www.eacpds.com.
EAC Senior Marketing Manager
Jessica Magelssen – firstname.lastname@example.org
PTC Senior Director, Global Corporate Communications
Greg Payne – email@example.com
As you’re onboarding with Windchill, it’s not uncommon to feel overwhelmed by its wide array of functionality …assembly instructions, supplier management, classification searches… the list goes on and on.
Let’s face it – change can be intimidating, and ‘doing it all at once’ can seem like a lot.
In a perfect world, we’d always be implementing WT Parts and accounting for Change Management at the start of every single Windchill implementation, but the unfortunate truth is, that’s not always the case.
It’s natural to have the desire to implement a Windchill project in bite-sized pieces. This article aims to explain the advantages of phasing your Windchill implementation to do just that.
The Phased Approach
Our phased approach usually goes something like this:
First thing’s first – prioritize getting your data under control.
Start with your engineering data management. The check-in, check-out version control. Then when you’re comfortable with that, Change Management or WT Parts can be introduced as a viable next step.
Let’s not forget the costs associated with all these options. There are hard costs with respect to the implementation plan you decided on, along with any associated trainings or workshops you deemed necessary.
The end goal: a complete Product Lifecycle Management system that creates and enables a ‘digital thread’, ‘digital continuity’, ‘digital transformation’ (whatever you want to call it), throughout your entire organization.
Let’s talk about how you get there.
Phase 2: What is a WT Part? Why WT Parts?
The WT Part is misunderstood and why often, many shy away from it.
Sure, it’s a different concept, but that doesn’t mean its necessarily hard.
So, what do I mean by different? It’s different in the way that most organizations aren’t thinking about their engineering data.
But, as a matter of fact, that same engineering data is exactly what I would consider the ‘enabling piece’ which has the ability to facilitate the core functionality every organization should have within Windchill.
It’s a vital piece that lets you do all the ‘other stuff’.
Another way of describing the WT Part (or gear icon) is a central hub of all information that is related to a part. It has to do with your relevant CAD files, drawings, engineering change history, primary BoM structures that link to all your other parts.
I’ll use a hypothetical situation to explain.
There are all kinds of different parts that go into designing this bicycle. You have some assemblies that you have built up in Creo, along with a bunch of other different parts and sub-assemblies.
In this case your bicycle has a variety of different parts, that have many different versions – but the important part is – at this point, you have your data under control. You check out a part, make a change, check it back in. Soon enough, version A.1 becomes A.2, A.3, etc.
With WT Parts enabled, your system has the ability to create a paralleled data structure. This means you can have the same assembly structure in CAD that you do in Windchill.
WT Part acts almost as a placeholder (I like to think of it as a shoebox). Inside your shoebox, you can put all kinds of ‘other things’, and I’m not talking about just CAD files. For your organization this could mean PDF’s, published visualizations (allowing you to look at your bicycle in Creo view), word documents, links to other webpages, or just about anything else you want.
Let’s say (in this scenario) you outsource the break calibers, the tires, or the spokes.
WT Parts allows you to have images and direct links to your supplier webpages allowing you to document and specify the exact parts and versions you need. This creates a parallel data structure.
But even with your paralleled data structure (for your bicycle line), you know that how your products are modeled in CAD won’t mirror the way they need to be assembled in manufacturing.
Your manufacturing assembly process includes other things, such as tape, Loctite for the handlebars, cable shrouds, etc. In fact, there are all kinds of things you’re never going to model in CAD, but are still essential components within your manufacturing bill of material.
This allows you to properly represent how things should be put together in the shop.
Furthermore, down the line when you create a service bill of material, you’ll no longer need to need use your entire CAD structure (as it was designed in Creo) because your product only needs new tires and inner tubes.
With WT Parts you can easily create a service bill of material that states exactly what’s needed to service your product.
It creates individual containers allowing you to put things in, shuffle them around, and re-arrange them, so you can easily create different bill of material structures. These structures can even be based on what you need to do, downstream from your CAD models.
It also allows you to quickly create a service document explaining how to properly change your tires.
Phase 2: Change Mangement
You might be wondering why more organizations choose Change Management for phase 2 over WT Parts.
The answer is quite simple. It’s because most companies are already doing a change process today in one way, shape, or form.
You might be more familiar with the outdated process, or what I like to refer to as ‘the red folder’.
Many companies today still trudge around the office with that red manila folder when they need sign off on a change. They walk from station to station with documents, prints and more to whoever needs to sign off on that change to get it done.
The Windchill Change Management piece has the ability to replicate what your physical real-world processes can. This allows you to entrench the workflows you’ve already established digitally, inside Windchill.
This is also one of the many reasons why you should not be afraid of the Change Management capabilities inside of Windchill.
So how does change management inside of Windchill work exactly?
The out-of-the-box Windchill Change Management workflows include problem reports, change requests, and change notifications.
Built within the core capabilities of Windchill Change Management, there’s a process in place for problem reports.
Starting at the beginning, the typical entry level is what’s called, ‘the problem report’. You can think of this as your digital suggestion box. Anyone can create a problem report (PR).
With a widget, your problem report gets pushed forward to a change admin, who can then review that report.
Your change admin has the ability to either approve or reject the change request. They can even send it back to the person who originated it (if needed) to ask for further clarification.
This helps you easily keep track of your problem reports, know the length of time they have been opened, and be aware of how many reports are currently active. This enables you to see, as a company, how you’re doing with respect to your problem reports.
The next step along the way is a change request. In the instance that your problem report is moved forward, it gets sent to the next person in line who sees that as an engineering change request.
At this point, there may be some additional research to say, “well, wait, now what other part is used, or what other assembly part is done, and what they might impact?”
When deciding to make a change, its crucial to think downstream and about what the implications of that change might be.
This is what the engineering change request feature inside of Windchill is all about. It allows you to do the research.
Once you meet the set of criteria or you obtain a certain serial number, you can say – “yes, we are going to do that.”
This allows you to have a formalized process where you can either individually approve changes or run change requests through a more formalized review board.
That’s when the change notification task gets assigned back to your design engineer that can then go into Creo, open up the part, and make the change.
The best part? With Windchill Change Management you actually have a way to keep track of your changes, processes, and documentation.
You’ll no longer need to wonder what hasn’t been completed or what the status of a change request might be.
Although that’s the out of the box Windchill Change Management functionality, there’s a lot of subtleties and nuances that can be tailored and configured to your specific company needs. It doesn’t have to be a strict 1 to 1 mapping – there’s flexibility with respect to how you map and manage them.
Say, for example – you had three different problem reports on one specific part. You could now bundle those altogether and roll that into a single change request.
You could also take 2 or 3 different change requests and roll those forward into a single change notification.
Yes, this change process will be new and different – it’s designed to make your life easier.
The difference is – now you’re not cruising around the office with that red folder trying to catch up with all the information. Instead, everything you need is right in front of you. You can see which assemblies will be impacted, what you have on-hand, and what series you want to do the cutover on.
That concludes the first half of a closed loop change management process.
Phase 3: Windchill Quality
The second half of the closed loop change management process stems from things such as nonconformance, that actually come from the Windchill quality management piece.
Again, more Windchill functionality here is also tied together in WT Parts, but these are your corrective and preventive actions.
Looking at the nonconformance piece – where you actually build and manufacture something, but it isn’t measuring out right. Or perhaps your drilled holes that are in the wrong place…or your part is the wrong dimension…or something to that extent.
Windchill Quality enables corrective actions you can take against these incidents to make sure that you’re not building parts to the wrong specifications or dealing with nonconformance. This helps you to take preventive action.
In other words, what steps are you going to take to make sure that you don’t make the same mistakes again? What are you going to do with the parts that you’ve already built?
That’s the second half of the closed loop change management process.
To truly explain how all the Windchill functionalities can be intertwined to create a true ‘digital thread’ – this article would go on for days.
Sure, you can learn about all the different parts and pieces individually, but my organization has a real, tight, concise methodology for doing this.
That’s why EAC Product Development Solutions is here to help. We know and understand what it takes to get your system stood up and in place to truly transform your organization.
Don’t leave your Windchill system with untapped potential. It’s time to make the most out of your money.
1. Why do I need to do regular maintenance on my PTC Windchill system?
Critical systems, like Windchill PLM, must be available to users. This is why it is so important to do regular maintenance on your PTC Windchill system. Windchill system outages can be costly and impact system adoption and usage. Therefore, it is recommended that you complete regular, preventative maintenance to identify and resolve issues before they cause performance problems or service interruptions.
2. What is included in the Alliance program?
We start by assessing your department and company’s needs. We combine the assessment results with our understanding of successful Windchill implementations and deliver recommendations and a plan for a stable, high-performance Windchill instance. The flexibility of the Alliance program allows us to configure an engagement as needed. This gives us the ability to tailor the program specifically to your company.
3. Can my staff complete the Windchill maintenance activities?
Certainly! Keep in mind that preventative Windchill maintenance tasks are commonly an afterthought, and other projects are likely to take precedence. As the staff becomes busier, their dependence on a functioning Windchill system increases. These would be times when a system outage during a critical project could prove to be disastrous.
4. Can you train my staff to complete Windchill maintenance tasks?
Yes, in fact we would love to help train your staff how to complete Windchill maintenance tasks. EAC has PTC certified instructors that are available to deliver all of the Windchill Business and System Admin training courses offered by PTC. After attending these classes your staff will be ready to take on their new Windchill responsibilities. Additionally, we can provide mentoring with our Windchill experts to answer all of your Windchill maintenance questions.
5. What are some benefits of using the EAC Alliance program?
One of the core benefits of the EAC Alliance Program is the ability to take a proactive approach to maintaining your Windchill system – ensuring high availability and performance. By completing regular system maintenance and software updates you are able to better leverage your PTC investment. You can also eliminate the need to maintain a staff of Windchill Administration experts by assigning these system and business admin tasks to our EAC’s expert consultants. Our Windchill consultants have years of experience and complete these same activities on a daily, weekly and monthly basis for many Alliance Program customers.
6. Are Windchill system updates and upgrades included in the Alliance Program?
Yes, the EAC Alliance Program can be structured to include Windchill system updates and upgrades. When you include this in your Alliance Program you can easily budget a fixed cost over the upcoming months and years.
7. Can you support my Global company?
Yes. While EAC is based in the United States, we are part of the PTC Strategic Partner network giving us access to many additional resources overseas. We call on these partners to help with implementation, training, and support services local to international facilities.
8. Are you able to provide 24/7 Windchill support?
Yes. We can provide your company access to our support case submission system, which will allow your Windchill users to log cases at any time of day. If emergency Windchill support is required (noted by the priority level assigned to your case), our team will be notified immediately and begin support. If you require overseas support, and international support is included in your Alliance Program agreement, we will coordinate with a local PTC partner to address the issue.
9. Doesn’t my PTC Maintenance agreement include similar Windchill services?
No. Your PTC maintenance agreement covers all Windchill updates to software that you have purchased as well as technical support should you have a problem that requires resolution. It does not include the services necessary to update, upgrade and maintain your Windchill system.
10. How much does the EAC Alliance Program cost?
This varies based on the complexity of your Windchill environment and the level of support you would like to include in your service level agreement (SLA). This can be determined by having a quick conversation with your team and proposing a solution that correctly addresses your needs. Contact us today for further information!
Windchill is a mission-critical enterprise system with multiple components and touch points across an entire enterprise. Because of this complexity, you might recognize the need for Windchill Managed Services.
EAC has created a managed services program for your Windchill system – The EAC Alliance Program. The Alliance Program provides PTC Windchill managed services such as Windchill administration and support.
Our team of expert system administrators help improve system performance, optimize server and license configurations, and maintain a stable PLM environment for your organization.
Windchill Managed Services Percent of Uptime
95.1% of our EAC Alliance Program customers achieve 100% Windchill uptime. Our customers that do not have 100% Windchill uptime still maintain over 99% availability. This is an overall average of 99.95% or more uptime.
Windchill Managed Services Predictive Maintenance
Our Alliance program executes planned (weekly, monthly, etc) Windchill maintenance. Predictive maintenance is more efficient and the preferred approach to system maintenance. Roughly 1/4 of Alliance customers choose to implement PTC System Monitor (PSM) as a way to bolster EAC’s already rigorous proactive maintenance.
Speed/Performance of Windchill with Managed Services
100% of EAC’s Alliance Program customers see an improvement in the speed and performance of their Windchill system. Out of the box, Windchill leaves a lot of room for performance tuning and server optimization. Our EAC Alliance Program Team are skilled in analyzing and optimizing system resources to suit your individual needs
Windchill Managed Services Security/Patches
100% of our EAC Alliance customers receive (or are notified) of patches. This way you can be assured that your system is running with maximum security at all times.
Want to learn more about what our EAC Alliance Program has to offer? Download our Alliance Program Brochure and check out the top 10 questions we get about our Windchill Managed Services.