Announcing Arena PDXViewer: a free web app for sharing product data

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I am excited to announce the launch of Arena PDXViewer—a free web app for viewing PDX files exported from any PLM, PDM or other business system. (Check it out here.)

Arena PDXViewer gives manufacturers and their supply chain partners a common view of product information—even when only one party has access to the PLM system where the data is housed.

PDX Viewer

To learn more about how and why Arena PDXViewer came to be, I talked with product manager Victor Gill. Victor, who came to Arena with lots of experience in manufacturing and other engineering-heavy environments, took a personal interest in making sure Arena PDXViewer was modern, easy to use and free. Read the following interview to learn more.

Why are you so excited to bring Arena PDXViewer to market?

From my years of working in the design engineering and manufacturing fields, I know first-hand how frustrating it can be to deal with the administrative end of communicating product data. While I was at DeltaValve, we had to make many operational changes to accommodate our rapid growth. We went from being a small company, writing ECOs and part numbers on a piece of paper, to being a large company with a PLM system that managed our entire product record.

As we grew, communicating the rich data we had in our PLM system to our vendors proved to be a difficult problem. We created a work-around where we would pull files one-by-one—BOMs, PDFs, drawings, etc.—and email the zipped production packages to our suppliers. Extracting product data to share with our supply chain was a very frustrating and training-intensive process. The ability to communicate using PDX files would have saved several steps, not only making the process faster, but less error-prone.

Why is Arena PDXViewer free?

It is very important to me that Arena PDXViewer is free. The market is currently lacking a free, easy-to-access PDX viewer that meets modern design standards—and this creates a huge problem in terms of who can use PDX files as part of their everyday business. Not having universal access to a PDX viewer is like having Adobe but not Acrobat Reader—what is the point of creating PDFs if no one can read them? In the same way, what is the point of creating PDX files if your vendors can’t view them?

The easier it is to share product data with partners and vendors, the more useful PLM software can be, so we saw Arena PDXViewer as something we could provide to help anyone who uses PLM software to bring their product to market.

How is Arena PDXViewer different from other PDX viewers available on the market?

There are a couple of big things that differentiate Arena PDXViewer from everything else that’s available out there. The first thing is that Arena PDXViewer is operating-system agnostic—for example, some PDX viewers don’t work on 32 or 64-bit machines, but Arena PDXViewer does.

Secondly, Arena PDXViewer does not require installation, so it’s extremely easy to start using. And because it’s cloud-based, you know you’re always using the latest version with all the newest features.

Another extremely important difference is that Arena PDXViewer is modern. Arena PDXViewer was designed with modern best practices for user interfaces, so it’s simple, straightforward and intuitive to use.

How do you get started using Arena PDXViewer?

In my mind, the best part about this viewer is its simplicity. It’s a straight-forward web app. So visit the Arena PDXViewer web page, click through to the app and open a PDX or view our sample file.

If you have any feedback or questions for Victor (or the rest of the Arena product team), please feel free to post a comment here, or send us a message on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. And don’t forget to bookmark Arena PDXViewer.

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About the Author

Alex Gammelgard
Alex managed social media marketing and communications at Arena from 2011 to 2012. Although coming in fresh to the manufacturing industry, Alex is married to an engineer and is well ... Read More 

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