Why my PDX Viewer is better than yours
If you’ve ever managed an interdisciplinary manufacturing project (one that involves engineers, purchasing, production, and contract manufacturing groups) you’ll know what I mean when I say each discipline speaks its own language.
When you’re dealing with engineers you’re talking CAD and design; when you’re working with purchasing and production you’re talking ERP and SCM. And if you have to share product data between these groups, the only way to make sure each system accepts the information is to send everything via email and spreadsheets.
While email and spreadsheets are fine for some things, they are not the best way to share a build package or a change order. This is why we developed our PDX viewer, Arena Exchange—a free cloud application that displays PDX build packages in an easy-to-read, navigable format. (To learn more about the PDX file standard, check out my previous post.)
We built Arena Exchange for ultimate usability, enabling it to work on any computer with any operating system and without any required set up. Our viewer has been the cleanest, simplest viewer on the market for some time, but we’ve recently introduced a new feature that brings Exchange to the next level—the ability to filter a build package.
Introducing Filter—the easiest way to break your BOM up into supplier-specific build packages
What can I do with Filter?
- I can catch mistakes without wasting time. Most of us are accustomed to creating a build package, finding a mistake at the last minute, and having to do all sorts of voodoo to fix the mistake. But with Arena Exchange, you can preview the finished product before you hit the point of no return.
- I can filter PDX files in bulk or by business objects. Sometimes you may want to remove a lot of data, sometimes you only want to get rid of a little. PDX Filter is set up to let you do both without locking you into a confusing wizard.
- I can make sure everyone has a common view of product data. Between your CMs,sub-contractors, raw material providers, and value-add engineering firms, your data may be accessed by people using a wide variety of business systems. PDX Filter provides a neat and tidy way of handing off this product data, so you can be sure it doesn’t change as it is broken into smaller pieces.
With Filter, you have the flexibility to decide what to include and exclude in your PDX build package. This new feature means that Exchange now gives you complete control over the exact set of parts and drawings you share with a subcontractor, vendor, or manufacturing partner.
How to use Filter to control your product data
Filter addresses an issue that affects everyone in the manufacturing process—control over what data is shared.
- Engineers can use Filter to remove unwanted or private files, items, manufacturers, and contacts from a build package before sharing with downstream partners, or requesting a quote.
- Procurement can use Filter to break build packages up into vendor-specific data sets for clear, unambiguous communication with vendors.
- Operations can use Filter to attach a customized build package to a work order so manufacturing partners have all the information they need to do their jobs.
- Contract manufacturers can use Filter to create a unique build package for each vendor when outsourcing aspects of production, such as cables, PCB, enclosures, or the shipping and packaging.
Give Arena Exchange a try—it’s free!