There's some spectulative thought at my company of implementing a PLM system from Aras; curious if anyone had insights on how well it works with Inventor.
I'm currently unable to access the ARAS site ( http://aras.com ) It may be temporariliy down.
However, I looked at it and it seems to be a good tool for progammers. It is open source (free), but must be customized for use. You need to count in the cost of customization when comparing it to ready to use applications. I'll bet that the purchased apps will beat the free ones in overall cost of implementation and usage.
Do you have special requirements that purchased apps cannot supply?
Interesting how Aras's website has a link to Siemens' website. Why is it that no one seems to care about PLM except Siemens?
A Company in one of my previous lives drank the kool-aid. PLM did absolutely nothing except cost more and more as implementation progressed. The vendor, while proclaiming that he really understood the business, was in a complete fog. It was like watching a guy step on a rake, only to turn around and step on another rake. Finally, after two years and absolutely no measurable benefit, the Company gave up on it.
I hope your guys really do their research. PLM pretends to offer a lot of benefit, but in my obviously bitter opinion, it's nothing but fluff. But who knows, maybe it'll turn out ok for you.
I'm just sayin'.
I'm not really in the loop about it and I think it's just in the looking around phase. We're a disparate constellation of companies in the same basic business. With the exception of about 2/3rds of the companies on the same ERP system, we're all rather stand alone with no real commonality in methods or even CAD systems. For instance; our ECN system is just an Access db with no tie-in to the ERP other than us looking up numbers and dates and manually filling them in. Our BOMs and parts lists are the same except in reverse (pull next numbers from the ERP, create an Engineering BOM in a customized app and send that to Production for them to assemble into a real BOM within the ERP system).
I guess we're like a lot of folks, where doing changes and updating decades-old BOMs and drawings takes far more time than doing anything new from scratch. But maybe the idea of a more integrated system that saves time and effort is more fantasy than reality. I was just curious if anyone had any horror stories about this particular system - though as usual in the ERP/PLM/Buzzword world, their website is far from concrete, vaguely promising all things for all scenarios, with concrete explanations of actual software packages hard to devine.
Just ran across this post, am with Aras and seems like there might be some misunderstanding about our PLM solution in the previous responses.
If you need a PLM system that is Item-based as opposed to File-based and includes out-of-the-box functionality for Engineering BOM, parts, materials, Approved Vendors, alternates & substitutes, design-to-goal, product costing, etc that’s integrated with project management and has enterprise change workflows… then Aras might be worth checking out.
Under the covers is an advanced PLM platform that is fully customizable (but you don’t have to do any customizing to use the system). It’s browser-based and highly scalable, extensible and has open Web services APIs for enterprise integration if you need to tie it into existing systems at your company.
The OOTB PLM solutions are freely available as enterprise open source, which means there are no PLM license fees… we sell optional subscription packages, consulting and training (that’s how we make $$). Your call if you want to buy something or just use it for free (if use for free, just pls ask questions in the forums - our support people are for subscribers :-)
There are also packaged integration connectors for Inventor and AutoCAD (these are 3rd party add-on products which typically cost money… although there is an open source AutoCAD connector available from Minerva France).
Also, should say that if you've already got Vault, you can use it with Vault instead of the rip & replace situation other PLM systems require.
Aras runs on Microsoft SQL server, Windows Server, IIS and .NET and users access with standard IE browser. If you know what you’re doing, you can download & install in under an hour and be loading users and data by the afternoon.
Here are some links that might be helpful:
solution overview http://www.aras.com/solutions/
video demo http://www.aras.com/getting-started/videos-demos.a
support forums http://www.aras.com/community/forums/
Aras PLM software download http://www.aras.com/downloads/
Hope this helps.