Integrating CAD and PLM has been something engineers have talked about for over 30 years. So what makes doing this in the cloud different?

With the new direct integration between Onshape and Propel, engineers can now sync data to cloud Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) system more easily than ever. The new connector allows users to create new PLM items, sync fields bi-directionally, and publish Onshape assemblies in Propel. By utilizing a robust integration framework, the connector can be configured in many ways depending on your workflow and use cases.

Why PLM Matters to You, the Engineer

Many engineers would love to just live in the world of CAD, designing really cool and awesome products. But once you get beyond a small handful of engineers, you really need a PLM solution. PLM isn’t meant for just keeping engineers in sync with the latest product updates, but just as importantly, keeping everyone else outside engineering on the same page.

So when you change what seems like a trivial component, you want to make sure that your purchasing team doesn’t buy one million of the wrong parts. Or that sales teams are selling the wrong product specs. Having an easy flow between CAD and PLM makes it easy for engineers to stay productive while keeping everyone else happy!

What’s in it For You?

You can now easily transfer engineering data into your PLM system without ever leaving Onshape. This integration prevents you from duplicating work. You can seamlessly create new parts and generate part numbers with proper numbering schemes and keep your assemblies updated as they are modified.

Propel users can leverage the connector to ensure that the current design information is making it into the PLM system with accurate, current data and that once ready, can go through a formal approval process and be distributed to the right partners.

Integration Framework Through Zapier

By utilizing Zapier as an integration framework, you can configure the integration to easily fit how your engineers work. You can control when and what data is pushed from Onshape to Propel, and vice-versa, whether upon release or in real time. Zapier acts as a non-programmatic way to interact with both Onshape and Propel’s APIs, allowing you to configure and manage your integration without code.

Recommended use cases for the Onshape and Propel Connector.

Create New PLM Items and Generate Part Numbers

Creating new items in Propel from Onshape is a seamless process. Here’s how it works:

  1. Select your part category and click “Save” to generate a new part number and revision from Propel.
  2. Once the part is created in Propel, the part number and revision field can be updated in Onshape depending on your configuration.

In Propel, a link back to the Onshape assembly can be found on the corresponding item’s Attachments tab. When Onshape parts are created in Propel, a link to the Part Studio the part belongs to is attached to the Propel Item.

Sync Fields Bi-Directionally

The Onshape and Propel connector allows you to quickly and easily sync data between the systems. Leveraging Zapier’s data-mapping tool, you can use an intuitive user interface to choose which fields will be synced between the systems and when the synchronization will occur.

Publish Onshape Assemblies to Propel

Once you’re ready to release your assembly design to PLM, you can publish to Propel. All parts created in Propel are added to the assembly and it will continue to be updated when the assembly is modified depending on your configuration.

Bill of Materials (BOM) represented in Onshape (left) and Propel (right).

See the Propel Connector in Action

Join us at the joint Onshape and Propel webinar at 11am (EST) on Thursday, March 28, to see a live demonstration. In the webinar, we will present how to streamline creation of parts and assemblies from Onshape to Propel, synchronize product updates across CAD and PLM, and better support business models like Engineer to Order.