The GKS Packaging product development team switched from file-based SOLIDWORKS to cloud-native Onshape in 2017.
“Each conveyor belt or special weighing system we build is a new design using standard components we’ve used before,” explains Geukes. “When we were using SOLIDWORKS, it would always end up in a mess, especially when you had more than one person working on it.”
“Keeping track of which parts we already had for the assembly and which ones we needed to produce was always difficult. Excuse my French, but using a file-based data management system was always a bitch,” he adds. “If you want to work on a part, but someone else has already opened it, you can only open it as read-only. Data management was always a hassle.”
Onshape’s built-in Product Data Management (PDM) system eliminated these bottlenecks as cloud-native CAD enables multiple engineers to simultaneously work on the same part or assembly. Whenever anyone on the team makes a design change, everyone else instantly sees it. No need to check-in or check-out files. Unlike with old file-based CAD systems, there is no longer any confusion over which version is the latest version. There is a much reduced likelihood of manufacturing the wrong part.
Geukes recalls also frequently running into problems with broken assemblies when he was designing his machines in SOLIDWORKS.
“If you had to make a hole bigger on a part and then open the old assembly, suddenly the whole thing changes and the left side of the screen turns red. It’s your own fault, because you were there when you did it, but it’s frustrating spending hours redoing your old work,” he says. “With Onshape, I now really appreciate the ability to branch a design and create versions. You really have to try your best to mess up an assembly.”
Expanded CAD Access and Reduced IT Overhead