Before the COVID-19 pandemic severely curtailed business travel for nearly two years, Withings’ Paris-based engineers needed to physically travel to China 4 to 5 times a year. In China, design files stored on local servers sometimes could not be easily accessed. Anticipating this, the French team would need to download all the latest design files on their computers before leaving for China.
Using Onshape, the core engineering team in France can now instantly share the latest design changes with their colleagues, suppliers and manufacturing partners overseas – overcoming one of their most frustrating communication bottlenecks.There is no longer a need to send massive files back and forth by email or Dropbox. Everyone across the world always has the confidence they are working with the latest most accurate data.
Withings also credits two unique Onshape collaboration tools – Branching and Merging, and Multi-Part Part Studios – for helping to accelerate their design process. Multiple Withings engineers can now simultaneously branch off the main design and explore alternative designs independently, later coming back to merge the best ideas into a final design. Onshape’s modeling environment also allows engineers to design multiple related parts at the same time in the same space versus bouncing back and forth between individual part files. This process mimics the way the brain works for creating assemblies.
How Withings Saves $50K a Year in PDM Costs
According to Tucoulat, Onshape’s built-in PDM saved Withings $65K USD (€62K EUR) in its first year and $50K USD (€48K EUR) annually in subsequent years compared to file-based, add-on PDM systems they evaluated. Sticker prices aside, Tucoulat says he was frustrated by an extra $28K USD (€27K EUR) in hidden training and installation costs of file-based PDM as well as the length of the buying process itself.
“I spent more than two months talking with ‘old’ PDM providers. We organized several face-to-face meetings to understand how their software worked, what kind of licenses we needed, and how we could integrate their software,” he recalls. “I couldn’t test their software during these two months as they were unwilling to provide licenses for beta testing.”
“They explained that we would need to purchase servers to host our data and that it would take 4 to 6 months to set up and fully deploy their solution.”
“In contrast, when I went on the Onshape website and talked to their bot, I got a conference call with the Onshape sales team an hour later. The next day I was testing their solution without any need for a license. After two weeks of beta testing, our team was up and running with Onshape,” Tucoulat adds.
The time savings realized from adopting Onshape magnifies the PDM savings even further, asserts Navellou: “To make our products stand out in the market, the most important thing is for us to iterate every day. We design something, prototype it, test it, make modifications and then start the loop all over again. It’s such a huge benefit that our engineers no longer have to waste time worrying about data management and can spend more of their time focusing on design.”