Like many newcomers to cloud-native product development, the Taymer engineering team left its file-based CAD platform behind because of data management headaches.
“We had always talked about rebuilding our PDM from the ground up because our vault in SOLIDWORKS became cluttered over the years,” says Taymer mechanical engineer Brendan McGaffey. “We have co-op students coming and going, and keeping track of everything as users change – each with a varying understanding of PDM – was causing issues.”
“With a PDM system, you have to be much more aware of every little change that you’re making,” he adds. “If you’re checking out the file, no one else can work on it until you check it back in. But say someone else didn’t notice that it was already checked out and they’ve been working on that model for a while. You would check it back in and now their model’s broken. I’m sure PDM works very well if people are very strict about it and follow it step by step. But our environment never seemed to work like that.”
Based in Canada, Taymer International Inc. is a world leader in manufacturing equipment for the wire & cable, pipe & tube, and fiber optic industries – including computer vision systems that detect product surface and dimensional defects, measure wrapping angles, inspect color quality, and verify print quality in-line during production. Taymer’s technology has also branched out to include the medical, pharmaceutical, packaging and metal industries.
“We constantly have new machines that need to be designed or altered – and we do a lot of different configurations of our machines using many of the same parts,” McGaffey says. “With Onshape, working on separate branches of a design just feels a lot cleaner. I find that building multiple versions of a machine in separate workspaces works a lot better for us.”
Although the original motivation for switching to Onshape in 2019 was to fix data management, McGaffey says that the cloud-native SaaS product development platform has already encouraged his team to rethink its entire design process. The most notable example has been with FeatureScript, Onshape’s open-source programming language that can be used to create custom CAD features specific to an industry or to even just an individual product.