PLM and Mentor Graphics Integration for Smoother Engineering Network Provider [Case Study]

By: | January 12th, 2017


Casa Systems offers a new category of cable edge devices, based on disruptive technologies. Their products help cable operators address the market for interactive digital video and broadband IP services over cable networks.

The company was looking for a better way to manage their Bill of Materials (BOM) and change management. They had a manual process in place where everything was tracked in Excel spreadsheets. Communication with their Contract Manufacturers was also performed via Excel. Change notices were created by the purchasing/configuration manager, rather than engineering. They did not have a formal change control process in place, which led to the inevitable issues of accountability, delays, and lost information. The company was growing incredibly fast, and they needed to quickly find a solution to address their issues.

Electronic Change Management System with Integration to Mentor Graphics® DxDesigner

Casa had a set of criteria in selecting a BOM and change management solution. Like most small yet growing companies, they wanted an intuitive, easy to use, and affordable product that would scale with them. But their primary requirement was that it integrated with their DxDesigner tool from Mentor Graphics.

Kristin Couturier is Documentation Control Manager/ISO Administrator for Casa Systems. She was hired with the expectation of finding a Change/Product Lifecycle Management system. Ms. Couturier had previous experience with PLM systems, so she knew what she was looking for, and after seeing a demo on Omnify Empower, she knew it was exactly what they needed.

Ms. Couturier and the engineering team found the product to be very intuitive with easy access to necessary product information. It also integrates seamlessly with their engineering design environment and offers a price that is right for a small company. For them, the key selling point was that Empower PLM talks to the engineering design software, Mentor Graphics DX Designer. With other PLM systems, it was an additional module at an additional cost.



Hosted Solution Eliminates IT Overhead for Small Company

Omnify offers both on-premises and hosted deployment options to meet the customer’s specific requirements. Casa opted for a hosted deployment to eliminate the overhead of managing the system themselves. With the cloud-based system, they don’t have to worry about a server to maintain, and upgrades can be done remotely.

Because the company was growing, they wanted the implementation to go as quickly and smoothly as possible. They decided to start with a clean slate and only import components and their Approved Vendor List (AVL) as well as current BOMs and their revisions, rather than the complete change history. Their local Value Added Reseller, Trilogic, worked closely with the team at Casa to make sure they met their timeframe goals for implementation. Casa was up and running within two days with everyone using the system fluently within a month.

Casa now has automated BOM, Document, and Engineering Change processes. Automated Engineering Change Notices (ECNs) alert users of a change in real-time and users can easily see a summary of all redlines on the BOM. Because the schematic drives practically everything on the BOMs, they don’t even mark them up when making a change because the instructions for the change are in the ECO. Once the new schematic is uploaded, Empower automatically compares it to the existing revision and automatically redlines the BOM, a well-loved feature by the team at Casa.

Scalable Solution Grows with Casa

Casa chose a phased implementation approach to address immediate requirements and is now in the process of extending the usage of Empower by creating a bi-directional interface with their Enterprise Resources Planning (ERP) system, Microsoft Dynamics GP. Casa is working on a two-way interface between their hosted Empower PLM system and their on-premises ERP system to facilitate automated electronic data exchange between the two systems. As items are created and ECOs are processed in Empower, data will be transferred to Microsoft Dynamics GP through an automated process, further reducing the potential errors associated with manual data entry. Casa is very happy with the choice of Omnify Software and are continually finding ways to make the system more effective for their needs.

*Casa Systems works with Omnify Software Authorized Value Added Reseller, Trilogic, for ongoing Empower PLM software training and support.

Michael Cooney

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