Hello Jesse, could you introduce yourself and your company ?

Jesse Krenzelok, IT Special Projects, Riverside Machine and Engineering.

I work for Riverside Machine & Engineering which is a medical device and Aerospace manufacturer that has been working as one of the tier-one suppliers to many of the largest and recognizable leaders in those industries.

We provide assistance with the design process of many of these products and manufacture many extremely delicate and precise components that most other companies refuse to attempt. Over the seven years that I’ve been with the company, we’ve grown continuously.

Please, could you present your OpenPLM project ?

We have two OpenPLM servers running on dedicated Debian Squeeze rack servers in two different states. They share a single Xapian Index though a dedicated 100Mbpsx7 fiber optic line.

The two servers back up once a day, and if the fiber line is interrupted, a script allows the slave server to continue in read-only mode. Both servers back up to a NAS in a separate secure location once a day.

What were/are the major issues of this project ?

As usual, people are the major stumbling block. Most people don’t like change, and can’t see the reason for us to do this. Top management and engineering see the value, though, and that helps to push the initiative through.

Other issues were technical and specific to our deployment in nature- installing a single server directly from the written instructions was very simple. Our problems involved the backups.

Give a technical feedback concerning OpenPLM ?

OpenPLM has been a solid performer in testing, with some of the fastest response times of any of our database driven applications, and a very useful set of features that meet and occasionally even exceed and overlap into our ERP solution. There is always room for improvement, of course, though there are often good reasons for things to be how they are.

I will say that the distinction between part and document can be confusing for English-speaking manufacturers. We tend to think of Documents as papers, and Parts as physical objects, where Parts are more like wrappers, boxes or folders in openPLM.

It would also be nice to have a drag-to-connect feature in the navigate view. Many documents such as specifications relate to multiple sub-assemblies, and it would be efficient to be able to just grab a corner on a spec and drag an arrow over to a different part once the basic hierarchy is laid in.

How did/does the collaboration take place ?

Our company hired Philippe Joulaud to write some custom scripts to help tailor openPLM for our requirements. He wrote the code that allows two severs to share a Xapian Index, and then switch to a read-only version on the slave server in the event of a connection failure.

We selected Philippe because he was a founding member of LinObject, and was helpful and responsive in the openPLM forums.

What were his contributions ?

Aside from writing some Python scripts, he has very available for general Linux help related to openPLM.

Philippe aided me with gaining acceptance of openPLM by our company by joining our company President and I in a conference call where he helped make the case for the software. He also produced some very easy to understand graphical aides that made the openPLM Architecture easier for a layperson to understand.

What do you keep in mind about that collaboration ?

The collaboration took place; primarily via e-mail, though the initial stages included Skype and development work on an AWS (Amazon Web Server) that I could access to see what changes were being made.

Even though there is a large difference in time zones, Philippe has been good about responding to e-mail in a timely manner.

http://www.openplm.org/images/riverside.jpg http://www.openplm.org/images/brazing_experts.jpg