Major benefits of SAP PLM Integration for Multi-CAD



1) Advantages of the SAP Engineering Control Center Interfaces (ECTR).

  1. All CAD relevant data and links are available at any time for downstream processes. This includes procurement, project system, production planning, production preparation, production, sales, services etc.
  2. Engineers can work comfortably in their own CAD environment – there are no interfaces between ERP and PLM System.
  3. Continuous SAP change management with a complete change history in one system without interfaces.
  4. Significant cost savings due to optimized CAD process integration in SAP and no cost for a separate PDM system or its interfaces.


2) Increase efficiency in engineering through a single, intuitive user interface and easy and controlled access to product data.

  1. A single, intuitive user interface for the integration of all authoring tools such as CAD including SolidWorks, AutoCAD, Inventor, Solid Edge, ProE/Creo, CATIA, NX, EPLAN, ECAD, and any others you may acquire in the future.
  2. Easy and controlled roles based access to product data generated in CAD, CAM, Microsoft Office, and more.
  3. Intelligent process support. With the SAP ECTR integration tool, design and engineering teams can combine these diverse data sources into one holistic overview of product data to do their jobs with highest efficiency. This intelligent process helps support companies deliver innovative products and services to market faster.


3) Ensure a holistic product description for increased transparency - Provide a single platform, SAP, to get a 360 degree product view, including mechanics, electronics, software, simulation, purchasing data, and more.

  1. Achieve a single source of truth for product data.
  2. Ensure product data consistency.
  3. Ensure R&D efficiency across disciplines.
  4. Reduce errors caused by data inconsistency.
  5. Save time because all product data can be accessed and shared in one single platform.


4) Reduce operating costs by integrating all authoring tools with SAP Business Suite, reducing the number of interfaces.

  1. Flexibility to integrate a heterogeneous landscape into SAP PLM.
  2. Embedded quality and sustainability management into authoring tool interface.
  3. Implement in shorter time.
  4. Reduce cost for non-compliance.
  5. Reduced maintenance cost for number of interfaces.


SAP (PLM + MES + ERP) = SAP (Closed-Loop Product Lifecycle):

SAP is the only system on the market that offers a fully integrated, closed-loop product lifecycle solution. By closing the loop between PLM (Product Lifecycle Management), MES (Mfg. Execution System) and ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) systems, manufacturers are able to facilitate data sharing between the functional areas of engineering, the shop floor, and front office. The goal is to deliver visibility that will help streamline product delivery cycles, eliminate redundant manual processes and waste, and help proactively pinpoint and correct quality issues before they become too costly and pose barriers to customer satisfaction.



Based on our direct interaction and encountered challenges at customers, we have seen the usage of several types of 3D and 2D CAD tools leads to inconsistencies and disconnects, leading to rework and manual corrections adding unnecessary cost and delays to design and engineering of products. The ECTR provides a user-friendly environment for engineers, integrating file and information management of design data generated by third party authoring tools, related metadata and information from ECC.

The ECTR uses an explorer-like tree structure, enabling the user to navigate among the elements of information available for a product, and its subsystems in development. It enables all the usual file operations from an explorer. The icons representing these elements are very well designed, such that the user can see at a glance what the life cycle status of the element is, if the element is checked out and to whom, if it is consistent with other available information, etc. The ECTR makes it possible to link documents to ERP information such as orders, material masters, etc. Workflows can be configured to be triggered upon specific types of actions, for example review of submitted changes before release of a document; released documents become read-only, etc.

ARC Advisory Group believes SAP ECTR can provide cost benefits, and acceleration of “time-to-market”. The user interface is user friendly and very well designed. The more tools SAP integrates into ECTR, the more valuable it will become for more customers. It is likely that solution addresses a large portion of PLM users. Additional integration may be necessary for heavy PDM and digital plant simulation users.

“…We've reduced average months from initial project setup to first sale by 71%, added 50% more time for priorities in engineering, and significantly reduced costs by moving to one system, just to name a few…" Director PLM & Engineering Services, Industrial Manufacturer.