Inaccessible data, inflexible processes, and obtuse user interfaces: most PLM software products have quite the reputation. Aras changed all that and continues to revolutionize the user experience in PLM with the introduction of Dynamic Product Navigation. DPN is a completely visual user experience for your product’s end-to-end lifecycle data, driven by the 3D CAD viewable of the product itself.

Check out this short video to learn how Dynamic Product Navigation in Aras Innovator changes how you can experience your product’s lifecycle data:


How Dynamic Product Navigation Makes Aras Different

How do you visualize your product’s information today? How fast can you access it, gain insights from it, and reconfigure it to learn more about the information your PLM system already contains? How much of the information across your product’s lifecycle can users get to when they need it, in one centralized, easy-to-use interface, and what could you change about that process, if you had to?

A lack of accessibility, insight, and flexibility are just a few of the challenges that most PLM systems face, and that Aras Innovator dramatically improves with its novel approach to accessing, visualizing, and interrogating product information: Dynamic Product Navigation, or, DPN.

DPN is a highly visual user experience that puts data from across the product lifecycle in context with lightweight 3D visualizations for a fun, interactive, and fully dynamic way to experience your product’s information. Aras Innovator is CAD-neutral, allowing companies to bring together data from almost any CAD programs they already have in use and deliver it to more users for access, viewing, and interaction. DPN has been available in Aras Innovator since Version 12SP2, with the updates shown above being released in SP7 and 8.

DPN can serve up data from any PLM application on the platform—visualization is not just relegated to one or two applications—and it can be made available, through permissions, to every user end-to-end throughout the product’s lifecycle. Using DPN, it’s easy and intuitive to filter and search throughout the product’s visual representation for PLM information you need. Plus, it’s a highly flexible process for administrators and users alike to configure—and reconfigure—views, accessing the deep product lifecycle insights they need to do their jobs.

So how does Dynamic Product Navigation overcome the challenges of traditional PLM to help your teams?

1 – Access: Make Your Data Work for You

Users put data into a PLM system, but how many people across your organization could benefit from gaining access to it? If only the engineers who put it in there can access and make sense of it again, you’re getting some value from your product’s data—but not as much as you could be.

PLM and CAD are traditionally known as hard to learn and expensive to access, so their value is limited to the few users that are granted licenses. Dynamic Product Navigation in Aras Innovator ensures that even non-CAD-users can access and derive value from CAD visualizations. In DPN, CAD data managed in Aras Innovator is transformed into fast-loading, lightweight  viewables. These in turn offer clear, visual, and  intuitive context to the many reams of PLM data your system currently holds about your product’s assemblies and components.

Unlike traditional CAD, there is no extensive training overhead, and no use of expensive CAD licenses, required to do more with the data your engineers already manage in PLM—simply by making it accessible to any users who may need it. There is no additional software to be installed or maintained, and the viewer works with all major browsers and utilizes the client machine's internal graphics capabilities. 

2 – Insight: Quickly Understand Complex Data

PLM software is also notoriously complicated to navigate and interrogate. Critical data like released state, part cost, and effectivity is stored throughout the system but difficult to find without extensive training and expertise. For non-expert users to see part data together in one place with part visuals, and for expert users to quickly access and filter by the information they need in context of the 3D data it relates to, can help all users quickly gain insights for critical next steps.

Your own product viewable works like a dashboard for key metrics like released state, cost, effectivity, and more—helping users to quickly pinpoint the right changes and improvements needed to meet their goals. They can then quickly filter by any properties and attributes available on the data, save views that are useful to them, and open part metadata directly from inside the interface to drill-down into the information and next steps they need.

3 – Flexibility: Construct 3D Views Dynamically

By leveraging the powerful Query Builder administrator feature in Aras Innovator, Dynamic Product Navigation constructs the information live each time it is used. These are not past states or static views: information is served live whenever the query is run. And users can easily filter by parameters—any property or attribute of the data made accessible by the administrator setting up the query—to narrow down information they’ll see in context with lightweight geometry.

The view can be set to display rendering modes, which can apply custom opacity and color based on selected properties. Opacity helps to de-emphasize parts or expose elements of the geometry that would otherwise be obscured. With these modes, users can see more of the parts, while highlight colors help to focus attention and pinpoint key data. Plus, views can be saved and re-used, presenting the same query, render settings, and camera angle defined during the save.

With so much flexibility for administrators and users alike, Dynamic Product Navigation can be easily configured to accommodate new processes across the product lifecycle. It’s not limited to the Product Engineering application in Aras Innovator, either, but can accommodate any linked data on a part: requirements, simulation results, quality and risk data, manufacturing information, and more. DPN allows your product's CAD structure to become a visual "one-stop-shop" for related information: an easy-to-navigate visual repository of PLM data. 

Learn all about the Aras vision for Dynamic Product Navigation, along with newly released features here, in this full-length marketing demo series: Interrogate Products Using Dynamic Product Navigation.