Our Verdict…

PTC Windchill PLM is a robust yet customizable solution for businesses. We found the out-of-the-box functionality was perfect for discrete manufacturers, especially those in regulated industries. The UI might take a little training to master, but it covers all the functionality a PLM needs.

Windchill is best for businesses with at least 5 users, and is not suited for smaller operations. This is a great fit for businesses looking to grow beyond a basic PDM. We also advise against this software for process manufacturers.

8.9
Our Rating
based on our expert editorial analysis
8.0
User Rating
based on 1 user review
Best for: Discrete manufacturers and manufacturers within regulated industries with annual revenue averaging $25M-$500M.
Pros:
  • Effective collaboration tools
  • Extensive security measures
  • Multi-device compatibility
Starting Price
$30 /user/month
Price Range Learn More
   $     $     $     $     $   
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  • Developer PTC
  • Client OS Web
  • Deployment Cloud Hosted

What is PTC Whindchill PLM?

PTC Windchill PLM provides out-of-the-box functionality across a comprehensive portfolio of core PDM and advanced PLM applications. This software provides the digital continuity, configuration management and associativity for product data (CAD, software, bills of material, requirements, test, simulations, etc.). This solution also automates the standardized processes that help accelerate time to market, reduce costs, and improve quality.

PTC recognizes the need for fast, scalable tools to manage your product lifecycle and drive revenue, reduce costs, and stay competitive.

Pros Cons
  • PLM offers a single source of truth on business data.
  • Compatible with both CAD and ECAD.
  • Real-time IoT visibility.
  • Highly customizable layout based on what each user needs to see.
  • Not designed for process manufacturers.
  • Not ideal for businesses with under 5 users.
  • Learning curve may require detailed training to fully utilize.

Target Market

PTC Windchill PLM is designed for businesses with annual revenue averaging $25M-$500M. Aimed at SMEs, this solution is ideal for discrete manufacturers and manufacturers within regulated industries, such as medical devices, aerospace, or automotive.

Our Ratings

Usability - 8.3 Has a responsive yet slightly dated interface; US is customizable; navigation is straightforward but may require some training.
Support - 8.8 Includes eSupport, which requires a user login to access; Knowledge Base offers articles on a variety of topics; How-To center is accessible to all; does not appear to be phone support.
Features - 9.3 Robust system includes a wide range of PLM tools; higher priced plans have additional functionality and optional add-ons are available; regular version updates increase functionality.
Security - 9.7 Deployment is available on-premise or on cloud-hosted servers; user permissions cna limit who sees what; historical notes are added to all files to create a clear audit trail of who did what and when.
Value - 8.6 Plans are based on total user licenses and modules selected; higher cost plans include more features; Quick Start versions offered by VARs can begin at slightly lower costs.
Performance - 8.7 Functionality was relatively fast and responsive, though there were some delays when running tasks; no significant slowness or performance issues.
Scalability - 9.2 The per user costs can make the annual subscription costs quickly add up; separate pricing for CAD and non-CAD user licenses can balance out the budget.

CAD and ECAD Compatibility

PTC Windchill PLM offers one unique advantage over similar PLM programs by offering compatibility with both CAD and ECAD tools, including:

  • Autodesk
  • SolidWorks
  • Altium
  • Mentor Graphics
  • And more

By supporting so many different design tools, Windchill allows everyone to use their preferred CAD or ECAD. For instance, if one company acquires another, the new acquisition is usually expected to change tools and procedures to match the parent company. With Windchill, those employees can continue using their existing design solution rather than go through the time and effort to train on a new system.

Integrations

PTC Windchill PLM can integrate with popular ERP products including top products like:

  • SAP
  • Oracle
  • Infor

Custom integrations are also available. You can even use two separate ERP solutions to cover all your business data. Combining these integrations with Windchill means your business gets a single source of truth for measuring performance.

What Features Are Missing?

While using Windchill, a few extra features might have improved the experience:

  • Modern design: While Windchill is incredibly robust, the design is a little lacking. This doesn’t impact performance, so it’s simply a measure of personal preference for users. Fortunately, it’s easy to customize how data is displayed within that framework.

Pricing Plans

Plan Pricing Features
Base Per user costs Begins with the core PDM:.
  • Visualization
  • Design collaboration
  • Project planning and execution
  • Change management
  • Document management
Advanced Per user costs Includes all Base features, plus:
  • EBOM and BOM management
  • Enterprise change management
  • Security labels and agreements
Premium Per user costs Includes Advanced features, plus:
  • XBOM management
  • BOM transformation
  • Component management
  • Supplier part management

Subscription-based pricing for PT Windchill PLM is based on the total number of users and selected modules. Add-on applications are also available to further customize the solution. Each additional feature will increase the costs. Contact for a quote to discover which package is best for your business.

VAR companies like BW Design offer a Quick Start version which includes 5 CAD and 10 non-CAD user licenses for a short implementation timeline. For example, a business selecting Quick Start with 15 total users might pay between $14,000 for the user licenses in addition to $20,000 for initial setup with data migration services, making the first year costs around $35,000.

Is Windchill a PDM or PLM?

Windchill is a PLM software, suitable for anyone outgrowing their existing PDM solution.

Is WIndchill just a PLM?

Windchill is primarily a PLM solution, though some add-on modules can increase the base functionality. While it can integrate with ERP and MES software, it is not considered one on its own.

Alternatives

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What We Like
Enhanced collaboration and communication
Improved data visibility and management
Streamlined product development processes
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Client OS
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Deployment
Cloud or On-Premises
What We Like
Affordable pricing and scalability
Comprehensive document management capabilities
Easy to use interface

Summary

Based on our review, we found PTC Windchill PLM to be a comprehensive and robust solution for discrete manufacturers in need of product lifecycle management. The out-of-the-box functionality of the Base package is ideal for growing businesses in need of more functionality than a PDM.

Windchill subscription pricing is based on the total number of users and functionality required. As such, it’s best for companies with a minimum of 5 CAD users in order to justify the costs. And it is best for discrete manufactures, not process manufacturers.

PTC Windchill PLM
★★★★★
★★★★★
(1)
PTC Windchill PLM provides out-of-the-box functionality across a comprehensive portfolio of core PDM and advanced PLM applications.
Price Range
   $     $     $     $     $   
   $     $     $     $     $   
Starting Price
$30/user/month
Client OS
Web
Deployment
Cloud Hosted

User Reviews of PTC Windchill PLM

★★★★★
★★★★★
Submitted on May 12th, 2023 by Timmothy Samset

It’s been decent but just very hard to learn

The Good…

Their robustness and how you can create change orders

The Bad…

It’s difficult to learn