Solid Edge or NX? A reseller comments

Editor’s note: Kim Corbridge of Ally PLM Solutions, Inc. offered his checklist for users contemplating NX or Solid Edge. We publish it here with Kim’s permission.

Kim Corbridge

I am the director of sales at a Solid Edge and NX Reseller in Cincinnati. I have been selling Solid Edge since version 2. Prior to that, I was the Marketing Manager for Solid Edge when it was conceived, developed and launched. I have 5-6 years experience selling the NX solutions. I am not a spokesman for Siemens PLM. These are my opinions based on selling the solutions for some time and discussing this with a lot of folks.

If you are hoping to get a listing of functions that are in NX and not in Solid Edge, you can stop reading. It is not that easy.

I am frequently asked about this during a sales engagement; it hasn’t happened since yesterday. The question is: “Should I be considering Solid Edge or NX.” My answer is, “It depends on what you need.” This is not a 5-minute conversation, so answering here is not easy.

Here are my questions

Does someone require you to use NX? In our area there are a couple of large NX users that require their suppliers to use NX. For them, this is the end of the discussion – they need NX.

Do you want a fully integrated CAD/CAM/CAE environment? If you want any combination of CAD/CAM/CAE together, you should look at NX first. Solid Edge has good tools in these areas, but it is not 100% integrated like NX.

Are there specialized applications in NX that are targeted to your business? In our area this is usually mold design or die design for which NX has excellent applications. If you need these, you should look at NX first.

Are there other general features in NX that you need? The one I see most is very high end surface modeling – think of auto body styling. Solid Edge has some good surfacing tools, but they don’t match NX.

There are a few other tools in NX that don’t exist in Solid Edge that may be a key requirement to a given company. Product Template Studio is a good example.

Generally you will find Solid Edge easier to learn and use, but less flexible in some cases. For example, if Solid Edge has three ways to do a given function, NX has six. You are trading some level of flexibility for ease of learning and use – which is most important to you?

If you are looking to design a product and pump out drawings, look at Solid Edge first due to the lower price point. During the evaluation, if you need something Solid Edge cannot do, we can discuss NX.

The other question is price – people have the belief that NX costs $20,000 to get started, which is incorrect. You can get an entry level copy of NX in a node locked configuration for $7,500. Prices go up from there, but this version has the capability to meet the needs of many small- to medium-sized companies.

Finally, I have not completely developed my thoughts around Synchronous Technology (ST) since the implementation of ST in Solid Edge and NX are different. I am sure there are pros and cons to each implementation. Of course either implementation of ST is a generation beyond not having ST.

These are opinions I have developed while selling both products. They are not Siemens opinions. I take full responsibility for them – good or bad. I would be interested in opinions from others who have experience with both systems.

Kim Corbridge is Director of Corporate Sales at Ally PLM Solutions, Inc. , in Cincinnati, Ohio.