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Dual Monitors

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Visitor

Dual Monitors

I'm curious as to how many of you out there are running Pro/E (Creo) on a dual monitor setup. I'm trying to separate the coolness factor from what is truly gained by having two screens. Having been a Pro/E CAD operator full time for many years I can see it as being helpful in several scenarios:



  • when assembling a component, having it open in a separate window on the 2nd screen

  • having a reference drawing open on the 2nd screen

  • reference part or assembly model open on second screen

  • PLM system open on second screen

  • other applications open while Pro/E is on its own screen

As a CAD admin I'd have to build a business case for it, we'd be looking at buying minimum of 50 monitors. I know I'd have some users that wouldn't want a second screen andsome to whom it would be a constant distraction. For those of youthat are using two screens, what are your thoughts? In what ways do you feel it improves your work process? I don't see it as something that is easy to quantify to justify the cost, especially if it starts the "two monitors" snowball rolling down the hill (all of a sudden it's $20k in monitors).


What technical issues / glitches have you run into?


I started a survey over on the PTC community page here: http://communities.ptc.com/polls/1312


Thanks


Erik


(WF4 M220, PDMLink 10 M030, Dell T3400-T3600, Win7 64, Nvidia Quadro 600 typical)


25 REPLIES 25
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Dual Monitors

Dual Monitors or a large 40" monitor are more efficient.
It really boils down to how efficient you want the users to be?
It's the same decision as we look back to when we went from the board to
CAD.
How much eye strain do you want to force on your users, what would that cost
the company down the road?

With the savings over the course of years how many more projects could you
complete or what is the value of a customer having their problem resolved 2
seconds sooner?

Sometimes people just need to use a little common sense and not just look at
the dollars and cents.



I do not have dual monitors at work but have been asking for them for years.
(do have 3 of them at home in fact)



Just my 2 cents.

Don Anderson


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Dual Monitors

body{font-family: Geneva,Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif;font-size:9pt;background-color: #ffffff;color: black;}Erik,I agree with the items you list, most of which I do quite often. I have most of my non-CAD programs on the second monitor (email, word, excel) so when an email pops up, it's easy to read without having windows get hidden or losing track of where you were. It's also helpful when you need to have reference data or a pdf file to look at as you are doing your modeling. Pulling dims from a supplier drawing into your sketch is much quicker with 2 monitors. Even editing notes in Word and copy>paste into a note in Pro is helpful. I just switched jobs this week and I'm back to a single monitor - it's painful!
Jeff
--Jeff Sampson -
What technical issues / glitches have you run into?
I started a survey over on the PTC community pag...
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Dual Monitors

Hi Erik,

We've had dual (4:3) monitors for a few years now and wouldn't go back - for me they're more useful than a single widescreen.

They allow for a multitude of usage options - not so much within Pro/E, but for working between applications.


* Reference drawing on second monitor (Pro/E)

* Source model for a feature copy/paste on second monitor (Pro/E)

* AutoCAD and Pro/E (we define our layouts in 2D then model in 3D)

* Excel and a CAD application

* Mechanica on one with status windows, etc, on the other

* CAD for screengrab on one, Powerpoint on the other

* Excel or CAD on one, email composition on the other

* Web or PDF catalogue (circlips, bearings, fittings, etc) and CAD or Excel (or Mathcad of course)

In all cases, it both saves the time taken to Alt+Tab between windows, and allows you to keep two applications in view so your thought process isn't interrupted whenever you need to 'flick back' to the other one. It's particularly valuable when transferring or referring to sets of numbers - such as tolerances and fits, or bearing capacities for calculations.

I agree that it's hard to justify with a simple financial value, but here's one: it may often save printing out reference drawings or catalogue pages. Otherwise, you could perhaps compare it to a faster CPU in that it will speed up your overall workflow by a few moments, many times a day.

We have nVidia FX 3800 cards in our workstations and I don't think we've had any problems; the second monitor was pretty much plug-and-play. These cards only have one DVI connector, so the second monitor needed a DisplayPort to DVI adaptor... that's about it!

HTH and good luck,
Jonathan
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Dual Monitors

Great summary of use cases.

We switched over to a dual setup many years ago when we moved away from CRT's.

We gave the users two options to choose from:24" TFT wide (1920x1200)22" TFT wide (1680x1050) +
19" TFT (1280x1024)
We had them both setup in a separate room so they could come and experience the difference before choosing.

With 50 users their choice was divided about 50/50 between these two options.
The choice for one 24" Wide screen was made for the larger working area in ProE.


Kind regards,

Olaf Corten




Olaf Corten
CAD/PLM Manager
Besi Netherlands B.V.
Ratio 6, Duiven
Phone: +31 26 3196215
Mobile: +31 644548554
www.besi.com






From: "Hodgson, Jonathan P" <->
To: "-" <->
Date: 04-03-2013 10:08
Subject: [proecad] - RE: Dual Monitors



Hi Erik,

We’ve had dual (4:3) monitors for a few years now and wouldn’t go back – for me they’re more useful than a single widescreen.

They allow for a multitude of usage options – not so much within Pro/E, but for working between applications.

· Reference drawing on second monitor (Pro/E)
· Source model for a feature copy/paste on second monitor (Pro/E)
· AutoCAD and Pro/E (we define our layouts in 2D then model in 3D)
· Excel and a CAD application
· Mechanica on one with status windows, etc, on the other
· CAD for screengrab on one, Powerpoint on the other
· Excel or CAD on one, email composition on the other
· Web or PDF catalogue (circlips, bearings, fittings, etc) and CAD or Excel (or Mathcad of course)

In all cases, it both saves the time taken to Alt+Tab between windows, and allows you to keep two applications in view so your thought process isn’t interrupted whenever you need to ‘flick back’ to the other one. It’s particularly valuable when transferring or referring to sets of numbers – such as tolerances and fits, or bearing capacities for calculations.

I agree that it’s hard to justify with a simple financial value, but here’s one: it may often save printing out reference drawings or catalogue pages. Otherwise, you could perhaps compare it to a faster CPU in that it will speed up your overall workflow by a few moments, many times a day.

We have nVidia FX 3800 cards in our workstations and I don’t think we’ve had any problems; the second monitor was pretty much plug-and-play. These cards only have one DVI connector, so the second monitor needed a DisplayPort to DVI adaptor… that’s about it!

HTH and good luck,
Jonathan
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RE: Dual Monitors

Erik


We went to dual monitors in the CAD group here a few months back for the reasons you listed as well as some that Jonathan listed. I cannot see ever going back. Having the ability to have multiple screens open at once without having to shrink them to one side of the monitor or the other or having to bounce between screen is a huge time saver.



We are running dual 23" flat screens.



Adam

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Dual Monitors

As probably mamny others have noted, we use single / dual monitors
typically as follows:



Dual Monitors:

* 2 NC sessions up at the same time to check differences /
similarities

* 1 Pro-e session on one monitor, one reference design on 2nd
monitor

Typically two monitors are used when comparing two different things.

We were having weird issues with side menus (old menus) coming up on the
wrong monitor for a session, but I think that has been pretty much
solved.



Large Single monitor

* Larger working space for menus, designs, etc...

* My older eyes like a larger monitor.

It seems though that lately by having pro-e change from side menus to a
ribbon, the advantage is a wide monitor is diminished.



All things considered, monitors are pretty inexpensive and reusable
across workstation upgrades, but having a decent card to drive them is
important. We are using NVIDIA FX3800's which work pretty well with
C-E-P 5 and Win 7.



Do whatever makes your users happy,



Christopher F. Gosnell



FPD Company

124 Hidden Valley Road

McMurray, PA 15317
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RE: Dual Monitors

I started using a dual setup in 2006. For myself, on the few occasions I've had to temporarily move to a single monitor there were many times the single-monitor setup felt much slower.


There have also been studies done about the productivity increase.


http://www.corecommunication.ca/4-studies-which-show-that-using-a-second-monitor-can-boost-productivity/


Three of these show an increase from a low of 9% to a high of 52% in productivity. (The fourth one only studied larger monitors compared to smaller monitors for a range of 39-74% increase in productivity.)



In Reply to Erik Gifford:



I'm curious as to how many of you out there are running Pro/E (Creo) on a dual monitor setup. I'm trying to separate the coolness factor from what is truly gained by having two screens. Having been a Pro/E CAD operator full time for many years I can see it as being helpful in several scenarios:



  • when assembling a component, having it open in a separate window on the 2nd screen

  • having a reference drawing open on the 2nd screen

  • reference part or assembly model open on second screen

  • PLM system open on second screen

  • other applications open while Pro/E is on its own screen

As a CAD admin I'd have to build a business case for it, we'd be looking at buying minimum of 50 monitors. I know I'd have some users that wouldn't want a second screen andsome to whom it would be a constant distraction. For those of youthat are using two screens, what are your thoughts? In what ways do you feel it improves your work process? I don't see it as something that is easy to quantify to justify the cost, especially if it starts the "two monitors" snowball rolling down the hill (all of a sudden it's $20k in monitors).


What technical issues / glitches have you run into?


I started a survey over on the PTC community page here: http://communities.ptc.com/polls/1312


Thanks


Erik



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Dual Monitors

Dual monitors NO, but I am using three. However, Creo is just on one of these. There is no way to make it play seamlessly on dual or three. If you wish to have another window on a different monitor you must drag it to there and resize it appropriately. The other monitors are invaluable in that you can open other applications (windchill, word, powerpoint, paintshop, or whatever) on them and see them at all times. You do not need to spend a lot of money on the side monitors or even get the same size as the main one. At work I use two 24" 1920x1200 monitors and my laptop screen of 1920x1080 but any combination should work. At home I have only two but will get a third soon. I have a 30" main 2560x1600 and a side 21" 1600x900 I run in portrait, the side one I picked up for $70 black Friday. I plan to add another side monitor soon for a triple screen setup at home also.

Again don't go crazy, buy some low cost side monitors. There are plenty of decent 23-24" 1920x1080 monitors out there for $120-$150. You can even find some 24" 1920x1200 for $250-$300. Better than your $400 estimate.

Some users will resist, but after a while they all come around. Having more is better, haven't you seen the Verizon commercials? Don't forget that 10-12 years ago we use to beg for a 21" 1280x1024 monitor that cost $2300 and weighed 100lbs. And we ran on workstations costing 5, 6, or even $12K or more. Now a good powerfull computer can be had for about $1-2K and monitors at $400 seem petty.

Technically our newest Dell laptops M6600 with Nvidia 4000 graphics have no real problems with the setup. I have only one of the recent laptops that is a little sketchy on docking, hooking a projector then redocking after the meeting but recently I put a new driver on and worked out the issues and now it seems to work pretty well. (Note I also switched out a very old 19" 1280x1024 screen for a newer 24") The screen swap may have been better than the driver update. Newer monitors are better at plug and play(identify) than the old early LCD types.

Side note. Some of the users in my company also use a third party software to add additional functionality to multi monitor setups. Multimon is one such software but I think they use something else now. Low cost ~$30-50 for software but gives you buttons for quickly tossing screens from one monitor to another, allows you to have the task bar on all the windows, allows different backgrounds on each monitor, flashy functions like this are provided with these softwares.

In all I would never go back to just one monitor.

Ron
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Dual Monitors

We are using dual 24" monitors here. The only thing better than two would be three. Years ago we used the NVidia software for dealing with window location, etc., but it was pretty buggy, so we switched to UltraMon and have been happy with that.

Regards,
James
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RE: Dual Monitors


I just want to say that I in my opinion, all computer users can benefit from dual monitors. Maybe not a mail room clerk or the receptionist. All the uses & benefits have been covered rather well in this thread.

Personally I have two Dell 20" Ultrascans 1600 X 1200 couldn't be happier. At home I use two 27" 1920 X 1200 which might be a bit on the large size for Pro/Creo. I can't imagine going back to one monitor. Or having to give up my 1200 horizontal lines. Dual monitors enable higher productivity. At todays prices it seems to me to be a no brainer to provide them to users. Consider what we used to pay for 21" monitors & Unix workstations...!


Regards, Joe S.

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RE: Dual Monitors

Thanks to everyone for all the great feedback. Sounds like the general consensus is a dual monitor setup is worth the price.


I’m ballparking the price at $150 for a 23” LCD monitor. That’s what the majority of our ~50 CAD operators have now as a single screen setup. Ideally I’d want them to have two identical screens. The $20k potential cost I mentioned is because we have a total engineering staff of around 120, and I can see the “need” (whether it’s a need or a want) growing to that or beyond. Trouble is some people will interpret it as setting a precedent and you then have the receptionist claiming she’ll be more efficient with two screens.


I like the references to the old CRT monitors. I remember getting the first 21” Trinitron tube monitor on a Sun box. Thing was huge and heavy and cost a fortune. That and our first look at moving to PCs where they had Elsa Gloria video cards that cost more than a couple of entire setups do today.

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Dual Monitors

I like the "percentage productivity" argument, having seen the various replies.

Let's say the productivity gain is just 2%... how many engineer-hours do you get for $7500 ($100 ÷ 0.02)? That must mean the payback period is less than a month!

Jonathan

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Dual Monitors

Hi Erik,

I never thought I would need a second screen but now that I've got it I could never go back.

Fundamentally it's a question of being able to see pertinent information (specs, analyses, catalogs, pictures, messages, etc) on one screen while working on the CAD model on the other screen.

This is the result of the progressive change from paper to electronic documents that has taken place over the past ten years. A decade all the pertinent information I needed to refer to was on paper and sitting in front of me on my desk while I worked on the model. Now the vast majority of that information is electronic and to be able to see it while modeling requires the second screen.

Mike Foster
ATK

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Dual Monitors

I still have and use that massive IBM 19" monitor at the house. I can't stand to move it, the dang thing weighs probably 50+ lbs.

I definitely recommend matching monitor sizes. We have one engineer who has rotated his duals so he is running 2 tall monitors side by side and he uses pro/e across the 2 screens as if the center division between the monitors wasn't even there.



Steve Williams
Pro/E Version 15/16 (Circa 1995/1996)
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Dual Monitors

I am just wondering how your company found 120 employees in your engineering staff that could still function on one monitor!

I have been on a 2-monitor set-up for the past 7 years and physically couldn't function without the second monitor. Our customer service just switched over the last year and they can't say enough about how much their job is easier. It comes down to being able to multi-task without delays and helping out our customers has been so much quicker and effective.

Just figure out how to make your case... you will get no complaints from ANYONE!

Michael Ohlrich, Design Engineer
Benchmade Knife Company
mohlrich@benchmade.com<">mailto:mohlrich@benchmade.com>
(503) 655-6004 x122

[cid:image002.jpg@01CE18A9.9873D230]
www.benchmade.com<">http://www.benchmade.com>

CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE: This e-mail communication and any attachments may contain confidential and privileged information for the use of the designated recipients. If you are not the intended recipient, (or authorized to receive for the recipient) you are hereby notified that you have received this communication in error and that any review, disclosure, dissemination, distribution or copying of it or its contents is prohibited. If you have received this communication in error, please destroy all copies of this communication and any attachments and contact the sender by reply e-mail or telephone (503) 655-6004).
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Dual Monitors

Erik
I am surprised that no-one has mentioned having the model tree in the second monitor. I run pro5 in one window with the layer tree/drawing tree in my main window and the model tree expanded About 80% with several parameter columns showing, with outlook and the calculator visible behind it. I like to have the size and resolution the same so I can drag my main window across both monitors occasionally. Columns stay aligned in excel( don't tell your non cad people or they may want one also) I have used it for all the afore mentioned uses also! Ref. Info etc.

Steve Fowler
Senior Tool Designer
Manufacturing Engineering
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EXT : Dual Monitors

I have (2) 24" monitors and would not want to go back

I agree with all the comments made. Another one I don't think I saw (but might have missed) is you can be more green by not printing out that drawing to have next to you. You can now have it on the screen.

I have a attached a document that I used to help justify at my department.

I would like to have (3) monitors. Reason is, when looking at a document/spec, it is portrait, so I like to rotate the monitor to portrait, as this makes it very easy to read (giving away my experience level here 😉 ). But then engineering drawings are landscape so I rotate the monitor back. Our graphic cards currently don't support more than two monitors so I don't see this happening anytime soon.

TIP: Depending on what you view mostly in the second monitor, you might want to consider rotating it to portrait.

~Doug
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Dual Monitors

Your receptionist will be more efficient with two monitors.


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Dual Monitors

All this talk of dual monitors and making me feel like a dinosaur for not having them, got me thinking. Is anyone using 3D monitors to view their Pro/E models? I don't even know if 3D monitors exist yet but with 3D movies and televisions I have to assume they do exist or will shortly.

Tim Knier
QG Product & Support Engineering
QuadTech
A Subsidiary of Quad/Graphics
Sussex, Wisconsin
414-566-7439 phone
-<">mailto:->
www.quadtechworld.com<">http://www.quadtechworld.com>
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RE: Dual Monitors

Many good replies on this topic, so I will not try to repeat what has been said so far.


We have Dual 24" Monitors for all our Engineers. Many examples have been given on how much more productive they are so I won't go into that.


Here is something to think about when trying to get justification. None of our Engineers would ever want to give up Dual Monitors.


"Too many people walk around like Clark Kent, because they don't realize they can Fly like Superman"

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RE: Dual Monitors

We may have implemented it in a slightly novel fashion to reduce the initial cost. We were running single 20" 4:3 monitors purchased in 2006. We then purchased enough 23" widescreen monitors to upgrade half the department. There was a drawing to see who would get 2 new monitors. The old monitors were then paired and given to the ones who didn't win the drawing. Everyone wins (just some a little more than others)! Now as the old monitors have started to fail, they get a pair of 24" monitors as a replacement.


The cost of the monitors is miniscule compared to the productivity gains. Many users will claim they are 30 to 50 percent more productive with two monitors.

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Dual Monitors

" you then have the receptionist claiming she'll be more efficient with two screens"

I actually think that everyone on the administrative side at our facility, including the receptionist (whose duties go well beyond saying hello), should have dual monitors. Perhaps not 23", but still.

Regards,
James
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Dual Monitors

The CAD users in our Engineering dept. started using dual screens about 6 years ago. Over time folks from other departments observed and inquired. Now it's pretty much the norm throughout the whole company. Most are very happy and all, I'm sure, are more productive for all the reasons previously shared. Even our receptionist, who's duties include purchasing, sales, executive, engineering and logistics support. Snarky remark from whoever said below quote obviously does not value nor utilize their receptionists skills and talents to the utmost.
Regards,

SMS

Steve Shannon
Tooling Engineer
trans-matic
300 East 48th St.
Holland, MI 49423
phone (616) 820-2427
fax (616) 820-2488
www.transmatic.com
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Dual Monitors

Or having Compaq PC's with VMI cards at the incredible (!) resolution of
640 x 480 and requiring a dedicated Mitsubishi 21" monitor with specific
sync frequency. (This was before NEC multisync)



Our office is actually cooler now that we got rid of all of the 'tube'
monitors a few years ago... In the summer I swear the old A/C could not
keep up with the heat from the monitors in the office.



Christopher F. Gosnell



FPD Company

124 Hidden Valley Road

McMurray, PA 15317
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Dual Monitors

Hi folks,
We don't even have 2c anymore so here is my 10c worth.
I have looked through all of the replies and the the reasoning is all good.
We have been on two monitors for several years now*.
I just want to expand on one aspect and discuss our two monitor setup
though.

Cost.
What does this option really cost? We use Dell equipment and the original
spec 24" widesceen 1920x1200 monitors (now Ultrasharp U2410) were
originally about USD700 and are still normally USD550 (today at USD450) BUT
the newer slightly lower spec U2412M (still 1920x1200) is just as good for
MCAD work and is USD370. Of course these prices vary all the time and I
have seen the later for less.
Somebody else mentioned ROI but I look at it the other way. How about
keeping your employees feeling appreciated? For only a few hundred dollars
each you can have the second screen and as a percentage of salary this is
inconsequential even in one year and obviously the benefit goes beyond that.

*Our setup.
We have almost all our workstations as Mobiles; M6600 for the most recent
ones and M6300 for the older ones. These have a 17" screen and these are
our second monitors. Not as nice as two larger monitors but pretty much
all the benefits otherwise.

Oh yes one more thing. I have found wider screens have been a real
advantage for MCAD work and the 1200 vertical pixels are good too (better
than 1080) though we seem to be loosing this advantage with the Ribbon
Interface with Creo. Funny how the old school side menus work so well with
widescreen 🙂 Maybe I should rotate it to portrait for Creo 🙂 🙂


Regards,

*Brent Drysdale*
*Senior Design Engineer*
Tait Communications
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