What is Zel X?

By David Lyell

Zel X is a web-based application from Siemens that consolidates collaboration, design, manufacturing and operations for small to mid-size job shops. With Zel X, your business can track jobs across the shop floor, manage quotes, perform CAD/CAM operations, and collaborate across departments. It is an all-in-one solution for machine shops that are making parts and components.

We built this solution for manufacturers that are ready to take the plunge into digitizing their operations and eliminating data silos in Excel, CAD, CAM and other applications that don’t communicate with each other. Once you experience an integrated workflow that includes advanced operations such as simulation, you’ll wonder why you hadn’t taken the leap earlier.

Siemens is a global leader in engineering software. We build applications like NX, Solid Edge, Teamcenter, Simcenter and more, and now we’re bringing our expertise to job shops around the world. Inside Zel X, we have integrated many of our technologies into a web-based interface that will rapidly change the way you do business.

How Zel X works

When a RFQ (request for quote) is received, the typical procedure to generate a quote looks like this – you inspect the part or component, evaluate material and machine costs, do a preliminary assessment in CAM, check your current order lead time, type up a quote and respond to the request with a PDF summary. This is a labor-intensive task in and of itself! This work can include multiple employees, and the files with which you are working will travel through departments in folders on an in-house server. This creates multiple opportunities for inconsistent communications and wasted time as each department completes its work on the quote.

With Zel X, all associated files, markup, comments and tracking are integrated into a project from the start. You’ll never misplace a file or work again. Transparency across your business is guaranteed, and you will find that you are able to process RFQs and win deals faster than ever. Not only will this reduce headaches in your company, but your customers will experience best-in-class service as your communications are logged inside Zel X – no longer will you have to ask the front office to forward another email to the right people.

Essential features of Zel X

Zel X is much more than shop management software. With Zel X, we have built-in advanced features that cover operations, collaboration, design, and manufacturing. In each of these feature sets, we right-sized the features so you have the right tools at the right time.


Organize and track jobs from RFQ to part delivery. This means you can plan shop operations, from tooling preparation to inspection with an integrated Kanban board and share the status of jobs in progress directly with customers. Additional operations features:

  • Quote tracking
  • Digital traveler/shop floor tracking
  • Customer RFQ handling
  • Sub-contractor/supplier RFQ management
  • Browser-based access to Zel X by Siemens
  • Browser-based access enables mobile-assisted inspection and many other functions.


Get the right people involved at every stage of production with permission-based project and file sharing. You’ll have unlimited guest access that ensures a professional customer experience, with the ability to provide feedback from a phone, tablet or computer. Additional collaboration features include:

  • Permission-based file sharing
  • Task management
  • Mobile CAD review
  • Phone/tablet CAD augmented reality (AR)
  • Mobile review of multiple file types (PDF, XLSX, image, etc.)


At the heart of Zel X is a powerful in-browser editor where you can design and model parts from scratch or modify files that are sent your way from customers. You can add markup, dimensions, modify a part for manufacturing and more. Additional design features include:

  • Shape library for starting quickly with pre-set forms
  • Rapid direct editing
  • Multi-body models for assembly mock-up
  • Automated critical dimension drawings
  • Import and utilize files from Creo, Inventor, Solidworks and more


Understanding how you are going to make a part is critical to your ability to accurately quote a part. Zel X has integrated 2.5-axis CAM that enables whomever is generating the quote to build the initial g-code inside Zel X. No longer will you have to wait for time estimates from your CAM engineer.

  • CAM for quote estimates
  • CAM for CNC toolpath generation
  • Mobile inspection for first article validation
  • Edit numerical control (NC) code with color-coded syntax
  • Templatize your manufacturing approach for standardization

How much does Zel X cost?

With job shops and component manufacturers in mind, we’ve built the pricing and delivery model of Zel X to be competitive. Zel X includes unlimited guest access, allowing your team, customers, and suppliers to view and markup project data from their phone, tablet, or computer. We have a feature comparison table available on the Zel X site.

Get the Zel X ebook here

Try Zel X for 30 days!

About the author

David Lyell is a Siemens Digital Industries Software marketing manager and serves the Small and Medium Business industry. He has worked in manufacturing and marketing across several industries, including automation, job shops, additive manufacturing and woodworking.

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at