Does anyone use Windchill to control SolidWorks files? Do you have any good or bad things to say about it? Have you also used EPDM and have anything good/bad to say about that in comparison? Thanks for any input.
I'm adding this so that someone else might be able to find a problem and not thing they are losing their mind.
And today's and last week's Windchill problem. The version of Windchill I am working with has a setting set that will allow you to check out an older revision of a part. There may be a good reason, but I have overwritten someone's work last week because of this and had to find the work my coworker had done this week.
Here's the scenario, person A has been working on a model and has it in their workspace. Let's assume it is at version A.10. Person B needs to help them out and knows that the part needs to be at the next revision. Person B revises the model. The latest version of the model is now B.1. Person A forgets to make sure that nothing is out of date in their workspace. They make changes and try to save. WGM lets them know the part isn't checked out giving them the option to check out and then save. They now have version A.11 in their workspace. They check in. They notice that they have out of date files in their workspace. They update. Person A opens the model. It is at version B.1. Their changes aren't there. Panic ensues.
Hopefully, the missing changes were found quickly.
If the model had been released at A.10, then it would not have been able to be checked out at the old revision. This isn't something you are likely to see on released things. This is something I have seen on parts that have to change revision before they are released.
I think it may be possible to not allow checkouts and checkins to an old revision. I am not sure what the exact setting is.
So, the company I work for does work for other companies some of which use Windchill with SolidWorks. One of the companies uses Creo View to create the official version of the released drawing. Creo View seems to have trouble including any JPGs that are on the drawing. Shaded/hatched areas don't always display correctly. And today's interesting thing, a part number on a BOM table showed an older number. When the drawing was opened again, it was right. We opened the affected part and saved it again and then Creo View was fine. The BOM was using the part number that is typed in at the configuration property. We didn't change it, just forced a save to the part. So, if you are using Creo View, keep an eye out to make sure that you are getting the drawing you expect.
Good to know.....thanks.
I've been reading this post with great interest. Has the integration between Windchill and Solidworks improved over the past year, or is it still as buggy as stated? Thanks!!
We currently use Windchill 11.0 M030-CPS14 with Solidworks 2017 (will be upgrading to SW2019 soon as WC started supporting SW2019 this month I believe).
It is a very buggy affair. Windchill Workgroup Manager involves too many clicks to do the most simple tasks. It has no drag-and-drop feature. I was told by PTC support, that customers been asking for drag-and-drop for years yet the task is too big for programmers so they avoid it.
There are some WC tasks you can do within Solidworks which helps.
One big problem persists, Solidworks forces changes on to parts that were not actually changed.
Then Windchill prompts you to check those files out. Now you have to sort through a list and figure out what parts you actually changed and what parts Solidworks decided to update in the background. Windchill flags these parts as changed. If you don't sort through the list and check all those files out, you are creating a new revision of those parts and other user's workspaces are out of sync on those parts. For us, this happens daily with our common library parts like bolts.
Now I have parts out of sync. Trying to sync parts in my workspace to common space is glitchy and often does not work. WC has an 'update' function, a 'synchronize' function and a 'refresh' function all for workspace. I often try all three and parts are still showing out of sync. This drives me nuts. And sometimes if files out of sync, it will not allow me to check in my work because it is using those out of sync files.
I spend more time managing files with Windchill's glitchy file management system than actual design work.
They have a lock feature on parts but you can't assign to parts permanently in common space. You can only assign the lock when bringing files in to temporary workspace. So the next time you have to do it all over again.
Main thing, Windchill was made for Creo CAD software. It supports other CAD packages like Solidworks but all this support is an afterthought. In addition, workgroup manager is a busy interface with endless symbols and text scattered everywhere.
WC still has glitches with supporting various browsers. For example, I can't rename folders if we set up WC Workgroup Manager with Internet Explorer. However, I can rename them if we setup through Chrome, but now the Chrome version is having install issues. Of course.
Here is a screenshot of Windchill. Those plus, arrow and clock symbols are telling me these files were either changed by me or other users. I can tell you right now, none of these files were actually changed (intentionally). Rather the glitchy relationship between Solidworks and Windchill marked them as changed.
The one with the clock symbol means it was changed by another user (I know they did not actually perform any intentional changes on it, they simply used it in their assembly), I can't get it to synchronise no matter what.
Windchill claims this unintentional updating unchanged parts is a problem with Solidworks (kind of true), but it doesn't come up with a default solution to this. So users have to waste time and deal with lots of for parts they aren't even changing.
Zack Polovin - Thanks for the notes. I really appreciate the input. This definitely sounds like it's more trouble than it's worth. I'll pass this information along to the rest of our crew.
I am working on the same releases. I have noticed the same issues. I really like SolidWorks PDM over windchill any day. Now, some of that could be because of my newness to windchill. But, I doubt it.
Honestly, in 25 years of working in CAD \ PDM \ PLM, I have never run across a worse product than "Windchill Workgroup Manager for SolidWorks". I admit I have not touched it in about 3 years.
we invested serious time and $$ to deploy windchill - in keeping with good practice, we did not go live to all users - we first had a pilot program try it out. We decided to abort the deployment of winchill because WWGM for SW was so bad, so unreliable.PTC's design choices on how to manage CAD data via a local client \ embedded webpage combined the worst of both worlds. PTC does not invest enough $$ in WWGM for SW. be very wary of workgroup manager for solidworks. demand to meet and maintain a relationship with the PTC product managers so that you can consistently drive home the need for fixes (otherwise it won't happen)
The issue with descriptions being lost on my files when a save as was performed was not a windchill problem.
There a few settings that can help with SolidWorks wanting to modify files that you don't have checked out.
There are a couple of things to change in the windchill wgmclient.ini:
The two settings above will lock most of the files as they come into your workspace. They unlock on check out. When you check them back in, they don't lock again automatically. These are at risk of being modified without having been checked out.
You also should set the following setting in SolidWorks.
This helps, but doesn't solve everything. With the setting above, if you have a drawing and the related model both checked out in your workspace. If you open the drawing first, it will open with write permission. If you open the model from the drawing, the model opens read only. You then have to "Get Write Access". I created a macro that will do that for you. It is attached.
The settings above help reduce the pain. You don't get to save your changes unless you have taken some kind of action. (checkout or unlock)
Good luck. Working with Windchill isn't fun or intuitive.
Thank You, I'll have to try these suggestions.
We are using Windchill 11.0 M030 in relation with Solidworks 2016, 2017 and 20018 via the WWGM CSP30.For sure we facing issues, but overall it is working stable.
All discussions above are very interesting to read and I learned a lot. :-)I am an expierenced Windchill user for more than 10 years in combination with CREO.A lot of the issues mentioned above have to do with knowledge how programs are working and the embedded processes. It has also to do with how the company wants to work: the companies workflow.
Updating out-of-date versions is no issue for us.Unintended changes/updates is also no issue, but you have to know how to handle it.We started also with the use of WTparts.What we learned is that every configuration step you take is generating its own challenges.Like WTparts has its own authorization scheme etc.
Summerized:It has all to do with your requirements.If you want simple data and file management: use a software package that support this.Do not bother the user with complex things if it is not needed.If you want to have the ability to make baselines, PLM features,mBOM, eBOM creation you have to use asoftware package that supports this and implement it on the right way and teach the users the way of working.
But I know for sure that this way of working is not solving every issue mentioned above.ood luck.
I have helped many of our customers with multi-CAD files into PDM. Especially when dealing with creo files or inventor files into PDM. From experience, I am glad to say that the SOLIDWORKS devs have done a great job implementing the API work necessary for 3rd party CAD integrability. Now, just because the SOLIDWORKS devs have done a great job doesn't mean that there are no setbacks. You see, the API packages given from the 3rd party applications are limited in nature and that limits what can be hardcoded for integrability. Consequently, there are differences in functionality when bringing Creo or inventor files into PDM. (i.e. in the new PDM Creo connector, PTC Creo needs to be opened in the background when handling Creo files in PDM vault view) For SOLIDWORKS files into a different system like Windchill is no different when it comes to API work for integrability. The devs have to work with what they are given, and there is no going around the limitations that a 3rd party API has. Unless it's absolutely business-critical to marry the two completely different systems with integrability packages in between, I suggest keeping CAD applications with their respective data management platforms. If it is business critical and you need to integrate, great, but you have to be OK with the functionality you are given: test, test, test so you can make your own best judgment call for your organization.
Francisco | CSWS-DMA
anyone had to deal with toolbox fasteners in windchill? I have and assembly that has toolbox bolts and when I bring the assembly into windchill the bolts show up as parts also. I don't think I can make them virtual parts in the assembly. Any thoughts?
This is correct.When you use the toolbox, you creating a new article and therefor it will receive a new article number.The best way to use library parts you have to create in Windchill a library. Out of this labrary you use
the library items every time you need them. I assume every nut has one article number in your company and every time a new one when you want to use them.The best way to handle this is using the toolbox to create your library part upfront and when they exist, use these library parts from the library and not anymore from the toolbox.When Windchill is correct configured you have the ability to change the status of an article to "Phantom", "make" or "Buy". By doing so you can manage your eBOM and your mBOM.I hope this helps.
So the place I'm currently at, we're stuck in SolidWorks 2017. I found out that the reason we choose to be almost 3 years behind is because we're supposedly moving to Windchill "soon". I heard through the grapevine that Windchill does not support the latest version of SolidWorks. Seemed a little odd to me and not sure why a company would ditch PDM for something that doesn't even support what they currently have (or could have I guess).
Can any Windchill users confirm that this is actually true? Or is somebody just blowing smoke around here.
they just released for windchill for 2019 sw a few weeks ago. We run 2017/2018/2019 and most of our customers are still on 2017 and truthfully I find 2017 more stable and less bugs than 2018/19
As of August 2019, a new version of Windchill (Release 11, M030-CPS16) does support SW2019....We were also on SW2017 waiting for Windchill to support the later version and this month we upgraded to SW2019 SP4 (current version).
Windchill seems to support the latest version of SolidWorks around 6 months after it releases. However if your company hasn't upgraded Windchill then you'll be stuck. We are on 11.0 M030-CPS11 which only support SolidWorks 2017.....about to go to CPS16 which as Zack mentioned, supports SolidWorks 2019.
Does anyone know how to handle parts that are specified by the inch? For example, a 5" strip of foam might be used in one assembly and a 10" strip used in another. It is the same part just different lengths. In Windchill, I don't want to assign a WTPart for each length. And designers may need to add configurations of different lengths to the CAD file but to do this, they would have to revise it and bump the revision each time. It doesn't seem to make sense.
Also, in Solidworks, I can assign the length of the part as the BOM quantity and on the drawing, the BOM will sum up all of the lengths of the foam for me. I can't get the WTPart BOM in Windchill to do this. I have to enter the length manually.
Any help is appreciated.
Can you use configurations to do it? We aren't using Windchill, so I don't know how Windchill handles configurations. We have conduit that goes by 1/2" increments. We do the same thing for other parts like slot covers.
Yes, in SW, we manage the lengths by configuration but not sure how to handle it in Windchill.
Do the configurations represent different part numbers?
No. If they did, that would be easier to manage because Windchill supports this. You just change a custom property setting in the model and Windchill creates "ghost" parts for each configuration that I can then associate with a part number (WTPart).
What I'm referring to are parts that are specified by length, for example, tape or a foam strip seal. The part number for those products doesn't change depending on the quantity used. But in the CAD model, we may want to show a length of foam that is 1" long in one configuration and 5" long in another. On the eBOM in Windchill, I want the "quantity" to be the overall length used and the "unit" to be inches. It would be great if Winchill could grab the OAL from the BOM table on the SolidWorks drawing because SolidWorks does sum up all the lengths used of a particular part.
The other issue is that designers may need to add more configurations as they use this foam part. But to do this, they would have to Revise/Check-out the part to add a configuration and this would bump the Revision and would require a CN which is really unnecessary. The part isn't changing, just adding a configuration.
Just wondering if anyone else is encountering this and how they handle it.
We have a promotion process that creates a new iteration of the model without changing the revision for adding new configuration for the same reason.
You can also link multiple CAD parts to one WtPart so that when you use any of the CAD parts in various assemblies, it will pull the same WtPart when it builds that structure.
Regarding the BOM showing lengths, we have a second Quantity and Unit field in the Windchill BOM. The first Quantity and Unit is from the SolidWorks data, and the second is manually filled out. Since Windchill is reading the model structure to build the BOM and not the drawing BOM, I don't know of a way to link the length.
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