2 Replies Latest reply on Jul 15, 2010 4:05 AM by Pasi Entaban

    Transition to PDM

    Pasi Entaban

      I hope some one can give some ideas/input on this.


      We are about to set up PDM and currently store parts/assemblies (in 3 CAD software formats) in various network folder locations. We have 3 folders containing current parts, 1 containing rough work and one containing obsoletes. This is sometimes confusing to say the least, as one part may exist as a sldprt,dwg,pdf and ipt. input on how everyone manages parts/drawings in general would be great!


      -Would it be better to dump all the files-regardless of issue number/type in a single folder?


      -We currently use the following  workflow when creating/editing drawings or parts-

      1.Create sldprt /sldasm.

      2.Enter configuration Specific Properties to part or assembly file.

      3.Create slddrw file and link properties. For example we save a solidpart with the a 3D revision X property added, this then updates the slddrw file to show that there is a 3D version of issue X. Anytime the 3D file is updated the 2D file must be updated, theoretically the latest issue in the 2D revision box should always match the 3D Revision property. Is there a better way of setting up drawing links/properties?

      4.Complete drawings are sometimes exported as DWG AND these can be edited and 'up-issued' (unfortunately) without changing the original 3D file. Is there a way to link DWG's to SLDPRT files? We have thousands of DWG files, some generated from 3D.


      -Currently drawings (2D) are circulated and signed off. The 'sign off' info is then added to 3D properties and updates 2D drawing. I've been told that signing off the 2D efffectively approves the 3D in most companies. We dont as yet have a proper title block for our drawing templates-will this allow 2d properties to automatically update 3d properties?


      any help /advice greatly appreciated!

        • Re: Transition to PDM
          Rich Trnka

          Transition is the word! first steps:

          1 Decide what is important legacy data

               -is it used frequently?

               -should it be indexed and searchable for daily use?

               -are you really going to cut the string and move to PDM?


          2 Plan what data you want to move into PDM and what folder format works best

               -PDM can automatically setup folders and limit creation of sub-folders by using templates (easy to maintain and propigate a standard structure)

               -Is serialization important or will you use an existing naming convention

               -will you allow multiple instances of a file? (setting in pdm)

               -Deep folders take longer to browse (even when you are looking at a vault view)

               -Does your legacy data contain ALL required custom properties? (you can use function to fix missing information when added to vault)

               -Make sure your data cards really capture what is important to search by.


          Here is a brief overview of our implementation:


          1.     decision made that there were too many files that were either old, outdated, or had ambigous locations. - we did not do a mass movement of legacy data.

          2.     how to enforce PDM: Using server rights, I changed all existing network locations to read only- this forced all users to Copy their design into PDM if they wanted to update it and utilize for production.

          3.     Establish standards and guidelines: All production files Shall be in PDM, All files related to the project were tied together using predetermined folder structure: (i.e.: \Customer Name\Sales Order number, description\ with sub folders for: CAD Files, Correspondance, Engineering Calculations and reference, Customer Files)

          4.     Workflow was created for all files based on type, customer requirements, internal requirements, and security needs.

          5.     TRAIN YOUR EMPLOYEES! use lots of examples, backup with procedures, and start an internal group to discuss how to make it a valuable and efficient tool for your company.

          6.     Good luck! Utilize PDM to save time, standardize, and increase the quality and efficiency of your company.

            • Re: Transition to PDM
              Pasi Entaban

              Thanks for the advice Rich,


              Very useful to know how others run PDM!.  We do have a lot of legacy data, most of which is fished out and up issued sometimes due to large product choice-as well as customer request. We decided to use PDM since the way the system is now can be confusing-being reliant on 3 types of software and 3 types of file format.


              As such I was personally thinking of slowly moving items into PDM- for example if a DWG is up-issued we could possible insert the DWG into a SLDDRW file and make the changes. Perhaps there is a way we can highlight/bookmark this file for 'redraw in 3D' using PDM? I'm not sure if anyone does this OR if its a good idea-but it would mean converting drawings gradually (and in reverse i.e.-slddrw file before sldprt). I suppose it would make DWG's obsolete-with solidworks having to be used as a 2D drafting tool by our current 2D draftsmen.


              I'm all for server rights- but does PDM make files read only unless accesed (check in/out) through PDM? Will we still be able to open/edit/replace files using other software if they are associated with PDM?


              Last question-our parts and assemblies are often in seperate folders (part numbers and assembly numbers files seperately depending on final product)-will this pose a problem when searching?



              Thanks for all the help!