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Balloon numbering in assembly drawings

Question asked by Andrew Buc on Oct 28, 2015
Latest reply on Oct 30, 2015 by Ed Cyganik

At my workplace we’re using SW 2014 SP 4.0, probably upgrading to SW 2015 early next year.


At my past jobs, a BOM in the ERP system would include the list of parts and quantities, but not part numbers. In the parts list on a given drawing, parts would be sorted in ascending order by part number, and SolidWorks would see to it that balloons were correct. If the item number for a given part changed from one rev of a drawing to another, it was a non-issue.


At my current job, we do it differently. A BOM in our ERP system includes part numbers. We create a BOM on a drawing, but we drag it off the sheet so it’s not visible. We balloon parts on assembly drawings. To build an assembly, the shop needs a print of the drawing and a hard copy of BOM from the ERP system. If a part is entered as, say, item 2 in the ERP system, then it needs to be item 2 on the drawing.


This gives rise to a couple of problems. It isn’t always practical to make the sequence of parts in the SolidWorks assembly match the BOM in the ERP system. Also, if (for example) part 6 is deleted from an assembly, the parts after it don’t “move up one.” Item 7 stays item 7, and so on


Consequently, we have to do a lot of tweaking of balloons, changing the item number to static text. This is time-consuming and gives scope for mistakes.

Is there a straightforward way to tweak the item numbers in the BOM on the drawing and then know that the balloons will be correct? Thank you.