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Enterprise PDM data - association to ERP data

Question asked by Craig Merrifield on May 13, 2016
Latest reply on Jan 6, 2021 by Toby Steere

Hi folks,


I'm looking for advice and to benefit from your experiences in relating data in PDM data to ERP system data.


Quick history -

I've not used Enterprise PDM before, but have served as a PDM admin for other like products at previous companies so PDM/PLM is not a new environment for me. I am scheduled for admin training next week from my VAR.


Current state of PDM here -

PDM was implemented years ago, but was run by admin that was not familiar with PDM concepts. It is in need of much clean up and restructuring. This leads to my current situation.


My company is looking to build integration between our ERP system and PDM (and some other systems to follow). In the beginning, there was no connection between the SolidWorks file naming (or custom properties) and our ERP part numbering systems. This association is of critical importance to systems integration. To fix this, a project was started within the engineering team (prior to my arrival) which added a custom property field to our SolidWorks files (and thus PDM) to list the ERP part number. Due to acquisition of other companies and overlapping product lines, there are occasions where a SolidWorks file may associate to multiple ERP part numbers (to one specific configuration). We do use configurations frequently (for part families) and in this case there is a need to associate ERP part numbers to each configuration of the SolidWorks file. Unfortunately when this project began, the decision was made to populate the custom property for ERP part numbers only to the @ tab in PDM. This property was left blank in the configuration tabs. Multiple entries where simply separated by a comma and space.


Proposed -

In my opinion, this property field should be filled out in each configuration for proper management of the data in the PDM database. I've read some very helpful forum posts including EPDM Configurations and Properties , but most are not big fans of using configurations. Big fan or not, I have a significant number of files using them and will need to build a solution to accommodate them.


I have upcoming projects which will rely on ERP numbers to acquire the correct SolidWorks part/assembly/drawing files. These projects include Engineering Change, New Product Creation, and Deviations (among others). These three will rely heavily on workflow and datacards. Each of these projects will begin with ERP part numbers as a starting point to begin workflows, which will need to cleanly and reliably tie to the correct files in PDM.


Your advice -

So my question is this, how are you all managing this information?

Do you agree that in this situation, the best place for the ERP part number is in a custom property in the configuration tab of PDM?

EDIT - Additionally, if I intend to keep the data in the configuration tab, should I use the @ tab at all?


Thoughts and advice much appreciated.