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Configuration Versus Assembly

Question asked by Tom Fosler on Mar 5, 2008
Latest reply on Mar 7, 2008 by Tom Fosler
We are switching to a new part numbering system. Our raw parts/weldments have a seven digit base number ending with "01", as in 104627801. Every variant of that raw part is incremented as "02", "03", etc., with each variant as a painted version of that part. There is no intuitive numbering here; the subsequent variants have no special meaning.

Our current practice is to treat painted parts as separate part numbers. This works fine for our database. To follow this methodology, we create assemblies of the painted parts and place the single part/weldment inside of it, with a color applied to the assembly. For example, 104627802.SLDASM has one reference, 104627801.SLDPRT (or ASM, if it is a welded subassembly). It is my belief that we could accomplish the same thing using configurations in the base part, with the configs using variant names. That way, it is easier to control, to color with Design Tables, or to switch between assemblies instead of using the replace components command, which doesn't always guarantee mating success or anything like that.

What does your company do? How can I justify moving to configurationas vs assemblies, and what are some solid reasons? It seems that people can find reasons for not moving in this direction, and it becomes a tit-for-tat game. Please give input for the pros and cons you have experienced with configurations vs assemblies for painted parts.