13 Replies Latest reply on Feb 2, 2018 6:35 PM by Jim Johnson

    Assembly Renaming - Best Practice

    John Wayman


      Is there a set of Best Practice guidelines for renaming an assembly, together with its associated parts and drawings?

      Here is the scenario:

      I design an assembly, made up of several new parts and their associated drawings. The design goes through several iterations before I am satisfied that, Yes, this is the way I want to have it made.

      I name the assembly 'mouse1' for example, and the parts are 'Case1', Wheel3', Cable2', 123455 (that would be the company standard foot, an existing part) and 'red light block7'  (the red light block was tricky to get right). Each part has its own drawing, which has the same name as its part (Case1.drw for example)

      At each iteration, I checked the assembly in to the Workgroup PDM Vault, in case the hard disc curled up its toes in the night.

      Now I have settled on the final design, I need to give the assembly and each part and drawing a company part number. So mouse 1.asm becomes 123456.asm, Case1 becomes 123457.prt and 123457.drw, etc.

      What is the best way to achieve this renaming?

      I know I can Pack & Go the assembly, together with the parts and drawings, but doesn't this create a complete new set of files, without the links to the history of the development stuff? I want the same assembly, parts and drawings, with all the history in the vault, showing how I arrived at this final assembly, and with all the references intact, just with the new names. And what about the parts that are re-used from other projects, that already have part numbers, like the company standard foot, 123455? I don't want to rename that, or its drawing.

      I have tried fiddling about with renaming in the vault and using SWExplorer and everything I can think of, but I end up effectively creating a whole new set of files, or tying myself up in knots.


      SW2014, SP5

      WPDM 16.1

      Windows 7


      I look forward to learning how it should be done.




        • Re: Assembly Renaming - Best Practice
          Steven Dod

          We actually do this all the time but we have PDM Pro so I am not entirely sure it will do the same for you.  With all of the assemblies, components and drawings checked in.  Select the file to be renamed and hit F2.  This should allow you to rename the part as needed.  As long as the assemblies and drawings are checked in PDM will keep track of the references for you.  You will also see the rename in History.  To me this is one of the greatest assets PDM offers us.



          • Re: Assembly Renaming - Best Practice
            Jeff Holliday

            WPDM is a basic system. I do not think there is an automatic/simple way to accomplish what you are trying to achieve. There might be a way to write something using the API but I highly doubt that it would be highly capable.

            • Re: Assembly Renaming - Best Practice
              Chris Saller

              Create the final P/Ns the best you can up front.

              Otherwise, you will have to rename each one in the vault, and the files in your working folder.

              You can check everything in, and delete during checkin. Then, rename in the vault.

              Delete you local files, then checkout the newly renamed files from the vault.

              • Re: Assembly Renaming - Best Practice
                John Stoltzfus

                Are you using a PDM system?


                If not use SW Explorer, select the file and rename..

                • Re: Assembly Renaming - Best Practice
                  Jim Johnson

                  I know this post is a bit old, but I'll add a couple other options that have worked well for me.  I try not to check things into the vault until I assign numbers to them, as it's incredibly painful to renumber everything in both places later.  This avoids the problem of renaming, unless company policy frowns on that workflow.  Pack & Go backups of your designs to a network location may be a viable option in favor of this workflow until parts are checked into the vault. 


                  Another option that has worked well for me, especially when collaborating with other designers, is using a 'scratch' vault for design work.  This takes care of keeping track of iterations for your design, but allows you to assign numbers before submitting the design to the production vault.


                  The old workgroup pdm was fairly simple to install locally, so a scratch vault wasn't hard to set up.  Now with the new SQL based PDM std/pro (2018 and forward), seems like you need a cs degree to install the stupid thing, so this may no longer be as good an option.  My understanding is the new PDM allows multiple files with the same name (not the case with workgroup PDM), so maybe you could have a 'scratch' project, for designs in process, and then resubmit to the production project, and delete from the scratch project later?



                    • Re: Assembly Renaming - Best Practice
                      Matt Peneguy

                      Rather than creating a whole separate vault on your computer, you could see if the CAD Admin could create User directories in the Vault.  Inside this temporary work area, I created a Junk folder to throw stuff in to be purged by the Admin (me) at a later date.  It may do what you need without having a local install of the Vault to manage (which isn't a big deal, either).

                      BTW, what's your plan when you upgrade to 2018?  Are you going with PDM Standard or something else? 

                        • Re: Assembly Renaming - Best Practice
                          Jim Johnson


                          My solution admittedly, is probably a more brute force method.  I'll have to experiment with that. Yours certainly sounds like a more elegant approach!  The company I was working for at the time had their vault locked down pretty tight, it was easier to have a local install to play with, than to try and get permissions on the production vault. 

                          I made an attempt to install PDM Standard, about 1 yr ago, with no success on my own.  Currently, the customers I'm working for at my current employer require me to use both 2016 and 2017, so I'm satisfied to manage my own vault using Workgroup PDM.  I won't attempt to upgrade until I absolutely have to.  PDM Std would be my first choice, as I'm not aware of other free options.  Will probably require IT support though. 

                            • Re: Assembly Renaming - Best Practice
                              Matt Peneguy

                              Hey, it's all about what works for you.  I stumbled into that solution on my own because I was the Admin.  It's more difficult if you aren't the Admin.

                              Our IT consolidated and our liaison wanted the VAR to assist in installing PDM Standard.  We got a quote for installation and training for 3 days of $6k. Even at 1 day and 2k it seemed high.  I looked into DDM and we are pursuing their Quick Start Package for 5k, and a yearly fee for each license.  It comes with 3 active users (3 CAD + 3 Office concurrent users) and is better in some ways than EPDM.

                              I haven't used it, yet.  So, I'm not endorsing it, just letting you know of an option.