6 Replies Latest reply on Jun 12, 2017 12:03 PM by Larry Crofoot

    What is the right way to handle parts in an assembly that have many versions of the same part

    Larry Crofoot

      We build connectors and cable assemblies. In the process we have many variations of the part. Stamped contacts flat  stamped contacts formed stamped contact overmolded and others. You need many variations for fixtures for stamping dies for molds. I would like one master that controls the assembly but it is hard to do with config. you end up with to many different part configs in multiple assemblies with configs in the assemblies. So what happens people start making copies of the master and using these in fixtures and molds. Now you loss reference to your final part and this leave you open for mistakes when changes are made. We are using 2017 with EPDM to control documents. Does anyone have a solution to this problem??

        • Re: What is the right way to handle parts in an assembly that have many versions of the same part
          Christian Chu

          I'd add design table to the part with diff. configurations and do the same in the assembly

          • Re: What is the right way to handle parts in an assembly that have many versions of the same part
            John Stoltzfus

            Would it be possible to see any pictures or example models, even if it's just a dummy assembly?

            • Re: What is the right way to handle parts in an assembly that have many versions of the same part
              Jeremy Feist

              we also make connectors and cable assemblies and use PDM PRO.

               

              and yes some of our contact models have a LOT of configs. our assemblies do NOT (generally) have more than 1 or 2 configs (we can usually get the variations we need for the drawings with display states.)

               

              it sounds like your biggest problem is the extra copies created by users - this would largely be a training issue.

              • Re: What is the right way to handle parts in an assembly that have many versions of the same part
                Dan Pihlaja

                I guess it depends on the number of configurations and the complexity of those configurations.

                There are some major pros to design tables for this type of item......but there are also some cons (in my opinion).

                 

                1. Scenario 1 :
                  1. 1 single part with hundreds (thousands?) of configurations:
                    1. Scenario 1A: Create the design table and have it build all your configurations.  Use configuration publisher to easily select the specific configuration that you need for your particular assembly.  Rebuild all configs, create rebuild/save marks for all configs, mark part as read only.
                      1. Pros: Switching between configurations is fast and easy.  Generally doesn't have much lag except in the case of modifying the part itself.
                      2. Cons: File size is VERY large and the first opening of the part can take a long time depending on server time.
                    2. Scenario 1B: Create the design table and have it build all your configurations.  Use configuration publisher to easily select the specific configuration that you need for your particular assembly.  Do NOT create rebuild/save marks for all configurations and set your settings to purge cached configuration data.  Mark the part as read only.
                      1. Pros: File size is small and general handing of the part is relatively easy
                      2. Cons: Switching between configurations can take a LONG time because it has to load the data every time.  Every time a different configuration is loaded, Solidworks will want to save the part, but since it is read only, this can cause issues with trying to save a read only part.  Unless you make it not read only, then it will be saved every time it is accessed *sigh*
                    3. Scenario 1C: Create a single line design table and use configuration publisher to create configurations only on an as needed basis.
                      1. Pros: File size is small (as long as you haven't created a ton of configs), switching between configs is relatively easy.
                      2. Cons: As the user selects the criteria, if it is a new config, then on hitting the accept button, the design table is opened, the config added, and then the design table is closed.   This leads to potentially many users accessing and opening the same design table, which can (probably will, as mine got corrupted on the 3rd config add) lead to corruption issues.
                2. Scenario 2:
                  1. hundreds (thousands?) of different parts
                    1. Pros: Small part size, switching parts is a simple replace function.
                    2. Cons:  Hundreds (thousands?) of different parts.   If you need to make a global change, this can cause major havoc.

                 

                 

                I wish that there was a tool where we could create our massive part like in scenario 1A above, but when I pull it into the assembly, is makes a reference copy of the part with ONLY that configuration.  (maybe there is and I don't know about it).  Hopefully some of the guru's will know.

                 

                Maybe there are other ways.....but these are what I know.