13 Replies Latest reply on Jun 23, 2017 1:05 PM by Matt Peneguy

    Solidworks Workgroup

    John Frahm

      I the 3rd mechanical designer to come on board a company where it was every workstation for itself. Two previous users had there own models, own files, would share by asking each other if the other one had something before working on a project or while working on a project.

       

      Management has elected for me to be the one who over a number of years, gets the files scrubbed, shared on a server location, all the while creating new and exciting assemblies so we can ship product. Not sure what the best first step is for us. We have Solidworks Workgroup PDM 2015 on each machine but it is not set up.

       

      I think it would be best to start the cleaning up files in different folder locations on the server and then migrate files over the a vault was it is cleaned up. It has been a real wild west here and no clear standards in regards to model creation.

       

      Thoughts?

       

      The new sheriff in town

        • Re: Solidworks Workgroup
          Christian Chu

          workgroup PDM will be retied after SW2017 so I think it'd be best to have plan on PDM standard

          • Re: Solidworks Workgroup
            Todd Blacksher

            John,

            I would recommend skipping Workgroup PDM, and going straight to SOLIDWORKS PDM Standard.

            (Workgroup is being phased out in favor of SOLIDWORKS PDM - which is much better anyway!)

            I am with you, I would start to slowly shift the files into a new location on the network - in my opinion this will make it easier to move everything into a PDM system.

            I have been doing something similar here, and Pack and Go has come in very handy for maintaining relations in assemblies when copying them to their new location.

            I wanted the separate folder structure so that there would be a clear delineation between the old/archive files, and the updated/current files - the fact that it will move into PDM easier is just icing on the cake for me.

            todd

            Now any of the "bad files" are in the old directory structure!

              • Re: Solidworks Workgroup
                Todd Blacksher

                It might be helpful to know that I am also incorporating a new part numbering system (and directory structure) while I am doing the "clean up."

                If you are working with a lot of assemblies, just be sure that you use Pack & Go to keep the relations when you copy the files from individual computers to the network - nothing worse than opening an assembly and it not finding any of the parts!

                todd

              • Re: Solidworks Workgroup
                Tom Gagnon

                It's a broad topic to advise standards when I don't know what your company produces, nor how.

                Allow me to match breadth in advice: What are your most impressive tricks of solidworks, Please spread. and maybe not What do your co-workers do with SOLIDWORKS that makes your blood boil?

                 

                I know it's a long thread. Surely there can be something applicable for you there, whether positive or negative.

                • Re: Solidworks Workgroup
                  S. Casale

                  I will second third and fourth the use of PDM standard over workgroup (WG). Don't waste your time with WG as it will be OBS sooner than you can get "up to snuff."

                   

                  Do whatever you can to take some PDM admin classes. It will help you big time.

                                                     It will also make your role in-expendable if no one else knows how to do their own housekeeping in your organization.

                  • Re: Solidworks Workgroup
                    John Matrishon

                    John - I'm in agreement with the other folks, but if you are stuck at SW2015 with no plan to upgrade to the latest than you are at a fickle decision point.   If you know you are stuck back in SW2015 for the foreseen future, then using workgroup would be a good step to get the data under control.   Realize that a migration will be needed when/if you upgrade in the future?    I would focus on that aspect first.  If you know your are going to upgrade SW, or you currently are on subscription support, then as the others have stated go right for PDM Standard which is included in SW Professional and get your VAR on board!

                     

                    If you do choose Workgroup:

                    Keep in mind, workgroup can't have duplicate file names existing in the vault.    This includes the file extension.  You can have the same filename beginning as long as the extensions are different.    If you are coming from a network arena, and sounds like there is a real problem with standards you will run into more than one case where the file will have the same name in different directories.  That's when it gets interesting.  Also, DO NOT BULK Upload  (unless your files and folder structure are perfect...)

                     

                    PLAN PLAN PLAN - TEST TEST TEST

                     

                    JM

                      • Re: Solidworks Workgroup
                        Matt Peneguy

                        I completely agree with John Matrishon about the filename issue.  To handle those types of issues up front Pack And Go is your friend.  By using the Search/Replace functionality and add prefix or suffix you can replace project info on a per project basis and add a unique identifier for each project.  For instance, if you have several projects, say P0001, P0002, P0003, etc.  you could prepend the project number to all the files in each of those projects.  That way you are guaranteed that you have no conflicts (unless you have nested folders in your project, then things may get interesting.)

                        • Re: Solidworks Workgroup
                          John Frahm

                          @ John Matrishon for my clarification, when file names can not be named the same thing you can not have the following:

                          385-21966-0001 RB.SLDPRT

                          385-21966-0001 RB .SLDRW

                          We should add _part or _dwg to the names of the part and the drawing?

                           

                          John

                            • Re: Solidworks Workgroup
                              John Matrishon

                              File extension count!  So yes, that is allowed.    It has to be the exact same filename.   Even adding an extra space in the filename will be a different file.  It's the same principle as Windows folders, only your Project folders are not really different locations.   Think of your vault as one big folder, but PDM Workgroup manages the projects and revisions in its service.   Workgroup is not a true database like in a SQL database, it is a very carefully constructed Flat file format with special controls on it with access through a client.   Your actual vault location should be hidden to all users.

                              JM

                          • Re: Solidworks Workgroup
                            John Frahm

                            The more this becomes my bailiwick the more impossible the job seems! Management of course thinks this is something that can be squared away in my "spare time". We are a group of 3 and everyone has their own templates, toolbox, etc. Going to be a fun couple of years. That's the feedback I keep giving my boss. To have a minimal impact we are going to have to slowly roll out these changes. The designer who has been here the longest is not wanting to play ball. Half the models that have been created are on his C drive. Had to educate my manager as to why I could not edit a drawing that was released, because I did not have the part...

                              • Re: Solidworks Workgroup
                                John Matrishon

                                I see more and more of this John.  You are not alone.  There is a reason PDM is such a big deal now.   Years of users creating all this very important data and throwing it around everywhere, and no set way to do things.

                                Make a plan.  Set some basic standards like Filename convention (no revisions in the filename, let the software handle it), configuration names, Custom properties, and how your are using them in BOMs.

                                Put your templates on the network, etc.

                                It will only get worse as you grow and get busier.

                                Once you get started, if you have a plan it will be easier.   Get your VAR involved!!!!

                                JM

                                • Re: Solidworks Workgroup
                                  Matt Peneguy

                                  John Frahm,

                                  Your situation seems awkward.  Nobody likes to be in a position with responsibility over something, but no authority.  I am sorry management foisted this on you.

                                  I'll try to help as best I can.

                                  The best way to get buy-in is to show the users how what you want them to do can help them.  People are much likelier to do something if it helps them.  The other way doesn't get buy-in at all.  Nobody likes to be told, "This is the way you are going to do this".  For instance, if you are trying to get your coworkers to store their files in Workgroup PDM, show them how it can help them.  Did you know they can place notes as they check-in revisions?  It can be very helpful to track how and why changes were made to a component and they may want to take advantage of that functionality to be able to review their changes at a later date.

                                  We have a new hire that worked on a project and I mentioned he may want to look into something like the Skeleton Sketch Part Method for Large Assemblies.  But he didn't think it was that important at first.  I told him that there are going to be some last minute changes, and he still didn't think it was going to be a big deal to make those changes.  Well, he now starts with the SSP method.  And because he knows I was trying to help him, he comes by and asks my advice on how to do this or that.  You want to become the guy they come to for help and guidance.  Then they will more likely take your advice.

                                  Good luck and keep us posted on how all this goes.