We are working in a similar way. All original files are managed and versioned by the PDM vault. Copies, e.g. PDF files for material procurement, sales or assembly, are available in a defined directory structure with the right permissions on a file server. This is done in the status transitions by the actions Excecute Task/Command. During this action, all files outside the PDM vault are given a unique identifier that allows to assign them to the original versions in the PDM vault. If new files are created on the file server, the default directory structure is also created if necessary. Existing versions on the file server are automatically moved to an archive directory. The synchronization is only done from PDM to the file server. This is a guarantee that the PDM is always the leading system. With the possibilities given by the PDM in combination with .NET/VBA/Tasks, you can implement everything you need for your process.
By working in this way, all of the participating departments have access to the information released for them, administration is simple and license costs can be minimized.
So i`m very curious since i want to do the same, have u come up with something?