18 Replies Latest reply on May 11, 2018 12:48 PM by Rubén Rodolfo Balderrama

    what do you do with an assembly when it is done?

    David Matula

      We have all been there I am sure.  Work on a project for 6 months or more building this assembly of parts that one day will be manufactured and hit the production floor to be built to make the lives of people across the world better one way or another. 

      I usually take the assemblies that I have worked on they get saved on the server with all the other files that we make.  Last week I got hit with a question about one of them assemblies and had to open the model up...ohhh crap....it was done in sw 2014 and now we are upgraded to 2017.  I get the red tree of death....the rework of multiple sub assemblies and the top level to get all the errors fixed.  Thank the cad procedures that no one modified a 4 in nipple into a 80ft length of pipe as I have seen that happen before.

      What is your procedure when the project is over to keep the files from getting corrupted?

       

      do you use the pack and go? as server space is cheap and keep a copy of every part?

      do you save the file to some other format that will take a snap shot in time of what the assembly was when you finished it?

       

      Has any one had to open a file that was last saved with something older that SolidWorks 2005 or older?

      what kind of results did you get? 

       

       

      What I am really looking for is a way to be able to take an assembly save it as something so that no matter what someone does to the parts that that assembly is not going to change.  If it sits on the server to 8 years I want to be able to open it with no problems so I can show the shop the original design and maybe be able to go threw all the modifications that we have done to it over the years.

        • Re: what do you do with an assembly when it is done?
          Steve Calvert

          David Matula wrote:

           

           

          What is your procedure when the project is over to keep the files from getting corrupted?

           

           

          Basically, we use a PDM system and that (for the most part) keeps things in line.  I can look at my "working" directory and see three different versions of SW, 2007, 2010 and 2015 so I'd say the one thing to do is to update older files when you switch versions.

           

          Steve C

          • Re: what do you do with an assembly when it is done?
            Tony Cantrell

            If you do a pack n go and put the drawing number as a prefix or suffix (on all files) it should be fine.

            • Re: what do you do with an assembly when it is done?
              Craig Schultz

              If you do use PDM, you could do a copy tree and add a suffix (date?) to all parts/assemblies/drawings.  Then you could gather up all of those files and move them into a state where it's read only.

              • Re: what do you do with an assembly when it is done?
                David Matula

                PDM is awesome....but also not an option at this time. 

                Been counters don't want to spend even more money for another cad program is which how they look at PDM.

                 

                I would like to see SolidWorks rebrand it to make it attractive to other departments that could use the file management capabilities of the program.  I can see PDM being used by everyone like they use windows explorer to find and open and close files but till the been counters can see the big picture of it all and see that it is way worth it that option is out.

                • Re: what do you do with an assembly when it is done?
                  Rick Becker

                  Make a PDF of every drawing. At least you will have a snapshot of what it is suppose to look like. Then Pack and Go.

                  • Re: what do you do with an assembly when it is done?
                    Chris Saller

                    I second the use of PDM and PDFs. We use PDM for all SW files, the PDFs are used for shops, vendors, etc, and just in case SW files crash.

                    • Re: what do you do with an assembly when it is done?
                      Tom Gagnon

                      David Matula wrote:

                       

                      do you use the pack and go? as server space is cheap and keep a copy of every part?

                      Yes. I PnG to an Archive subdirectory with each revision level. Space, even in triplicate with redundant backups, is indeed cheap. So is order, if implemented simply.

                       

                      I explain to management that, because PDM is not purchased, in order to ensure future use of current designs, this extra task must be performed. This task takes time, takes error-checking to verify a workable result, and more time to re-do the task if it did not work. I make it ultimately clear on my time sheet even, that File Management is an uncommon but time-consuming task, and is a present, persistent, and measurable cost imposed on the company because they did not buy the PDM software.

                       

                      A Preemptive "go away" (in polite terms, which was not my first thought):

                      I have no problem with this. Don't hijack OP's thread by trying to provide a solution to a perceived problem I don't have. I don't need your opinions of my workflow, or I'd have asked for it. Feel free to provide advice to OP asking for such. Do NOT tell me there is a free PDM version available. We all know darned well that setup is a cost of change which is paid by the company, just not necessarily to the VAR. Any reply to my reply will be deleted along with this insignificant reply.

                      • Re: what do you do with an assembly when it is done?
                        Chris Saller

                        If you have 2018, you have PDM Standard.

                        • Re: what do you do with an assembly when it is done?
                          David Matula

                          After a user group meeting discussions happen, and one of the guys said that he save the assembly as a parasolid.  It saved the snapshot in time of the 3d assembly with all the parts in one file.   He said that it opened really fast and that he could get in there and show someone on the screen in 3d what they did not understand on the drawing, weeks months to years later. I am not sure how many parts his assemblies have but it sounded like a good idea.  I wanted to hear what other may be doing that do not have PDM. 

                          • Re: what do you do with an assembly when it is done?
                            Steven Mills

                            As someone who worked for a company that kept on trying to keep records without actually getting a PDM - here is what I learned.

                             

                            1. Use the 'read only' option for the archive folders. If you don't, SOMEONE is going to accidentally or even purposly change things that should not be changed, and it can remain undiscovered for years. Then days are lost to 'fix' the archive when they just wanted information. Or you get this cycle where people get repeatedly told to look at "X", and re-finding the same bad information over and over and over.

                            --I highly advise that you have one or two people in charge of the archives, and only they can make changes. NO ONE else, even CEOs.

                            2. The main archive and most well used was just the PDFs of the assembly and part drawings, with a new PDF saved for each revision of of the drawings. 95% of the time, this is all people need to figure out historical design and intent questions.

                            3. If you really need to save the source and SolidWorks files of each revision, the best way I think is to have people pack-and-go into a zip file, and control the labeling of that zip file. Personally we tried to use the same project name/number for each zip file followed by a time stamp. Do it that way, and File Explorer almost automatically sorts the files for you, and you have an endless non-repeating number to keep everything separate.

                            --Note: Must have the read-only where you put the zip-files. And make it clear that if any changes are made, people need to extract all the files onto their own computer, and make a new ZIP file when they save the changes, DO NOT TOUCH THE ARCHIVES.

                            --Time stamp is just a number with the year, month, day, hour, and even min - 201805111122 for example.

                            --The problem with 3 is that it was very hard to get all the drafters to use it. Multiple departments, everyone doing their own thing... It was difficult just to inform people of it, much less how to use the system we tried to implement. Even with guides and instructions made and passed around, and personal one-on-one instruction. Most just forgot to do so quite quickly.

                            --Also, there are people who have no idea how SW files work. How many people have ever received a drawing file, with no parts or assembly files? Simlair problem here, you can't really look at just the drawing file in a zip folder. You need to extract to your own computer, then open the drawing file.

                            • Re: what do you do with an assembly when it is done?
                              Rubén Rodolfo Balderrama

                              On SEI-Contreras, once the project was finished, all the design was exported to STP, each drawing was exported to CAD and PDF and to a complete data files we make a copy on DVD, we were obliged to have the project for 10 years after the project was finished.

                              Here today, same thing happens