15 Replies Latest reply on Jun 29, 2018 8:28 AM by John Stoltzfus

    Can anyone help me with some organizing files advice?

    Eugen Lupascu

      Good day to everyone,

       

      I have a big problem with organising files.

      First of all, I can say that I am a beginner in using Solidworks. My first step was building a machinery. Then the things got complicated. The CEO requires that the machinery can anytime been changed. We are 3 engineers working with Solidworks, and everyone in his own manner. The company don't have any logic in the design departament, actually the design departament is not organized at all. It's a sad thing I know but this is the reality.

      As I said I think I am still a beginner, and it falls on my shoulder organizing the files. I started a configuration for a workflow in PDM.

      At first I didn't know anything about data cards, atributes, but now, as I know I realized that my old files don't have atributes that my new files have. Every file, part and assembly have at least 2 configurations. I have worked with multiple configurations too. My first problem is how can I organize and update all my files in a short time?

       

      The second problem is that I have is with the easy changeble machinery. I have one pilot project which I build and at the top level assembly I added equation to connect the subassembly components which connect the other parts at the subassembly level.

       

       

      As you see is a smoking chamber which is build by panels. This is one kind. The other I have to build is this:

       

       

      Is derived from the first machinery. As you see in the left list I used old files and new files. The old files cannot be changed easily through equation or references and new files can. The next level is to build an entire library of machineries The first one in by two trolleys, the second one is by threem and so on.

      As you see the connection between ceilings is different from the floor. As a fast workflow can DriveWorksXpress help me?

      The pannels are the same but slighty different. How can I make this library in a fast and efficient way with all the atributes and PDM integration?

       

      I already talked with the reseller and they say I had a bad aproach with equations. I had to do it with references.

      And to not forgot. Interior parts are changing constantly, so is hard to make a standard library.

       

      What advice can you give me to resolve all of this problems?

        • Re: Can anyone help me with some organizing files advice?
          Bjorn Hulman

          Hi Eugen,

          You have a large task ahead of you there. Any answers to this are not going to be simple.

          Firstly, does your company have an active SolidWorks Subscription? I ask because this could be something your VAR may be able to help you with. And in all honesty, I think it would be worth getting them involved even if you need to pay them.

           

          Though you would get a lot of valuable suggestions here from experienced people, it would be beneficial to get help from someone that could come to your workplace and get the feel for how you all work.

          • Re: Can anyone help me with some organizing files advice?
            John Stoltzfus

            Eugen Lupascu - all I can say is wow, there is a lot of work to do.  I think it would pay to stop and figure everything out precisely before moving on and making things worse.  Somehow you need to create a master and pack and go your other sizes from there, also how are revisions being taken care of??

             

            Good luck

            • Re: Can anyone help me with some organizing files advice?
              Flemming Nielsen

              Hi Eugen,

              Lots of work there. Defiantly you will have to work with reference geometry. Make sure to have a template with enough reference geometry so you always can move a plane, point or axis to a desired location. You can't add this afterwards.!

              Give DriveWorks a look. I'm a DW Pro user and wouldn't live without it.

              You are best of with not using "saying filenames". You shall only use filenames consisting of numbers and utilize the advantage of PDM attributes. This will help you when you need to change things afterwards. Just look at attributes as a table of data where you use a filter like autofilter in excel to find your items.

              Also make sure you have identified what at static and dynamic parts/assemblies. You won't drive/change everything each time, but probably reuse items over and over again. The time spent now are returned 100 times over the next many years.

              • Re: Can anyone help me with some organizing files advice?
                Frederick Law

                Basically you need to develop your own work flow.

                Try different things and see which one you like.

                Configuration is powerful but it'll take more time to manage.  Sometime separate parts are easier to understand and manage.

                Also As your skill grow, your workflow will change.  Keep track of how you work and take note on what you like and don't.  Review them and make changes periodically.

                • Re: Can anyone help me with some organizing files advice?
                  Flemming Nielsen

                  Forgot to mention that using configurations is a bad idea. Configurations are great for use like display states, or sheet metal. Anything beyond that is a really bad idea for multiple reasons.. Trust me..

                  • Re: Can anyone help me with some organizing files advice?
                    David Matula

                    Ohh boy.  this sounds like to much fun.  The file attributes tend to be things that I want to show up on drawings and in the bill of material.  So all that info has to be in each start part so guys know what they need to fill out.  It also standardizes the descriptions and part #'s of the parts and assemblies. 

                          I have used an excel spreadsheet to have a smart part # system that when you look at a part # you know what kind of part it is.  so something like that would help.  Sounds like you have a lot of meetings to do with the group to get how it everything should work.  I would be able to drop a part/assembly into a drawing and 99% of the title block would be filled out, if all the info on the parts where filled out. If something was missing then the part needed to be updated.  Since I never got to use pdm, file folders for similar parts was how I handled being able to find all the parts we made when it came time to build the assemblies.

                      • Re: Can anyone help me with some organizing files advice?
                        Flemming Nielsen

                        Some sort of structure is always good. I like to know where my items are. However I wont recommend to use any intelligent number. I have been in several companies and always found it way too long, incomplete or simply wrong.

                        The #serial number shall not be anything than a number to search and locate the item. What the number is, just doesn't matter.

                        Any additional information should reside in attributes, where they are easily changed and searchable.

                          • Re: Can anyone help me with some organizing files advice?
                            Eugen Lupascu

                            This is the serial number for assemblies.

                             

                            This is the serial number for parts.

                             

                            I didn't map them yet with the working PDM.

                             

                            This logic I will use for naming the parts. I found this answer in presentation of Solidworks , working winth files.

                              • Re: Can anyone help me with some organizing files advice?
                                Flemming Nielsen

                                Eugen, again I would warn you from doing any numbering related to what the item is, what color it is, or who supplies the item. You will simply just realise at some point, you need to change the number. And then hell breaks loose.

                                It is just a number, nothing else. If you want to locate assys, for what ever reason, you can add an attribute where you select part or assy. You can go further and add if the part are suppose to be a stock item or purchased to order. And going forward, you can add all the attributes you like.

                                I hope I make my point clear ;-)

                                  • Re: Can anyone help me with some organizing files advice?
                                    Frederick Law

                                    Yes, number is cheap.  Don't make it complicate.

                                     

                                    If you need to spend 10 min to figure out a part number before you start drawing, you have done it wrong.

                                    • Re: Can anyone help me with some organizing files advice?
                                      John Stoltzfus

                                      Flemming Nielsen  wrote:

                                       

                                      Eugen, again I would warn you from doing any numbering related to what the item is, what color it is, or who supplies the item. You will simply just realise at some point, you need to change the number. And then hell breaks loose.

                                      It is just a number, nothing else. If you want to locate assys, for what ever reason, you can add an attribute where you select part or assy. You can go further and add if the part are suppose to be a stock item or purchased to order. And going forward, you can add all the attributes you like.

                                      I hope I make my point clear ;-)

                                      So true - I wish everyone would know that here as well.  Trying to create a "Perfect" Smart Numbering system isn't to smart for a small company unless you have major experience that you can pull in from another Job.  I've seen it a few times where people started, but eventually ran into a wall, because they didn't think of a certain scenario or had know idea that in 5 years they'll be a "new" product that needs to fit in, but doesn't because there is no room etc.... 

                              • Re: Can anyone help me with some organizing files advice?
                                S. Casale

                                When I came onto the organization I am with, the filing structure was based on old standards of sheets size, A, B, C, D, and etc. The folders broke out were based on this, with each having Archives for the obs or superseded. Outside of the vaulting environment it could be a nightmare to capture legacy files. I was able to bring all legacy data into the vaulting environment.

                                 

                                With your three users, it's likely a good idea to interrogate their folder structures. Note the vault works best with the flattest folder structure possible the fewest big buckets you could use as possible. Note:Sometimes project folders seems like a great idea, until the concept of part reuse is needed. The next few questions are about migration:

                                • What are their folder structures?
                                • What, if any dictated how files were established and named?
                                • Is there duplicate file naming that has occurred?
                                • Have you already migrated?
                                • Do you plan on having the PDM create your numbering set-up, or do you have an outside program such as an ERP that dos this for you?

                                 

                                You may have started developing custom properties for older files. The downside to legacy data is (inherently) the older files won't have populated attributes. There are softwares out there to aid in this (TASK as an example). I have not used them as I am able to interrogate the data in our system quickly, however other users on this forum may be able to assist with populating legacy data - and yes in bulk .

                                  • Re: Can anyone help me with some organizing files advice?
                                    David Matula

                                    I was in the process of putting descriptions in all our parts at a place when the SolidWorks bom started to be used.  To add all the info into the files it was as easy and dropping all the parts into an assembly and then pulling a bom that had all the attributes I wanted to add to the parts.  The 150 plus parts I had already done did not need to be redone but the next 995 went faster.