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How do you handle things like "Bolt bags" or simular subassemblies that need to be ballooned?

Question asked by Jim Steinmeyer on Jan 9, 2019
Latest reply on Jan 10, 2019 by Jim Steinmeyer

I have again come to a situation that I have not found a solution I like within SolidWorks.

To simplify things for the shop floor we have much of our hardware delivered in "Bolt Bags" so that when the parts runners take an assembly of parts to a station they just grab a bag and but it in the pile. No need to count out or sort bolts. It works great on the floor but when it comes to drawings, not so much.


We feel it is important to show the hardware in the drawing so the shop doesn't put a 1-1/4" bolt where a 1-3/4" bolt is needed. (At least it helps if the shop ever looks at the print but don't get me started on that.) And this is where the challenge starts. To have the BOM correct for the MRP system the drawing BOM needs to call out the bag part number. If I use an indented BOM all of the subassemblies want to come into the BOM indented not just the bolt bags. I know that I could go to the BOM and hide the undesired subassembly parts that I don't want showing but when you only have 3 bolt bags with a total of 10 parts and maybe 15 other subassemblies with over 100 parts that gets kind of ridiculous. Also you would not believe the confusion having balloons with 1.1, 1.2, 1.3 ect. caused when I tried that . I would prefer the Flat numbering, but It would be great to have the BOM indented to group the bag parts and the bags themselves not numbered since they will not show up in the drawing.


If memory serves me correctly Inventor gave us the option to select which assemblies we wanted indented and which we wanted flat. Once I got a handle on how to make it work it was pretty nice. About the only thing I preferred in Inventor. Does anyone have a neat workaround for something like this in SW? Or is this something that needs an ER?