We use CAMWorks here as one of our CNC programming softwares. At present the Programmers are making copies of released parts and applying paths on completely separate files than the released versions in the PDM system. They are doing this because they need write access to the file in order to apply and save the CAM path. The obvious disadvantage to this is that they may not be working on the latest file and they have to reapply the paths to a different model once they are informed of the change.
I've been tasked with trying to figure out the best workflow to avoid this. I've been doing some searching and most of the posts on this subject in here are relatively old and none of them really offer what I would consider a "Good" solution.
1) Programmer is not working on the latest file
2) Programmer needs access to the released file in order to save paths and make modifications to geometry for manufacturing purposes if needed.
3) We do not want the programmers to either alter released parts, affect drawings or bump up revs.
Solutions that have been suggested;
1) Have the programmer or Engineering create a derived part specifically for programming. Seems reasonable although I did read that some people were having issues with some feature loss, holes not being recognized as wholes etc. I don't know but would guess that some of the functionality may be lost as well as CAMWorks is feature based and the features don't show up in the derived part.
2) Create a "In CAM" state for programming. For the most part unacceptable because we do not want the official released parts to be "Offically" altered in anyway.
3) Create an assembly and insert the part. Seems reasonable accept some of the complaints I saw was that this added an additional level of complexity to the programming.
So my questions are
1) Any suggestions other than the above?
2) Is there anyway to have a configuration in SW that is not locked, write/read wise by being in a released state in the PDM. I'd guess no but thought I'd ask. This would work swimmingly if you could alter things in that configuration in a released part and it would not allow changes in that configuration to affect any other configurations but could be saved. Again, not likely because the file itself is released not just configurations.
Sorry this is so long...