1 Reply Latest reply on Jun 19, 2009 1:04 PM by Richie Yosten

    "Master Files" for corporate document management

    David Genske
      I'm new to the forum, but have browsed all of the EPDM topics and it seems that there are a few folks out there using (or developing) EPDM for general document control and change management. I'm looking to do this with EPDM as well, but have a fundamental question that I'm curious to hear how others have approached the issue.

      We're currently using EPDM to manage our Solidworks data and have a general drawing checking and approval workflow that seems to work well. With a forthcoming transition to electronic master records, I'm curious if others are using the native Solidworks data as the master or attaching PDFs to the change order to be used as the controlled master document.

      (It may be important to note that we're a medical device company and have a need to be able to associate the change order with all of the items affected by the change. "Paste as reference" works great for this in general. I would also like to route all documents associate with the change order together as a package.)

      At this point I'm leaning toward PDFs for two key reasons.

      1. More easily able to control what's linked to the change order. (e.g. if an assembly is changed as part of a change order, but some or all of the parts contained in that assembly are not, there's no way to separate them. So it's really an all or nothing proposition.)

      2. PDFs are much more easily viewed, packaged and sent to others in the organization and out. (Even if we create a PDF copy for non-PDM users, the amount of time it takes to get all of the current files associated with larger assemblies is problematic. Plus, then what's the point since you have suppliers and key internal associates referencing the "copy" instead of the "master" anyway.)

      If there are any folks out there who have implemented systems like this, I would appreciate your thoughts and comments on native vs. PDF.

      Thank you in advance.
        • "Master Files
          Richie Yosten
          We have many different clients and the common deliverable request has been pdf's...so we now have a policy in house that pdf's are the "master" that everything else feeds in to and that document is what we track over all other file types. We use paste as reference to keep up with what the pdf contains. Some clients have the parts list in a separate native file from the drawing (but retains the same doc number) so this was an easy way to combine everything in to one document while defining the relationships of what makes up the deliverable. So whether the native file is a doc, xls, dwg, sld***...there is a pdf of that file.

          We have also implemented a change order process that uses pdf's as the parent and link the documents to those requests similarly to the way we do the document pdf to the native files.

          When the links are created it clears up many issues we seemed to run into on what version of the native file the pdf is tied to. Obviously, this only works if you version the file instead of renaming with the current rev at the end as is the custom in our industry.