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"Master Files" for corporate document management

Question asked by David Genske on Jun 17, 2009
Latest reply on Jun 19, 2009 by Richie Yosten
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.