19 Replies Latest reply on May 16, 2011 12:57 PM by Jason Capriotti

    Where used options

    Jason Capriotti

      The where-used is not making much sense....it does but doesn't. If you edit a part, its where-used no longer shows the assemblies it is used in. You have to go back and look through all the versions and make a list.

       

      We don't always update assemblies when parts change. Especially on things like purchased items. We may update a part and add configurations to it, add a material if it was forgotten, or make other minor corrections that do not warrant us checking out the assemblies. But if you don't....you get no where-used.

       

      Seems like the system should know that the part is still used in an assembly. Maybe we need another option box on the where-used tab: Show All, As built, As latest.

       

      This is a common practise for us....anyone else have a solution or concerns about this?

        • Re: Where used options
          Corey Vantilborg
          I can second this functionality is not as useful as it could be.   I agree with the need for different options in that list.
          • Re: Where used options
            Tony Cantrell
            When you revise a part thats in an assembly it gets a revision update and the assy is still looking at the older revision.
              • Re: Where used options
                Joy Garon

                Hi Tony -

                 

                Yes - that is by design. You must be able to retrieve an assembly at a specific version with the appropriate reference version.

                If you version a part and you want the assembly to use the new version, you must version the assembly also.

                 

                Joy

                  • Re: Where used options
                    Tony Cantrell
                    It sounds as though the PDM system is doing what its suppose to.
                    • Re: Where used options
                      Kent Keller

                      The idea that EPDM tracks the file version of all assembly components is all good in theory, but not in practice.  Standard engineering practices imply that every assembly will always used the "Latest and Greatest" revision of every sub-component. So, revising a part will always force it into existing released assemblies!  (Yes, this is true). The engineer's job when making a change, is to consider interchangeability of the part in question and decide if the form, fit or function is intact enough to allow a revision or if a new part number (or new configuration number) is necessary.  (Major design changes end up creating new parts rather than revisions).

                       

                      In Theory, the assembly knows what version of every file that existed at the time the assembly was saved, so this information is good....in theory.  But not in practice.

                       

                      In practice, an engineer wants to know where a newly created version is now being used, not where the older version of the file was being used.

                       

                      What is interesting is that EPDM does indeed know this information.  When you get an assembly, you are presented with the versions of every part that would be used in that assembly and can decide if you want the latest version or the old (normally irrelevant) versions that were existing during the last save of the assembly.

                       

                      Forcing the versioning of the top assembly would end up requiring that the top level every product would revise for every single minor change!

                       

                      Database and application programmers like me might be fine with EPDM's approach, because there is some logic in it, but engineers will not be happy.  Here's to EPDM addressing this crucial issue.  Cheers!

                       

                      Kent

                    • Re: Where used options
                      Jason Capriotti

                      I would still want that functionality....but just like when you checkout the assembly it gathers the latest version of all references....I want the the Where-used to have that option to view it both ways.

                       

                      This doesn't just apply to SolidWorks parts and assemblies, but also manually created references like parts attached to ECOs or Items attached to other Items.

                       

                      In our current system, we don't really recognize "versions", just "Revisions". So in Enterprise you have an part history like:

                      1

                      2

                      3

                      A

                      4

                      5

                      B

                      6

                      C

                       

                      An assy might have referenced version4 rev A last but since the assembly still uses the part, the where-used should show it. Now if the next rev of the assy removes the part, then the where-used for the part should show the assy at the older version used.

                       

                      Hard to explain and I'm not really sure how it should look.

                        • Re: Where used options
                          Kent Keller

                          Your explanation was not bad.  The problem with Parent-Child relationships is that they are too complex to be described by simple "Parent-Child" relationships.  The way I see it, there are actually Four distinct, useful ways of looking at the Parent-Child "BOM"

                           

                          1. As Constructed

                          2. As Built

                          3. Sandbox (aka "Crystal Ball" view)

                          4. Manufacturing Current

                           

                          As Constructed:  This mode shows what versions of each file were originally active when the assembly was saved.  It represents a file based "Slice in Time".  This mode is good when you need to see the file structure as it existed in past history.

                           

                          As Built:  This view shows a similar "Slice in Time", but limits the results to released REVISIONS, not simply file versions.  Useful when you need to know "What would out company have actually built on a particular day in history.  Obviously, unreleased version were never built, so they would never appear in this type of mode.

                           

                          Sandbox "Crystal ball":  This mode would show the product structure as the engineering team would see it.  Unreleased versions are shared and visible to other engineers.  But these changes have not happened yet (i.e they are not released/approved or manufacture).  They don't exist yet.  They might exist later.  Therefore, they are "Crystal Ball" versions of the assembly.  Never let manufacturing see of build a "Crystal Ball" assembly.  Yet this information is obviously useful for the engineering team.

                           

                          Manufacturing Current:  This mode would show the product structure today if they build it will all released parts.  This represents the reality of what engineers would have manufacturing build.

                           

                          All of these "Modes" are logica and necessary to track engineering/manufacturing changes.  Most PDM systems do not include all these modes and therefore fall short of full usefullness.  EPDM is not an exception...yet.

                           

                          Kent

                      • Re: Where used options
                        See this thread.
                        • Re: Where used options
                          Jon Brunke

                          We don't always update assemblies when parts change. Especially on things like purchased items. We may update a part and add configurations to it, add a material if it was forgotten, or make other minor corrections that do not warrant us checking out the assemblies. But if you don't....you get no where-used.

                          Jason,

                           

                          As SW is listening I'll add my support for enhancements to a reverse where used.  We are not a job shop. Our products have ridiculously long life cycles and for many reasons our assemblies very often don't reference the latest version of every part or assembly.  We happily replaced our old CAD system with SW and EPDM.  However the old system did provided a very good, built in, reverse where used. I'm disappointed to learn I will have to develop a solution for what we regard a must have tool, hopefully before my user base discovers this themselves.  I will be filing this one with my VAR.
                            • Re: Where used options
                              Jason Capriotti
                              Jon, our products also can have a long life cycle. What do you mean by reverse where used. Is that not what the Contains of Bill of materials tab does?
                                • Re: Where used options
                                  Jon Brunke

                                  Jason,

                                   

                                  Sorry about the terminology. Our MRP system programmers provided a company wide search tool enabling all to find out where a part is used accoss all of our products.  The search tool refers to this as a "Reverse Where Used" search.  So the term has taken hold here.  We are indeed talking about the same thing, what you and most others refer to as "Where Used".

                                   

                                  I'll have to remember to turn on my "outside these four walls translator" next time I post. Again sorry about that.