Part numbering and the design process

Discussion created by Guest on Aug 9, 2006
You just about have to use a part numbering system. After a while you will just have too many files to be able to use a naming sequence like you suggested and keep each part and assembly unique as both Solidworks and PDM requires.
We attempted using a numbering sequence where the part number actually had a meaning, but for the most part it had only limited success. Fasteners for example can generally work well using a letter and number sequence that refernce a description.
I use an assembly prefix and suffix system. The prefix is 8 characters beginning with 01, 02, etc. The 01 and 02 being identifiers for a certain type of equipment. The remaining numbers just being the next number in sequence.
Then I use a suffix to identify a sub assembly and/or each part.
For example a parent assembly migh be 01000001. A sub assembly within that might be 01000001-01 and a part withing that might be 01000001-01-01.
I just create them in numeric sequence as I go. If necessary you can use SW Explorer to rename parts if you want after you get finished should you have to delete any parts during the process. But I have found it better to just add a column for the part file name in the BOM rather than relying on an identifying balloon for refererence. Parts tend to get added or deleted at revision and that can screw everything up again. I also note that file name (part number) reference under each detail view so its easy to find. Works very well.
All Solid modeling systems require unique part and assembly file names. After a while you start to realize that at the end of the day a number is really just a number.

Jeff Hamilton