37 Replies Latest reply on Feb 3, 2018 2:39 AM by Adrian Velazquez

    How does your company deal with viewing latest revision?

    Adam Meyer

      I'd like to get some opinions on how your company deals with this scenerio:

       

      Scenario: There is a complete assembly with a number of models for the components and associated drawings, all fully released under ECO.  This becomes the master documentation for the design.

      Task: An engineering change is contemplated for one of the components, so the responsible design engineer checks out the file and begins to change the math data as part of the modifications.  The change has not been released yet.

      Potential Problem: Shortly thereafter, a second engineer (unaware of any pending changes) opens the assembly file to take, say, a quick screen shot to put into an important presentation.  A two-minute task, and he happens to be hurried at that moment as well.  The modified component that is NOT YET RELEASED is automatically loaded into the assembly but the second engineer is not aware of this, and fails to explicitly check.  A mistake may be made since the second engineer intuitively thought he was calling up only the complete design released assembly.

      Desired Principle: The design released assembly, drawings, and components should be frozen documents in the PDM.  Anyone calling up any design released files should open, BY DEFAULT, only the latest approved revision of any and all referenced files.  If any file(s) happen to be checked out because of contemplated changes, such a condition should be flagged and it should be possible to roll the files forward to show the changed design work to allow collaborative design.

       

      As far as I understand EPDM cannot achieve the desired principle.  It can only get the latest version (which could be modified) or the last verion in the local vault.

       

      Thanks,

       

      Adam

        • Re: How does your company deal with viewing latest revision?
          John Jablonski

          Potential Problem: Engineer #1 should not be messing with the released assembly. He should have made a copy and should be working on that. Assuming no PDM system; I don't know how things do or should work in that environment, since I've never used one, tho it still sounds like Engineer #1 did something wrong.

           

          You are correct tho. Anyone pulling up the released assembly should be viewing the released assembly, and not a work in progress.

           

          -john

            • Re: How does your company deal with viewing latest revision?
              Adam Meyer

              34603 wrote:

               

              Potential Problem: Engineer #1 should not be messing with the released assembly. He should have made a copy and should be working on that. Assuming no PDM system; I don't know how things do or should work in that environment, since I've never used one, tho it still sounds like Engineer #1 did something wrong.

               


               

              John,


              Engineer #1 isn't changing the assembly.  He/She is making a change to a component in the assembly and this change is propagating into the released assembly before it is approved.  In EPDM, you don't make copies of files because you loose the file history.

               

              Adam

            • Re: How does your company deal with viewing latest revision?
              Corey Vantilborg

              You have identified a short coming of Enterprise. However there is a solution which I don't recommend because it will just cause confusion.

               

              1)Turn off the User Setting "Always Work with Latest Version". Users will now be able to select any version of the assembly they want in this case the last released version.

              2) When you Check Out the assembly, select the "As Built' reference option

               

              You will not get the assembly exactly as it was built when it was released.  Note that if stuff was not checked in from the bottom up this will not work right.

               

              At our company the solution is education.  People have to learn to be aware of what version they have open. There is no other solution. 


              We force engineering to always us latest version because we feel it is more dangerous to have an old part/assembly then a too new part/assembly.  At least at the engineering level.

               

              What you really want is a Get Latest Revision button, not a get latest version button.

               

              I can clarify more if you like,

              Corey Vantilborg

              • Re: How does your company deal with viewing latest revision?
                Jason Capriotti

                There is a big need for this, I suggest going to the website portal and under "enhancement requests" search for "latest" and vote on those requests related to this. We need a "Get latest files in "state"" as defined by the administrator and it should be controllable by group.We have people who should only see latest "Released" files and nothing else. Then we have situations where an assembly is being revised on one ECO but some of the parts and sub-assemblies might be on another unrelated ECO. If the assembly ECO releases first, it doesn't need to show the changes being made on the other ECO. Not sure how you handle that....its like "Get latest Released files unless they have my ECO number on them, then get latest" option.

                 

                SPR 532438: Allow users to work with latest, as built versions, or latest released 'mode' rather than using version in cache.

                SPR 518021: 'Get Latest Revision' function is required.

                SPR 418551: Workflow State specific option for latest version of files> controled by user or group.

                SPR 473666: Should be possible to give users permission to only see latest 'approved' revision - not all older revisions in same state.

                  • Re: How does your company deal with viewing latest revision?
                    David Diehl

                    I absolutely agree with Jason on the need for the enhancement. Neither "latest" nor "as-built" gets us what we need.  "As-built" gets us closer, but by the time you load the "As-built" configuration, then try to go through the components to see if any new "revision" has been released since the the "as-built" configuration was checked into the vault...Well lets just say no one at our site goes through this excercise to get us what ultimately would be defined as Jason describes: "Get latest files in <state> (which in our implementation of EPDM would be "RELEASED").

                     

                    I've found it is cumbersome to open an assembly, then do a "Get" and select a version in order to retrieve the "As-Built" configuration.  EPDM basically goes out and reloads the changed versions of the components.  This takes time for EPDM to replace the latest versions with the as-built versions...You'll see different versions of the components loading on the screen as each component version is changed.  On complex assemblies, you know a lot is going on behind the scenes.  And, it is during this process that I've have experienced SolidWorks crashing in the middle of all of this more than I'd like.

                     

                    Due to this situation, most if not all of the users at our company don't even mess with the "As-Built" configuration and instead just load the 'latest'.  The danger with this is that if they are working on an assembly while another user is working on a component within that assembly, what he thinks is a stable configuration when he saves and exits may look completely different the next time he opens his assembly since it will retrieve whatever unapproved changes the other user made to one of the components.

                     

                    Admitedly, we have a training issue on our hands just to get most users to understand what this means.  I wish EPDM had the feature Jason is requesting and I wish EPDM had a more user-friendly way of getting to the "As-built" configuration.

                    • Re: How does your company deal with viewing latest revision?
                      Corey Vantilborg

                      I like where this thread is going. Version is critically important at least at our company often not understood.  People just assume that Enterprise will do the 'right' thing, without really knowing what the 'right' thing is.

                       

                      Having addition options to control what versions of references are gotten would be nice. 

                       

                      I think the idea of using ECO's to track what a user should get is intriguing.  Perhaps Items could help with this.

                       

                      Corey V

                    • Re: How does your company deal with viewing latest revision?
                      Mike Sveda

                      We force everyone to work the with the latest version. Our assemblies are one-off machines.  Revisions are handled during the build/test phase.  When the customer gets the machine all the files are released and current.  There is no need to go back in time for a previous revision of a part or assembly except for some very rare exceptions. 

                      • Re: How does your company deal with viewing latest revision?
                        Derek Bishop

                        It is handled easily in Workgroup PDM. When say a drawing is released at a critical stage, it is checked into Workgroup PDM as a new revision. I add a note to describe the significance of the revision.

                         

                        If someone subsequently checks out a part, and makes a change, the change is saved back to the vault. The revision of the part and all other higher level documents will be incremented automatically.

                         

                        If I then was to open a document at the revision of the release prior to the changes made to the part, I select the relevant revision of document and check it out as built. Relevant revisions of parts to match the selected revision of the document are discovered automatically. You can check the history of the document while in the vault and with the aid of the notes determine the required revision.

                         

                        Maybe I'm mising something?

                         

                        Edit:

                         

                        Just noticed that this is EPDM. Would have thought the same would be possible with that software though.

                         

                        Message was edited by: Derek Bishop

                        • Re: How does your company deal with viewing latest revision?
                          Darren Marchant

                          Hi

                          Configurations could be used to solve this.

                          Where each new version would be built inside a new configuration (say config REV b)

                          Your assy would call up rev a until you told it otherwise. So would your drawings (which should always be saved as a PDF or similar)

                          Then when you alter a to become b, you would need to suppress features needing changes and add new, or build a design table to control it that way.

                          When the revisions are complete, change the config used in your drawing views and assys and complete the drawings.

                           

                          Darren

                          • Re: How does your company deal with viewing latest revision?
                            Fred Rasmussen

                            I submitted an ER for this exact topic entitled...

                             

                            "Always make the currently RELEASED version  the DEFAULT to be displayed"

                             

                            Description...

                            "Rather than rely on a visual warning to the  end-user when they are working with older
                            versions it would be much  better to have the currently RELEASED version ALWAYS
                            ALWAYS get  loaded into the cache by default."

                             

                            The active SPR they matched with my request was this one...

                             

                            SPR# 532438

                            Allow users to work  with latest, as built versions, or latest released 'mode' rather than  using version in cache

                             

                            It is currently OPEN with an impact assessment of HIGH

                              • Re: How does your company deal with viewing latest revision?
                                Adam Meyer

                                Be careful with the terminology.  In most cases the latest released version should be the latest revision, but in case it isn't, I'd still want the latest revision to be loaded by default.  I think this is what you are saying as well.

                                 

                                 

                                Adam

                                  • Re: How does your company deal with viewing latest revision?
                                    Jason Capriotti

                                    For us the latest revision may not be correct as we bump the revision when it goes inwork on an ECO or Project. So revision "A" which is "Released" may got to "Inwork" and become revision "A.01". We do this since prints may need to go to the factory for prototyping and they need to reflect an "in-between" revision, otherwise they look like they are revision "A".

                                     

                                    We need latest "Released" revision. I'd say it would need to be a user-defined state. Maybe it would be an option the admin sets on the state itself "Allow this state to be retrieved as latest". Then a second option if the first is true, "Make this state the default retrieved". Then they show up as options in the dialogues.

                                     

                                    I could think of a few other enhancements like color coding the interface and/or putting watermarks in the preview or data card that indicates when you don't have the latest locally. As it is, the users often miss that they have an old version in their local cache then they call me because it doesn't look right.

                                    • Re: How does your company deal with viewing latest revision?
                                      Lucas Dexter

                                      Adam,

                                           We do not rev our parts or assemblies, just our drawings; so having an option to just view released revisions is not an option. We let EPDM handle the versioning of the parts and assemblies.  I guess I do not see what the big issue is.  You can set who can see what via the workflow states.  For example I let engineering have full control of what they want to see since they are the ones responsible for the design (plus they are the smartest in the company, right?).  On the other hand, I allow the shop floor to only view the latest released version, they can not see anything else.

                                           I perform all our in house training for EPDM and I always stress "to make sure you know what you have in cache prior to opening a file in SolidWorks."  Either you want to open that snap shot in time (as referenced) or the latest of everything (latest version).  Either way, it is good practice to always perform some type of GET prior to opening the file in SolidWorks so you know what is in your cache.  After all, you are not using Windows anymore so paying attention is part of the game.

                                       

                                      "With great power comes great responsibility"

                                       

                                      That being said, I do like the idea of having another choice while performing the GET to load all latest released versions if possible.  That would save a lot of time updating large assemblies.  The option should actually let you choose which state you would like to see in case your company does not use "Released" as your released state.

                                       

                                      Good Luck!!

                                       

                                      Lucas

                                    • Re: How does your company deal with viewing latest revision?
                                      Corey Vantilborg

                                      I think this is an over simple solution. I have an example below.

                                       

                                       

                                      We have two assemblies(A and B) and one part that is shared between them.

                                      1)Say that the part is actively being worked and has working versions checked in. 

                                      2)An engineering is asked to make a change to assembly A, and requires the working version of the Part so he selects the option to use the "Newer then Released" version.  This assumes there is a clear to communicate there is a newer version and he may want it. 3)

                                      4Next the Engineer just wants to open Assembly B, what version of the part does he get? If he gets the "Released" version of the part(overwriting the working part from 2) then when he opens Assembly A again does he now have the older released version?

                                       

                                      What I'm getting at is that from a development point of view there is not always going to be a simple answer as to what the Engineering wants. One solution would be to allow you to specify exactly what version of each reference you want but in a big assembly no one is going to do this. 

                                       

                                      The design of the change needs to be carefully considered.

                                       

                                      Corey V

                                        • Re: How does your company deal with viewing latest revision?
                                          Jason Capriotti

                                          I would think when he opens assembly "B" he would get the "Released" version of the part by default. Now this could be a problem if he has assembly "A" open with the Inwork" part open. In this cases it should provide a warning and explanation with the option to cancel the operation or load the "Inwork" part in assembly "B".

                                           

                                          There's always going to be certain situations that have to be handled with care. Working with no PDM, we have models in a "Released" folder, then we have copies of models on ECOs. We have situations were the user opened Assy A with a modified part, then opened Assy B and didn't mean to use the modified part, then saved the assembly and now Assy B was looking at the wrong thing. Difficult for the user to see that was happening. If the PDM provides the warning, it would be more than we have now.

                                      • Re: How does your company deal with viewing latest revision?
                                        Chad Leman

                                        I think there is a simple solution to this, which works with EPDM the way it is now.

                                         

                                        Maybe I'm missing something, but here goes....

                                         

                                        OK so the assembly is APPROVED.  Everyone has rights to read parts in the APPROVED state of the workflow.

                                         

                                        The engineer submits a part to ECN (or ECO or whatever) state, which places the part into the UNDER ECN state.  He now has rights to check out, modify, and do anything he needs to with the part.

                                         

                                        Joe User, however, does not have rights to read a file in the UNDER ECN state.  Therefore, when he opens the assembly, PDM will deliver up the latest version of which he can read or load, and VOILA - he gets the assembly in the released state.

                                         

                                        Once the change is official, the engineer moves the part back to the APPROVED state, and everyone can again see the released version, including Joe User.  I'm sure this could be done based on individual user rights as well.

                                         

                                        I tested it out and it works here.

                                         

                                        Regards,

                                        Chad

                                          • Re: How does your company deal with viewing latest revision?
                                            Adam Meyer

                                            That works fine for Joe User, but not for another engineer who does have permission to read the file in the UNDER ECN state.

                                            • Re: How does your company deal with viewing latest revision?
                                              Tim Webb

                                              Chad, you are exactly right. This is EXACTLY how it is supposed to be done. I have used our ECO process in our EPDM this way for years. It sounds like you have had in depth EPDM training, good.

                                               

                                              This is a native function and strength of Enterprise PDM. This is basic User/Group management but that does NOT replace well defined roles with well defined processes. Without an underlying process, this is just another tool.

                                               

                                              When files are transitioned out to an ECO/ECN/ECR/DRF/IRR state, every "Group" except the ECO editors group does not have "Read File Contents" permission enabled so they see the latest version they had permission to see, which happens to be in the released state just before this state. Then when the file is re-released, voila, everyone can see it again at the new REV but they never see the work in process version.

                                               

                                              How to handle the rogue engineer who had permissions to see the file and grabbed a screen shot?

                                               

                                              The FIRST problem I see: This is a fundamental engineering problem. In the old days we used to check, re-check, then back check. Who checked his work when he made the screen grab? And he took it to a presentation? Without review?

                                               

                                              The check process ensured what engineers provided was accurate. Is it really an option to provide something that has not been checked by a supervisor or another engineer before a presentation? Who does work like that without objective review? To me that is a sign of degrading quality in the Engineering field. So the hurry tells me he wasn't planning ahead well enough? This also tells me this person was "not prepared for that presentation". I hope no lives were depending on this person's engineering...

                                               

                                              The SECOND problem I see: The permissions need to be revisited. Set permissions properly then train, train, train the people who have permissions. It's just a matter of forming new habits.

                                               

                                              Training and following processes. Any document that is visible can printed, scraped, or shared in an uncontrolled manner so this "I can do whatever I want with the data whenever I want" thinking needs to be controlled first by permission then by procedure. An engineer is educated so they need keep their thinker turned on and be cautious of what they are doing.

                                               

                                              It's a quick 2 minute process to do the screen grab but the get version process is 10 seconds. Slow down, do it right or you "will" do it again and possibly cause problems in another department but by then it may be a much bigger problem.

                                               

                                              EPDM offers very granular resolution on fine tuning the permissions so all people see "only" what they need to see so they make decisions at their level with just enough information at just the right time.

                                            • Re: How does your company deal with viewing latest revision?
                                              Chris Challinor

                                              I think a lot of over thinking is going on...........

                                               

                                              You need two file / directory locations.

                                               

                                              One is "Production" and only has the latest released files in it that production and purchasing can see, it is read only. They can send, read,

                                               

                                              The other is an "Engineering" directory, it has the files that engineering uses to work on.

                                               

                                              If an update is needed the engineers work from their "engineering" location....when the work is done they "copy" (pack and go or other method) the new files to "Production" and remove any old files of that product (in the "old Revision sections" keep PDF files in there only, that way "production" can see what is different if needed).

                                              • Re: How does your company deal with viewing latest revision?
                                                Steven Dod

                                                I have seen several suggestions for the ability to open the assembly with a Get Latest Revision type function but Solidworks and PDM kind of has this ability already.  We always use Latest Version so when the assembly opens it will show the "changed" component rather than the "released" version.  You can use the PDM Add-In to get the "released" version if you wish.  Granted it is not automatic and it can still be missed but you have the ability to do so.  Just use the "Get Version" button in the Add-In (if enabled), select the "released" version and VOILA, you have your assembly as it was when it was released.

                                                 

                                                • Re: How does your company deal with viewing latest revision?
                                                  Adrian Velazquez

                                                  Have not read the entire tread. But for the original question wouldn't turning off the "Show Working Versions" option solve the main problem?