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.