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Top down assembly of welded tubes

Question asked by Lucas Dexter on Jan 5, 2011
Latest reply on Jan 7, 2011 by Michael Fernando


     We are a manufacturer of custom fire trucks.  The basis for the back end of the truck is a master model designed in a top down fasion of a welded tube assembly.  This master model is used as the starting point for every truck.  Here is the (current) process for a new truck:


- Rename master model to new truck number

- Change dimensions on various tubes based on customer requirements

- Changes in dimensions update all tubes that are effected by that change automatically


Since the engineer does not know all the tubes that were updated automatically, the current process is to perform a pack and go of the master model prior to performing any updates which creates copies of every file.  Then the engineer can make changes without disturbing the base tube assembly for any other truck.


The issue is thousands of duplicate files are being created needlessly, new prints are being created  of every file even if they do not change, fab does not trust the prints, there is no data reuse (every piece of every truck is literally a one off).


The question is this, when changes are made to a top down assembly, how does the engineer know which tubes have been automatically changed so he can either change the part number of the part  -or- add a new configuration to the tube that changed?  If the engineer knew what parts changed, a pack and go would not need to be performed of all the tube files in the master model and all the duplicate files would not need to be created.


We contacted our VAR with the issue and their suggestion is custom programming to notify the engineer which files have changed; I want to avoid custom programming if at all possible.


Any and all suggestions are appreciated.