I use Solidworks (2009 sp5) to create custom made industrial machinery. We have about 10 designs, each with multiple standrard sizes, which we will then customise to suit our customer needs. We are trying to set up assemblies that can be driven by design tables, preferably design tables that are saved externally to the soluidworks document and linked. We have tried in the past to use a single design table which encomapsses all the design options, but this has gotten to the point where is is too cumbersome to use, and different operators over the years have corrupted parts of it so that it can be very difficult to access previous designs.
Our curent plan is to create a library of assemblies, sub-assemblies and parts that we can copy to new jobs and modify as required, using top down design principles.We are either using layout sketches in an assembly and linking them to the design table, or creating a layout part which solely has layout sketches in it, depending upon the complexity of the assembly.
This is where our problems start. Design tables that are linked externally do not change with pack and go, ie they stay linked to the original location. this link can be changed manually, but this is something we want to avoid, since it becomes quite easy to corrupt the model you are copying from.
We are also having issues with assemblies updating when the layouts are changed. sometimes it is necessary to open the part for editing before it will update (Rebuild Ctrl-B doesn't always work!)
if there is anybody doing something similar it would be great to get some details on how you deal with these problems.