9 Replies Latest reply on Jan 13, 2013 4:29 PM by Nahid Rumana

    Engineering Change Notice system

    Nahid Rumana

      Hi,

      We are using Enterprice PDM 2012 SP2.0, our workflow is for controlling revision of documents, the workflow does not include ECN system. Is there any third party ECN system available for Enterprise PDM which can be easily integrated with the existing Enterprise PDM?

       

      or what is the best way to go for ECN system with an existing Enterprise PDM?

       

      Thanks

      -Nahid

        • Re: Engineering Change Notice system
          Corey Hinman

          My $.02 is that ECNs are something that Solidworks could really hit out of the part with PDM. I've done a couple ECN workflows now that work will without any special programming or third party app, but they are just missing a few minor details that could make the product shine.

           

          To answer your question though, using workflows you should be able to come up with a system to match the needs of your company. Just dig in..

          • Re: Engineering Change Notice system
            Brian Dalton

            I think the real difficulty with including ECN/ECO functionality is that virtually every company has their own system and methods for reviewing and approving engineering documentation.  I've worked for four different companies and none of them would have been compatible with any of the others and none of them would have been interested in changing their systems in order to conform to a pre-packaged software solution.

             

            As for creating a custom system, it's fairly straighforward if your company wants to use a separate ECN/ECO document to control the release of each individual drawing.  Apparently some companies do this, but none of the ones I've worked for would have considered it effective or efficient.  In my experience, there has always been a universal expectation that an ECO document could list multiple drawings and they would all be reviewed and released together.  This makes sense from the standpoint that most products/systems consist of many related drawings and also the fact that holding separate review and release processes for each and every drawing would be a major time consumer.

             

            I managed to create a semi-functional sytem for ECO control of multiple documents without any custom programming, but it's turned out to be a near-nightmare to administer correctly, and I'm planning on fixing the holes and shoring it up with - you guessed it - custom programming!

             

            Bottom line: If you're looking for an ECO process that allows the simultaneous release of multiple documents from a single controlling document, you should talk to a qualified programmer about the means and costs of implementing a system specific to your company's needs.

              • Re: Engineering Change Notice system
                Ian Murley

                What you describe is exactly what I am looking for.  Is there a way to motivate DS to fill this important glaring, and quite frankly very irritating, gap in their PDM offering?  Enterprise PDM seems a bit of a kluge without it rather than a useful solution product.

                  • Re: Engineering Change Notice system
                    Christian Bunes-Roa

                    It's like Brian says a challenge since everyone uses their own methods. We have a prototype of such a system however which is fairly simple but efficient. Our main developer created an add-in for EPDM that allow users to right click a file, and click Make ECO, which in turn generates a Word document and attaches the clicked file as a reference to the ECO document, which of course is deftly linked with properties to the data card. When we then encounter a customer that requires a different setup we can just change the document for the ECO, provided this is enough of course...

                     

                    The best way to motivate SW to implement ECO functionality with EPDM out-of-the-box is to create an enhancement request, really. And then try to convince others to vote for it.

                     

                    -Christian

                • Re: Engineering Change Notice system
                  Kip Speck

                  Nahid,

                   

                  I have been on the consultant side of implimenting EPDM for years, I do find that most every company has some basic needs that are common.  The differences between companies really seems to be because they are trying to fill gaps in their other processes, like the ERP/MRP.

                   

                  I am in the process of completing an EC application that integrates qite nicely with EPDM.  The core philosaphy is based somewhat on the book and methods as described in the Engineering Documnentation Control Handbook by: Frank B. Watts.

                   

                  If you are interested I can send you some screen shots of the application.,

                   

                   

                  Thanks

                    • Re: Engineering Change Notice system
                      Daen Hendrickson

                      And if I recall, Watts says that an ECO applies to a change and ONE change only. Under his direction, a single ECO would encompass multiple files/documents that are affected by the one change.

                       

                      For instance moving a bolt hole would affect the two mating parts, their associated drawings, and the assembly and its drawing perhaps. All would reference the same ECO. He discourages a separate ECO for each of those documents.

                       

                      The corollary is that the ECO should embody only the one change. You don't want a single ECO for moving the bolt hole, changing the thickness, and adding a flange.

                       

                      Although the book seems a bit dated in some of its discussions about paper drafting management, it is a good read and gives a good grounded reasonings.

                        • Re: Engineering Change Notice system
                          Kip Speck

                          I do believe that some of it is a bit dated and I also believe that it does a fairly good job at putting some reasoning behind what he says.

                           

                          I believe that having a seperate "File" for each change is very narrow sited and really does little to help a company undersatnd the depth of their changes and the cost and impact that they have.

                           

                          What I believe is that the EC system should be be a database driven system, so that when I want to see the history of all the changes of a part I do not have to open multitudes of Excel or Word docs to scan through to get the information.

                           

                          My approach is that the Change is the parent and what that affects is relational to it.   In this approach I search a databse for the Part number and find the complete revision history. 

                           

                          Something I do like from Watts, is the notion of the Teams and colaboration of making the change.  Where I currently work all change is currently driven by and Engineer Manager saying make this change.  Then the  Engineer makes the change and aprroves and releases the change.  This then causes the ripple effect on the rest of the company.

                           

                          We also know that it is difficult to have all of the departments "Sign Off" on drawings before releasing them.  I believe that Engineering and Manufacturing Eng, have approval or right of refusal on the Engineering Documents.  Purchasing, planning, production merly react to the change.

                           

                          What we are working on is to have the input from all of the stakeholders prior to actually changeing the models and drawings.  this gives each stakeholder an oppertunaty to prepare for the change.

                           

                          This is getting long,,,  Will sign off for now.  need to get the kids to bed

                            • Re: Engineering Change Notice system
                              Steve Ostrovsky

                              Just finished an EPDM implementation and this is exactly how they are handling ECs. Eng + Mfg Eng sign off or refuse and all others are simply notified & react to change. Keep it simple - I've seen some workflows that get ridiculous with gates, departments, if/then/else on who should get them, priorities on who should get them...

                               

                              We also know that it is difficult to have all of the departments "Sign Off" on drawings before releasing them.  I believe that Engineering and Manufacturing Eng, have approval or right of refusal on the Engineering Documents.  Purchasing, planning, production merly react to the change.

                               

                               

                          • Re: Engineering Change Notice system
                            Nahid Rumana

                            Thanks Kip.

                            Yes, I am interested, please send me the screen shots.

                             

                            -Nahid