9 Replies Latest reply on Mar 11, 2013 1:41 PM by Michael Caulton

    Workgroup - checking in drawing from

    Michael Caulton

      THE PROBLEM:

       

      We are a company that design factory equipment such as conveyors etc.

       

      We have an issue where it take’s hours to check in drawings for and assembly and this renders the computer and engineer useless for the whole time. Our hardware throughout the company is very highly spec'd and we do use SW 2010 SP5 with workgroup PDM. When we check files out of the vault we dump them all into a single folder on the local computer drive. We do not remove from local when we check files in because parts are recycled a lot between projects. This results in a PDM dump folder of 25000+ files.

       

      The typical "top level assembly" (can contain parts and multiple levels of sum assemblies) will have about 100-500 parts with lots of parts being common between other top level assemblies in other projects.

       

      To check in the top level assembly and associated sub parts takes a few minutes so reasonably quick.

       

      To check in the drawing we go to the top level of that particular machine and select check in ( as per above), search for drawings in our local dump drive which then tries to find the associated drawings. This step then takes hours. Once complete and the drawings are found one has to then check them in which takes a while but not too bad.

       

      As there is so much inter connectivity between the machines we designs, when looking for drawings SW looks at every link which and all the parts in that linked assembly, so it very quickly have to do through a huge number of files and interactions.

       

      To check in a single drawing is quick. Open drawing, check in, done. It does not look for interconnectivity etc. Realistically we cannot do this in general use because there is a large number of drawing, files and human error will mean things get missed.

       

      All this time is lost productivity, so being able to start it off as they leave the office at the end of the day would be the perfect solution.

       

      THE QUESTION:

       

      Is there a way to use the task scheduler, macro or similar to have each engineers computer go through the local PDM Dump folder and check in all drawings that they have ownership of if the vault copy is not up to date?

        • Re: Workgroup - checking in drawing from
          Jerry Steiger

          Michael,

           

          I hope you get a good answer to your problem, but I am going to assume that you won't and offer a suggestion. I think you would be much better off if you set up your default behavior to remove files from the local work folder when you check them in. The time you lose by having to load the files the next time you check them out will probably be more than made up for by the time you save checking in drawings. You will also save time every time you try to find a file in your work folder. I think more than 25,000 files is way too many for Windows to handle well.

           

          Jerry S.

            • Re: Workgroup - checking in drawing from
              Michael Caulton

              Hi Jerry

               

              Thanks for the quick reply. Finding files in windows or trying to open a part is quick. esentiall instantanious as we have SSD's so this is not a problem.

               

              I do not believe removing the files from the PDM Dump directory after check in is a solution due to the nature of the work we do. Due to the colabiration in the office, parts are often in multiple machines several people are working at the same time even though only one person has ownership of it. Becasue of this we offen check in assemblies (without drawings) severl times a week as it progresses so the others can have the latest updates.

                • Re: Workgroup - checking in drawing from
                  Jerry Steiger

                  Michael,

                   

                  I'm not sure why deleting the files that you check in can't work for you. You can select whether or not to delete the files each time you check them in, so you can keep them when you are only providing a working update for others and delete them when you are actually doing the final checkin. You are only removing them from your computer's working folder, not anyone else's.

                   

                  If this still doesn't solve the problem, then you probably need to switch to EPDM instead of WPDM. EPDM uses a data base structure, so it should be able to very quickly find the drawings associated with all of the assemblies and parts that you are checking in. You would want to check that out before putting any money down, of course.

                   

                  Jerry S.

              • Re: Workgroup - checking in drawing from
                Mike Pogue

                If I understand your problem correctly, PDM is searching a large number of folders for associated files on checkin. This is useless, and you can stop it from doing this by clearing all of these folders from your search locations. Go to tools/options/search paths/ and clear everything except the working directory.

                 

                https://forum.solidworks.com/message/10142#10142

                  • Re: Workgroup - checking in drawing from
                    Michael Caulton

                    Hi

                     

                    No it only searches on folder that has all of the SW files are in and no others on the local disk. this folder has a large number of files in it but the computers we use have SSD'd so the scan time is very quick.

                     

                    Checking in the model is resonably quick but when one tries to check in the modle with drawings it is very very  slow.

                      • Re: Workgroup - checking in drawing from
                        Mike Pogue

                        Maybe I don't understand this phrase:

                         

                        "...search for drawings in our local dump drive which then tries to find the associated drawings. This step then takes hours."

                         

                        How many folders are listed in your search paths?

                          • Re: Workgroup - checking in drawing from
                            Michael Caulton

                            Everything is kept in one folder on the local HDD so when searching for drawings it only looks in one folder as per picture 3.

                             

                             

                            This is a very very small assembly for us. It only has 79 unique parts.

                            Workgroup Pic 0.JPG

                             

                            Our process for checking in files goes like this:

                             

                            Step 1: Click check in.

                             

                            Step 2: If we dont want to check in drawings click check in. Job done nice and quick.

                                       If we need to check in drawings, Click drawings as per picture below.

                            Workgroup Pic 1.jpg

                            Step 3: Click "find now" to search for drawings in the "local dump folder". Picture below.

                            Workgroup Pic 2.JPG

                            Step 4: Wait a long time, not being able to use SW in the mean time. Then picture below appears. Click OK. Even though there are only 87 unique parts 3557 drawings have been found??? From the below picture one can see how small the scroll bar to the right has become compaired to the previous picture.

                            Workgroup Pic 3.JPG

                            Step 5: Click "Check in", Picture below. Takes a minute or two to check in file from this point. Job done! The picture below also shows  other files are assosiated with the check in and search becomes deeper and deeper in the tree even though most items found are totally irrelivant to this check in but because a common part was use somewhere along the line it looks through all those other assemblies and anything linked to those assemblies too.

                            Workgroup Pic 4.JPG

                      • Re: Workgroup - checking in drawing from
                        Daen Hendrickson

                        Michael,

                         

                        I believe the cause is how SolidWorks manages references to other files.

                         

                        If you launch the File>Open dialog, select an assembly file (that has drawings) and click on the References button, you will get a listing of the components contained within that assembly. The drawings are NOT listed. They are not part of the assembly. Likewise, if you check the references of a part file (used in an assembly) the assembly will not be listed.

                         

                        When you ask the vault checkin to look for drawings, the assemblies and parts shown in the listing do NOT contain references to the drawings. Instead, the checkin process must access EVERY drawing in the search path and see if it contains a reference back to one of the components in the checkin list.

                         

                        So as your local dump drive continues to grow, the checkin process must parse every single drawing every time regardless if it has anything to do with your current assembly of interest.

                         

                        Daen