25 Replies Latest reply on Sep 28, 2016 1:54 PM by Tom Helsley

    Is Engineering Change part of EPDM now???

    Ty Toney

      I just happened to be browsing the EPDM section of solidworks.com the other day and noticed that under the solutions tab there is a section on Engineering Change Management. Is this an add-on, or is it now part of EPDM? Hawkridge recently quoted us for an Engineering Change add-on, but it sounded like it was something they created. Can someone "in the know" shed some light on this please?



        • Re: Is Engineering Change part of EPDM now???
          Jason Capriotti

          There is no "ECO" module if that's what you mean. You can somewhat model this functionality with workflows, data cards, and a document to represent the "ECO". And of course you can model a revision control workflow for your drawings. That may be what they mean by change management.

          • Re: Is Engineering Change part of EPDM now???
            Jeremy Ferguson

            We are using virtual document as ECOs with a workflow this is working OK we are now looking to link the model to the ECO by using a dynamic list

            • Re: Is Engineering Change part of EPDM now???
              Ty Toney

              That's odd that they would advertise it if its a DIY solution.


              Does anyone have a functioning ECO method/system that they could post a kind of roadmap for? Jeremy? I realize that everyone's vault setups will be different, but at least it would give a starting point.

                • Re: Is Engineering Change part of EPDM now???
                  Tim Webb

                  Hi Ty,


                  Here is my earlier reply to a similar post located here:




                  • Configuration Manager (CM) uses an EPDM template to generate new ECO
                  • EPDM Template runs to create the ECO folder and Word document from a Word document template with filename as a new serial number with format "ECO-####". There are internal form fields (bookmarks) that update from the data card upon open.
                  • CM fills in relevant data inside ECO, saves, checks in, & transitions into an approval workflow NOTE: ECO remains read only through approval workflow cycle (only editable by CM at initiation, ready for action, & closure)
                  • ECO gathers names & dates (electronic signatures) through approval workflow on the data card fields
                  • When finally approved the CM checks out the ECO and all the approval signatures & dates from data card push into the form fields inside the Word document
                  • CM checks in the ECO and transitions to engineering work in process
                  • By process, CM then transitions affected drawings to an edit state for work to be done according to ECO-####. If additional drawings are affected besides the ones originally identified, CM updates ECO & transitions them to edit state.
                  • When work is completed, the work completed is compared with approved ECO work and the ECO is transitioned to closed state
                  • A custom add-in converts the Word ECO to PDF, copies it to the intranet for viewing, and sends an email to the ECO Notification group in EPDM to ensure they get the communication.
                  • Re: Is Engineering Change part of EPDM now???
                    Jason Capriotti

                    Like Jeremy we use CVD files to represent the ECO object. Some people use an Excel file, there was even a demo somewhere for using an XML files and mapping it in such as way so it would show the data in the preview window and open for printing.


                    Ours works like this:


                    1. Engineer initiating the ECO right clicks and select "New/ECO". (This invokes the Template feature in ePDM)
                    2. Engineer fills out form and selects "Create" (Template function creates folder and several files from templates)
                    3. Engineer marks up (redlines) PDFs fo drawing and places them in a sub folder under the ECO number called "Markups"
                    4. Other supporting documents filled out (These documents created by tempalte function)
                    5. Engineer submits ECOs for manager approval via workflow (Email notification), manager approves or rejects.
                    6. If approved, coordinator is notified and checks for errors, send for committe approval (Another email notification).
                    7. Committe reviews ECO and approves/rejects (This is a multiple transition step, waits for all approvals)
                    8. ECO ends of in the document control Inbox state
                    9. ECO claimed by doc control user
                    10. Doc Control user begin working on the native drawnigs/models (They have their own similar workflow)
                    11. Sends for review by engineer, approves or rejects (Email notification)
                    12. Once all files are approved, Doc Control Admins release ECO and all realted documents.


                    All of this can be done with the existing tools. However we automated and created add-in's to handle some tasks due to limitations. These include:


                    • Mandatory fields on ECO. You an use the transtion conditions but they give no feedback about what isn't correct. Our program pops up a list of missing fields.
                    • Email notifier. The built in system is somewhat limited. We needed the ability to send emails to a person in a dropdown field on the data card. We also didn't want to rely on the user selecting people to notify.
                    • Email reminders. Sends out reminder emails when ECOs are older than a set number fo days (Written before the built in function)
                    • Multi-select field. Some fields we need more than one selection for.
                    • Auto transition related files. When the ECO moves between some states, we want associated ECO files to go to a certain state.
                    • ECO release tool. This transtions all assoicated files to the a released state, does some validation of data to insure everything is finished before allowing the ECO to release. Also sends an email to different groups of people depending on a variable field ont eh ECO card.
                    • Clear Cache tool. This clears the cache on all "CVD" files so they always show the latest data. Users where always calling about the data being incorrect (they were viewing the last version they previewed). Since this system replaced an old access database, they expected the ECO data card to always be current.
                      • Re: Is Engineering Change part of EPDM now???
                        Ty Toney


                        Can you elaborate a bit more on the CVD file, and the Auto Transition tool? Our needs seem to be similar to what you have setup.



                          • Re: Is Engineering Change part of EPDM now???
                            Jason Capriotti

                            A "CVD" is a a PDM object called a Virtual Document. It's a file with no actual file more or less so you can create a database object. The extension is "CVD" but they also have a secondary extension which you can call anything. We call it "ECO" but later when we do part items masters we plan to create another called "PART".


                            So an example ECO object would be:

                            1. ECO200000.ECO.cvd


                            The secondary extension allows you to assign a data card to that extension....instead of the "cvd" extension.....so you can have many types of "cvd" files with different data cards.


                            The auto transition is an add-in we wrote that uses the API to check when an "ECO.cvd" gets transitioned. If it transitions to certain states, it finds all the associated ECO documents (Markups, Emails, Change lists, etc.) and transitions them. The associated documents have a different workflow with only 5 states while the ECO has about 15 states.


                            Associated ECO document’s state:

                            Initiated       (Engineer creates and edits)

                            InProcess    (Engineer no longer can edit, only Doc Control)

                            Approved     (No one can edit any longer)

                            Release       (ECO is released)

                            Cancelled    (ECO is cancelled)


                            ECO States:


                            Pending Manager Approval (Transition associated files to InProcess)

                            Coordinator Review

                            Pending Approvals



                            Doc Control Review

                            Engineering Review

                            Approved (Transition associated files to Approved)

                            Pending Release

                            Release (Transition associated files to Release)

                            Manufacturing Release

                            On Hold

                            Cancelled (Transition associated files to Cancelled)

                      • Re: Is Engineering Change part of EPDM now???
                        Joy Garon

                        Hi Ty,


                        I would also recommend considering an XML based solution.

                        Go to http://www.solidworks.com/sww/proceedings/proceedings-presentations.htm?title=Automating%20Your%20ECx%20Process%20in%20SolidWorks%20Enterprise (make sure you choose 2011 Proceedings from the pull down)

                        This is an excellent solution presented by Wayne Matus.

                        Both the PowerPoint and video are available.


                        Good Luck,