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Revisions Control; should revs be kept the same at all levels?

Question asked by Stuart Coutts on Mar 19, 2013
Latest reply on Jan 14, 2014 by Brian McEwen

This isn’t specifically to do with the software in Solidworks, this is more of a general question for all CAD folk.


The company I work for uses a database driven document management system. Its a bit pants to be honest but one thing it does do well is keep records of documents that are connected to each other.

There is an ongoing debate amongst the departments about revision control between old hat engineers that can't use CAD or their file systems and the SW Experts like me.

Our system is rather basic compared to what i've seen in other companies. We have a simple caps letter rev system that follows the same idea as the column lettering system in excel. When a part model is created its given a rev letter 'A'. The drawing is also given a rev letter 'A'. If the part model changes but does not affect the drawing. I.e. a config is added purely for use in an assembly model, properties are added etc. basically something that has no relevance to the parts manufacture. On save the part model is given a rev letter 'B'.

The Big Question

Option 1 - If a part model is changed but does not affect the drawing in anyway, should the drawings rev letter remain at 'A'?
Option 2 - ...or should the drawing be revised with a statement of 'No Change to Drawing' and given a letter 'B' to match the part model revision?

My Argument

My argument is this, if the file storage system doesn't have the ability to keep track of which rev of a part model is connected to which rev of a drawing... it is a good idea to keep the revision letters the same so as to reduce any confusion, especially when making sure if the drawing is the latest.

However when using a database driven file management system... where the link between a specific revision of a part model is recorded as being linked to a specific revision of a drawing, there is no need to keep the revisions the same. Because this implies that when the drawing is downloaded from the server the correct revision of the part model is also downloaded from the server. This also helps to reduce the file storage size.

Please share your opinions on what you guys think!