4 Replies Latest reply on Jul 10, 2013 11:24 PM by Kip Speck

    Revision Control Mess

    Alan Coons

      I am about 5 weeks old into using SolidWorks and have fallen into a good opportunity for organizing an existing file structure and establishing a workflow standard moving forward for the company.  To capture the current situation the following is what I am dealing with:


      1. The company utilizes a numerical six digit part number/file name to designate assemblies, purchased parts and fabricated items.


      2. Drawing file name structure, both AutoCad and SolidWorks where file structure is a mixed bag.  Most of the file names do not designate file revision but, some use alpha, some use numeric and some use alpha with a "rev" prefix.(111111reva.sldprt)


      3. I am in the process of justifying the need for integrating PDM into the organization, and need to better understand how PDM is integrated into a company that already has a significant number of files without the drawing control that PDM will eventually give us.




      1. Is much preparation required in organizing the current structure for the integration of PDM?

      2. When drawings, parts or files are revised in PDM does the filename denote the revision and can a "rev" prefix be denoted? I have to ask this question, because our current borders are using the filename to autofill the part number field.


      Thanks so much for your replies and I am sure there will be more questions.

        • Re: Revision Control Mess
          Jeff Sweeney

          1. This isn't an easy question to answer. It could be as simple as a drag and drop to generate the new structure, or it could be quite a bit more. Either way, I think it may be too hard to tackle a general question like this in a forum. Perhaps it would be helpful to be more specific.


          2. Though technically possible, the nice thing about EPDM is that you don't have to include the revision within the file name. (Renaming files is quite a bit of work keep references up to date .... besides revision control is typically a main reason why you buy a PDM. Let the PDM to that hard tedious stuff.)


          When I do a migration that sounds similar to the one you are describing, We'll typically choose a common revision and naming schema and we'll programmatically fix the files as we migrate them into the vault. -It is very confusing to have some files with letter revisions, some with numbers, some with the revision in the file name, etc.


          No question you could just drag and drop the files in, and continue as you always have, but this is likely the best opportunity you may have in a while to get your data back in order.

          • Re: Revision Control Mess
            Kip Speck




            You are on the right track,


            The file names in a PDM typically should not denote the Revision.  People do this in a network structure so that it is easy for them to determine which is the latest, or so that they can refer back to a specific one.


            In the case where you have files named with the Rev, if the user renamed the file after the work was done and the files were closed, they most likely broke the reference.  SolidWorks files (Assemblies, and Drawings) maintain the actual path of the referenced child.  When you rename a file or move it the parents do not Auto Update in a network environment.


            When you use a product like SolidWorks Enterprise PDM, renames and moves for the most part is taken care of for you, there are some rules you should follow but it is fairly straight forward.


            A Product Document Management (PDM), or Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) system will manage all of the Versions, References, Revisions, and any Meta Data (like; Description, Part Number, etc..) for you.


            As for the Revision, File Name in the Title Block, most PDM or PLM systems have a way to map meta data from the system back to your title block.  This removes the need for double entry, and can also help with consistency.


            We have developed tools that can determine the health of your SolidWorks references and based on your companies needs, you decide how much preparation you do prior to a "Migration" of your existing files and data.  The tools we have will define which Assemblies and Drawings have broken references, and what types of Custom properties and values are stored in them.


            If you would like additions information or would like to talk further, you can contact us anytime.


            Hope this was helpful information.


            Kip Speck



            • Re: Revision Control Mess
              Alan Coons

              Thanks guys for the responses and sorry for the delay with my reply.  I received confirmation from my boss that before the end of the quarter we will be able to integrate EPDM into the organization.  This will eliminate a lot of work and I believe will minimize the cleanup required considering the alternative.