10 Replies Latest reply on Mar 19, 2014 10:10 AM by Aaron Godwin

    Data Rights

    Aaron Godwin

      How are you guys controlling data rights on your CAD files?

       

      Now I know this is a pretty wide open kinda question but I'm just starting to look into this so I'm looking for pretty wide open answers. Will Enterprise do this for me? Is there another software package that does this kinda thing? And what's the low budget method?

       

      And the harder part how would you control/mark STEP or IGES or ParaSolid files?

       

      Thanks in advance for the help...

        • Re: Data Rights
          Scott McFadden

          Aaron,

          If cost is a factor, I would stay away from EPDM.  I would use PDM Workgroup and depending on the software package you have you may already have a license for it.

          Then if you use this software you can mark the STEP and IGES files as well.

           

          Are you ultimately looking for permissions/protections to be in place?

            • Re: Data Rights
              Aaron Godwin

              Scott,

               

              We have Workgroup and are looking at EPDM, but not just for this we're at the point we need to upgrade in general.

               

              And how do I mark the STEP/IGES files? And how do I mark them so that the guy on the other end sees the mark if he's not using SolidWorks?

                • Re: Data Rights
                  John Burrill

                  Aaron, controlling export files is a lot like controlling code.  Because they're intended to be read by machines, the export format's don't have a header section to put in document control meta data.

                  Fortunately, the PDM system can maintain the export files as attached documents.  If you have EPDM then you can also have it generate and update those export formats.

                  Where you really need to have your act together is in the configuration management definition of these files.  Most document control systems in place don't have categories for files that are machine-generated and as such, organizations usually treat these files in an adhoc manner, generating them at the last minute to build the technical data package.  By most organizations, I mean dozen or so companies I've worked for.

                  Export or exchange file control is becoming increasingly important as more departments and suppliers outside of engineering aquire capacity to handle 3D data.  In order successfully integrate these datablobs into your document control system, you have to have a protocol for generating and certifying them.

                  Where I'm working now, I issue a seperate part number for exchange files if the exported file contains information specific to the purpose for which it was exported.  if I render a Solidworks assembly to use in an illustration, then the DPI, aspect ratio and other rendering settings, make the export unique.  Similarly, if I need to post a provide an outside supplier with a simplified model to use as an envelope, I'll give the export a seperate part number so that the supplier and I have a common frame of reference

                  However, for straight exports for CAM or quoting, I'll generate the file with the same name as the parent drawing and will explain in the notes that dimensions not specified in the drawing are to come from the supplied model.

                  In the case of model exports that have the same name as the parent, I'll append the revision level to the name.  I go back and forth on whether this is a good idea.  At my previous job, when we did a reduced dimension drawing, we had Acrobat Standard, so we could attach the export file to the PDF and pass it onto configuration managment as one file.

                    • Re: Data Rights
                      Aaron Godwin

                      John,

                       

                      This is some good info., and you hit the nail with where I'm at. I feel I'm trying to build intelligence into files that are dumb, the exports. I also have the feeling that someone has done this before, there has to be something written about it.

                      We're about at the point now where we'll be submitting a data package and we've done nothing to think about it up to this point. But as we're starting new projects I'm trying to get out ahead of this and  know how I'm going to do it all before I get there.

                      I haven't had any hands on with EPDM, we still run Workgroup, but will EDPM auto generate the exchange files? And if so multiple configurations in a part or assembly?

                      One solution that raised its head is creating a feature in the model that has the text of my rights statement cut onto it. Is this something you've seen and how is it received?

                       

                      Thanks,

                    • Re: Data Rights
                      Scott McFadden

                      I am not too familiar with EPDM, more workgroup, but these files can have data cards I believe attached to them.

                      But, why are you in the need for tagging export type files?  Once imported they are useless.  You can always give them a name that speaks to which software they are coming from.

                        • Re: Data Rights
                          Aaron Godwin

                          I need to tell the next guy in line, and maybe the guy after him that these files are proprietary, and maybe even export controlled. 

                           

                          And I'm being asked for a super obvious, fool proof solution.

                           

                          But I find there's way to many fools out there, so I don't know if that's gonna happen.

                            • Re: Data Rights
                              John Burrill

                              There are a couple of problems with embossing the part with text prior to export.

                              First, you've added a bunch of toolpaths to the part that are going to complicate the work of the CAM operator.  Second, text created with the sketch text tool is spline-based and has lots of segments, which  adds filesize overhead.  Depending on the length of your export control/proprietary information statement, you could be increasing the size of your step files significantly and degrading the performance of the parts in your CAD application.  Add to that, the fact that you now have engraved text on the part in your detail drawings, resulting in visual clutter.

                              If you're exporting the file for quoting or manufacure, then I would do one of the following:

                              1) embed the file in a PDF or other format that requires you to open the file in a viewer application in order to get at the file and have the proprietary notice in the report for the file.

                              2) host the file on a sharing portal like Team Platform or Egnyte and distribute the link to the file in an email or report document that includes the proprietary notice.

                              3) Let your procurement team handle the proprietary notices in their communications with third parties and route the files through them.

                              If you're providing the file for review and markup only, then you can save the model as an edrawing file and in eDrawings professional, you can add your proprietary notice as an indellible stamp.  (eDrawings aren't suitable for manufacturing, but they can satisfy most of communications requirements)

                                • Re: Data Rights
                                  Aaron Godwin

                                  John,

                                   

                                  I'm in the same camp about putting the text in a model feature, but it got mentioned in a meeting and the bosses eyes lit up. They want to hit people over the head with it. I just think it looks bad, not to mention all the other problems you stated.

                                   

                                  We have a way to send files out, we use WinZip and put in a extraction statement that keeps someone from opening the zip file unless they agree to our rights statement. But the problem they see is once the files are extracted and saved somewhere all bets are off, you'd never know unless you saw the zip file. So the feeling is there must be a way to do it, "somebody" must have figured this out I keep hearing. But the more I look into this, I'm not so sure. At least not without some big investment.