8 Replies Latest reply on Jul 24, 2014 10:04 AM by Brian McEwen

    How do you handle file names related to Revision Level?

    Josh Hunsberger

      I am looking to get a consensus on how everyone handles their file names related to revision level. Who adds the Rev level as part of the file name (123456-R0)? And if you don’t, how do you handle a situation when a customer requires you to put the Rev level in the file name? We use EPDM for both AutoCAD and SolidWorks files.


      We have been using EPDM for about 5 years now. Prior to EPDM we used to retain the previous Rev of the file (AutoCAD at the time) and do a save as to change the file name to reflect the new Rev level so we could retain the historical information of previous Revs, much like EPDM creates versions. But now with EPDM we do not put the Rev level in the file name, since it’s always the same file no matter the Rev. We have paid our VAR to create a task/routine in EPDM that when a file reaches a particular state in EPDM it creates a copy of it in the native format, adds the Rev level to the file name and then also creates a PDF of this file and stores it in a different folder as the original file. Although this does work most of the time, we do experience errors and issues occasionally. Since depending on what the customer requires we sometimes have to provide a native format of the file or sometimes just a PDF will do, but in almost all cases the Rev level has to be in the file name. You see if we make a submittal to a customer that contains 150 drawings all at Rev 0 (Rev not in the file name) then a month later 30 of the 150 original drawings are now revised to Rev 1 and submit those files, the customer now has 2 files with the same names but different Revs and the Rev level cannot be determined unless the file is opened. And yes part of me feels that’s the customers problem, not ours, but that is a separate issue.


      I feel like we are the only company that is struggling with this task, but I have to believe there are others out there that have addressed this issue. So please provide any input to the subject, thank you in advance for your participation.

        • Re: How do you handle file names related to Revision Level?
          Jamil Snead

          We don't give our customers or vendors native SW files, so we don't run into the exact same problem. At initial release and after every rev change we save an IGES file of the part with the rev in the filename to a certain location, and that is what we send vendors for manufacturing. This sounds sort of like your automated task/routine. What problems did you have with that method?

          • Re: How do you handle file names related to Revision Level?
            Simon Gatrall

            I have worked somewhere in the past where we were renaming the native CAD files with the Revs. It was a nightmare. That was without a PDM system, but still, even with a PDM system and automation, it's a pain. What we're doing now is that we only publish neutral files (ideally parasolids and PDFs) and these automatically get revs appended to the filenames.

            • Re: How do you handle file names related to Revision Level?
              Brian McEwen

              We have an EPDM Convert Task set up to create PDF.  It works well for drawings of parts and small assembiles, but with large assemblies something is always missing (I suspect it has something to do with files being on different years, so that may be fixed when I get to updating). Also when we were on SolidWorks 2012 and EPDM 2014 it had consistent errors with balloons, but that is fixed with 2014/2014. The convert task adds the Revision to the filename, however it cannot do it the way we really want, so then I have a Dispatch script that renames the files (outside the vault).


              When I send CAD files to fabricators (.sldprt, or a generic format) I manually put the the date on the end of the filename. Just an alternative to Revision to think about if it proves easier. Sounds like you do this in much higher quantities than I'm used to, so you need an automated time saver. 


              Here is more discussion of issues with the Convert Task: Re: Do you find the convert task for PDFs 100% reliable when using them in workflows?


              Clearly with EPDM you should not show Revision in the filename. (Even for outside of PDM I wouldn't add revision, only add it to the old archived copies, not the newest live revision - less renaming and relinking that way).


              It would be pretty simple to write a Dispatch script to copy parts and drawings and rename them (see image below). And it can trigger on State Change (or with a right click menu). But I'm not sure what would happen to the SolidWorks links - I imagine the drawing would still point back to the original part. ...But actually I imagine you keep control of the Solidworks drawing and just send a pdf of that. So just doing parts should be a breeze.  


              Do you deal with assemblies?  Does the add-in maintain the correct links after rename?


                • Re: How do you handle file names related to Revision Level?
                  Josh Hunsberger

                  Excellent info Brian, thanks! Yeah about an hour ago we just started getting into the dispatch scripts and making progress on it. definately seems the way to go. Our immediate need is to make a PDF out of the slddrw file with the Rev level on the end of the file name, and take a DWG file and create a copy of it and a PDF with the Rev levels on both files. we have yet to send native SW files to anyone since we have been slowly moving towards doing more jobs in SW. Some of our projects have 300-400 drawing files, so converting these files does take some time no matter what we do. and by using the scripts it will certain increase productivity.


                  Thanks again for the input!