I have a created a large assembly of an industrial air compressor which contains every option we offer on the machine. These options are broken into option classes which are grouped in the model tree (see photo). Every option is part of a Simplified Rep I created called EMPTY and set to EXCLUDE.
If I expand each option class one at a time, select one option from each, and set it to MASTER REP to build a specific machine, can I save these MASTER REP options only as a standalone file that does not reference the original assembly in any way? I know I can Copy As External but that still references the original assembly.
I know this was possible in earlier versions of Pro/E.
I don't think you can. Simplified Reps were really meant for Large assembly management and not so much for product variations/options.
I know that no one wants to hear the dreaded family table but I think your much more likely to get a reasonable path forward with family tables.
PTC also has Options Modeler Extension (OMX), which would likely be perfect for your application but I bet there is a cost associated with this.
Do people hate family tables primarily because of the Windchill ramifications, or is there some dislike of the "complexity" that is perceived in using them? I use them a lot - we tend to have parts that are symmetric near-copies of each other and if I define everything correctly it's really nice. Also, I can't imagine handling things like cap screws or other standard hardware without family tables. Well I guess I can, but I don't want to imagine it.
Family tables definitely have a stigma. I developed a dislike due to Intralink issues (and model revision control back when I cared about that), many many years ago and along with a coworker who tried to make everything (and I mean everything) in to a family table.
I agree that actual "families" of parts are ideally controlled via family table.