Let me start by saying I am just an End User attempting to figure out what direction we should be taking.
We are delving into the unknown. We (my company) have so many questions concerning Master Assemblies and the correct approach. I have searched high and low for answers reviewing every possible piece of documentation/video available. This is where we stand.
1. Master Assemblies will be overbuilt using Simplified Representations to represent various SKU's.
2. Design Skeletons and Motion Skeletons will drive component placement/movement. None of our lower level assemblies or parts have been built to support the driving locations of the skeleton. We are going to have to adjust locations to suit proper placement while assembling to the Master Asm. Consideration will be given to revise lower level assemblies to add a coordinate system for placement in the master asm. Any suggestions here are appreciated. I realize the best option for assemblies would be to revise the assemblies so the parts are in the correct position for assy into the Master Asm. This option would cause more work than we want/can handle and future assemblies should be built in accordance with location specifications.
3. This is where we are stuck. Originally we were considering using External Simplified Representations generated from the Simplified Representations to drive the Windchill EBOM. We now question if building the Master Assembly as a Configured Product is the correct approach? We were originally advised we needed to wait for the Options Modeler which will not be available until a future implementation. I have attempted to locate what the difference is between the Options Modeler and Variant Builder. Is there a difference? I search for Options Modeler in Windchill and get little to nothing. Here is some of the internal Windchill help:
Upon further research I come across the term "AnyBOM Assembly" located under the topic "Managing Configurable CAD Structures". Instead of using the term "Overbuilt" this documentation appears to use "Overloaded Structure"? I can only assume they are one and the same?
4. We use a strict naming and numbering system. Each of our assemblies and sub-assemblies will have a Number/Name assigned to them. We can only assume these numbers will appear in the Model Tree and there is an option to further describe the part? What is in question is what does Windchill recognize? Without experimentation we will not know until someone tests.
If anyone has experienced and learned from that experience any help would be appreciated. Does anyone know of good documentation available? All of the documentation I have located is fragmented and unclear.
As far as i am concerned, variant builder build the variant using creo parts, options modeler builds the variant using wtparts in windchill.
Using the variant builder, when you checkin your configurable product, you get a configurable end part associated automatically, while using windchill to create configurable product, you have to build the associate cad document manually.
Besides, "Design Skeletons and Motion Skeletons will drive component placement/movement. None of our lower level assemblies or parts have been built to support the driving locations of the skeleton", the lower lever assemblies should copy the location info from publishing feature from skeleton. so no pain to relocate the sub assemblies. isn't it?