It's looking like the company I work for will be adopting a PDM system, "DDM." Currently, we use Creo Parametric 4.0 and a windows folder setup for organizing and processing our CAD. There are situations where you'll open up what you think is the latest revision of a drawing, assembly or part and it does not match the released PDF print. This comes with its own set of obvious headaches and it's very frustrating. Simple changes can take hours of verifying models to drawings, correcting the problem(s) and then actually doing the change that was issued. We know that continuing to manage our files and processes as-is, is a problem that has to be addressed. That is clear. The saying "The best time to plant a tree was 10 years ago. The second best time is now." comes to mind in this situation.
With this said, we are concerned about where to begin.
Do we plop everything from our release folder directly into PDM's vault and figure it out as we go? Or would it be smarter to go one engineering change, or product line, at a time with migrating the files? I feel like this is one of those situations where the intentions are good and the change is necessary, but it is more than likely going to open up a can of worms. And it will be very time consuming.
I'm hoping that some of you might be able to share your experiences if you've cleared this sort of hurdle.
I guess you mentioned DDM http://www.designdatamanager.com/
This is 3rd party system, therefore you can expect that it will have problems with specific Creo data relationships. I suggest you to carefully test the system before you buy it.
Welcome to getting into working in the modern world. I've spent many hundreds of hours bringing CAD data into Windchill from acquired companies who have been using managed network folders as you describe - including one project going on now. I highly recommend bringing EVERYTHING in - and then dealing with all issues as they occur. Have to manage a fairly significant culture change as well as the technology, procedures, etc.
The two overwhelming reasons to bring everything in up front are:
- if you rename / renumber anything in Windchill (which invariably is needed), then it's essential for anything affected to already be in Windchill
- you immediately eliminate the very common questions of where is the master / what is the latest
Start very simple. But, absolutely don't use the OTB Windchill configurations for lifecycle, etc. OTB, the "Basic" lifecycle is assigned which doesn't fit any real business.
Also, plan on using VWS publishing asap, with watermarking and requiring that all PDFs are created from Creo View. This guarantees that:
- the data is in Windchill
- it will regenerate w/o any human action
- the PDF represents what is actually in Windchill rather than what a CAD user manipulated prior to creating the PDF
- if watermarking is applied by state (recommended), it identifies dynamically when a drawing is not yet ready for use / ready for use
Mike Lockwood any chance could you share some examples of some watermarks by state? I've been curious about the watermarking by state and how obvious people have been making watermarks.
Attached is a zip file w/3 files in it - among many that we generated here as part of this implementation, along with a presentation I did way back in 2010.
Thanks! That was exactly what I was looking for. Seems like you might be also able to send the PDFs to Ignite automatically when the drawings reach the correct state? Then there'd be no manual processes. Just an idea. We publish PDFs as the default drawing rep which makes PDF creation setting consistent since it's all done from the server and I don't remember having issues with objects being outside the drawing.
1. We invested a lot of time and effort in creating very robust mapkeys for Creo and macros for SolidWorks for replacing formats - and require that ModelCheck / Design Checker be used to verify.
2. Unfortunately only PLT allows use of Creo View drawing compare - else we would publish to PDF.
I make a fairly good living remotely working with many (generally smaller) Windchill implementations on these types of things.
Unfortunately only PLT allows use of Creo View drawing compare - else we would publish to PDF.
Actually, Creo View 3.1 added support for PDF compare. I don't have any personal experience with it...
I'll have to look into Model Check but it hasn't been my favorite tool to try to setup/to have people use. Maykeys would be fine except they aren't 'smart' and able to determine if they're starting from a size B, C, or D and/or inches/mm. I have a feeling the macros/Design Checker from SolidWorks is much slicker for updating.