I've been thinking about how to best do non-discrete BOM quantities. The typical discrete integer quantites driven from CAD will not be able to provide this. I want to expand upon the idea of having multiple CAD Documents image linked to the one WTPart.
Often when you are doing the BOM for these parts, you want to specify both a discrete and continuous quantity; e.g. 4 lengths of 1.65m of RHS. Specifying 6.6m of RHS in this case does not give enough information.
In Windchill, when something is driven from CAD, it doesn't allow you to change the units from each. Note that there is actually two different quantity columns: Default Unit (which is specified on the WTPart), and Unit (which is unique for this WTPart in this particular BOM).
I think that BOMs should actually have both a discrete quantity (which can be driven from CAD in the normal way), and a continuous quantity.
This continuous quantity column can also be driven from CAD (so that both the drawing BOM and the Windchill BOM are pulling from the same source). We're using SolidWorks, so it may be a bit trickier for us, but in WC-11, you can link the SolidWorks Component Reference attribute (an attribute that is specific to each occurrence of a part used in an assembly; note that it is held on the assembly, not the part) to the Line/Find Number, so we'll use that as our continous length input. This attribute can either be entered manually, or I've also found a way to link it directly to a specific CAD dimension (i.e use the 1.65m dimension length directly).
(Note, essentially this continuous length quantity can be thought of as equal to 1 for normal, non-continuous parts.)
The current problem with this approach happens in the Occurrences to Uses roll-up. As shown below, there are two separate occurrences coming from CAD, each with two different "Length" attributes, however the Uses tab roll-up has combined them together, making Length muti-valued.
I think what I want is a preference along the lines of "Prevent Occurrences to Uses roll-up based on specified attribute:", where I would specify "Length" (or "Line Number" once I'm doing this properly in WC-11). This would then keep these two lines separate, even though they are of the same part number.
For items like oil, these would have a discrete quantity of 1, and a continuous quanity of e.g. 63 Litres (and you'd have a blank CAD part for the oil inserted once; and this CAD can be reused for other assemblies, as the continuous quantity data is held on the assembly where it is used).
Does anyone have an alternative approach?