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Manualnumbering VS Autonumbering

Level 11

Manualnumbering VS Autonumbering


before 6 months we started Windchill 10.2 implemetation. After some time l have some basic problems with parts numbering. Will describe my situation and problems.

Present situation:

- before Windchill we had use following file name schema:


- each part and assembly includes "extract" function in relation ---> project number and drawing number is included in file name

- 00_00_00 ---> is some logical "model tree" schema ---> example: subassy 01_01_00  includes parts 01_01_01, 01_01_02 ...

- in praxis it means:

    assembly moved in model tree ---> rename parts and drawings

- l want keep this logic inside Windchill


- during first stage of planing we are changing product structure (model tree) quite often

- Windchill is quite sensitive to rename from the reason of "Drawing  - 15009_v01-05_02_05_00.drw is not unique."

- SAVE AS copies does same problem sometimes

My ideas and solution:

- Do l need model number? ---> NO, because all informations are included in file name

- ignore model number ---> turn it to AUTONUMBERING

- will Autonumbering help me? Model number is only for Windchill internal functions, but l´m interested only in file name.

My unskilled imagine about autonumbering:

- Windchill will change model numbers automaticly ---> it will never occur "Drawing  - xx_yy_zz.drw is not unique"  or am l looking thrue pink glasses?

Thx for any help or tips...


Accepted Solutions

Re: Manualnumbering VS Autonumbering

Dobry den Milan, Jak se mas?

I am glad the discussion is giving you some inspiration. It is always best when solution is found by oneself than given by somebody else.

I like that you are actively challenging the way you currently work and that you have found by yourself limitation of your current manual systems. If you digg in further you will find plenty others. I am a strong advocate of random numbering 

The reason you have just provided (when reusing a part (component or assembly) into another sub assembly your numbering scheme fall apart.

I guess you have two choices

     1)  Move into sequential numbering and use the system functionalities to find the information what was once in the filename

     2) Persist with your numbering scheme. Renumbering could actually be quite easy. Export the filename into excel, apply some rules in excel to change the filename quickly and use a script to read the new filename and rename in PDMLink.

In the past, I have had to rename thousands of objects (WTpart, NUMBER and NAME,  EPMDocument and CAD files, Number, Name and filename). I had a script developed for me. It read a csv file which contains the object number, new number, new name (new filename).

Renaming in PDMLink can be very easy, The difficulty is to find what the new names should be.

ProjectLink is a project management system, You can use it for all sort of projects.

So for instance, if your projects (new product development) usually follow a similar structure (project plan, project team etc..) you can create a project template.

Everytime you have a new project, you create a project from the template. Each project has a unique number,, (up to you to decide what to do with that number, should the project number also be the product number.... ?)  You will manage the project plan, the activities, resources , costs (to a certain extend), all your documentation be it Office files or CAD etc...  So everything related to the project will be in once unique place, the Project object in ProjectLink. If certain data is shared between projects or PDM, no problem you can share them easily, so people do not have to go and search for them.

I think you should spend more time with you PTC partner.  Who are you using in Czech Republic ? Cogras ?

Do you have access to Precision LMS from ptc ?  This is a great place to get basic knowledge of functionalities of Windchill and Creo.


Re: Manualnumbering VS Autonumbering


be carefull but for CAD Documents , the file name have to be also unique ... like the number. you will have the same error message

And Windchill is clearly a tool where trying to manage "structure" or "tree" informations in the number  (or file name) will lead do expensive management and workarounds ....

what about using the autonumbering for number + filename. And handle other meaningfull informations as attributes ? and let Windchill manage the structure "dynamically" with links ....


Re: Manualnumbering VS Autonumbering

Without Windchill has to be each file name unique also.

With Windchill l have no problem to keep file name unique. If the message occur simply rename file name in workspace and check-in.

l like the idea, that drawing name is filtered from file name ---> l don´t have to worry about correct drawing number, beacuas it´s automaticly filtered from file name.


"what about using the autonumbering for number + filename. And handle other meaningfull informations as attributes ?" ---> file name isn´t acceptable from reasons described above.


"and let Windchill manage the structure "dynamically" with links" ---> don´t understand. Could you send me ProE help link or PTC community link to study more informations please?

Thanks you...

Re: Manualnumbering VS Autonumbering


by "dynamically" , I just want to say that Windchill CAD structures are only "links" to childs parts.  whatever are their number/filename/name

by having structure/level infomation in the filename ... you will habe to rename each time you change the structure ...

Having meaningfull numbering always lead to painfull BOM and Part management... but adding some structure information in the file name is just another big constraint ...

just my thought  

you probably have business constraints for doin like that

Re: Manualnumbering VS Autonumbering

I wish I could turn autonumbering on! I have similar numbering schema - they call it "intelligent", but it is anything but intelligent. We are going through numerous renaming activities when we need to release documents. So, my suggestion is to save time and aggravation in the future, turn autonumbering on.

My $.02

Re: Manualnumbering VS Autonumbering

It was so beautyfull, peacefull and simply word without Windchill .


"by having structure/level infomation in the filename ... you will habe to rename each time you change the structure ..." ---> l agrre with you. NUMBER autonumbering will make my work half simplify ---> l have to care only about FILE NAME

l have no limitation for new schema / company standards l can do what l want. Only limitation are my own knowledges, that are not good in Windchill and CAD administration area. Don´t know any other system in model, file name or number and l have to choose something... could you give me some tips in generall? Links are enough...

Re: Manualnumbering VS Autonumbering


It´s is really frustating to search what iteration was named the same number sometimes in the past.

The most annoying thing is when following happen:

1. Drawing  - 15009_v01-05_02_05_00.drw is not unique. ---> have to check this drw and l discovered, that NUMBER isn´t same like FILE_NAME ---> try to change NUMBER, but the new one also isn´t unique

2. Have to check why new number isn´t unique

3. Discovered, that  drawing  - 15009_v01-99_99_99_00 is in coflict, because sometimes in the past was RENAMED or SAVE AS wrong way

4. Try to change NUMBER of drawing  - 15009_v01-99_99_99_00 and point 1. repeat again for this DRW


l´m going deeper and deeper, looking for fisrt DRW, that l can change. Than l solve it from bottom to up...


Re: Manualnumbering VS Autonumbering

Annoying yes .  But not because of windchill ;-)   because of your structured numbering schema.

An enterprise PLM system like Windchill .  or at least if only used as a PDM CAD vault container should help you to not manage this ....

Re: Manualnumbering VS Autonumbering

It looks like l need more theoretical informations.

Already ordered

Hope it will be good choice for me... (long delivery time )


"...should help you to not manage this ...." ---> if l understand correct, you are saing:

1. NUMBER --- autonumbering

2. FILE NAME --- autonumbering? But inside Creo will be model tree full of parts with notsaing numbers (if l´m looking at the problem in some conections)

3. parameter DRW_NUMBER set manualy ---> designate it for WCH ---> attribute DRW_NUMBER

4. parameter PROJECT_NUMBER set manualy ---> designate it for WCH ---> attribute PROJECT_NUMBER

In generall point 3 and 4 destroy the core of company file naming system, that l have build without WCH during last 4 years.

Re: Manualnumbering VS Autonumbering

Yes    for a more easy management :


- Set autonumbering .  In Windchill , auto numbering does not say necessary non meaningfull numerotation.  You can set your own sequence or logic in Init rules

- Use NAME for short description like "nut" , bolt etc ...

-In Creo, you can add for example column "Name " in addition to filename

- and nice : manage creo template parts in  Windchill .  to be able to use the "new fro  workspace" and not anymore the "new" in Creo