I was reading through the 2012 “What’s New” material for SolidWorks Enterprise PDM and I am excited to hear that there is an add-in becomming available for running EPDM inside of Draftsight. It does sound like you may require Draftsight Premium Pack to give access to the API but the prices on that sound quite good from what I’ve heard and is likely well worth it for all the other benefits as well.
Here is a quick list of the top three things it looks like you will be able to do from within the Draftsight application:
Check in and out while the DWG is open
Quickly toggle between earlier versions of the DWG
Access the datacard directly and have that drive the titleblock
By the looks of the toolbar, you will have access to a variety of other tools as well. With over 1.5M downloads of Draftsight, it is quickly becomming an important player in the CAD industry and it is exciting to have such a well rounded solution to both generate and manage 2D DWG drawings.
I was very inspired when I saw the new animation that SolidWorks has put together to explain why file management is so important. They have taken all of the top areas of benefit to our clients and communicated them in the most simple way I have ever seen. The video starts off with some top frustrations and industry trends such as how time is commonly wasted and the amount of data we need to organize is exploding in quantity and is causing chaos and then clearly addresses this with the SolidWorks Enterprise PDM solution. (EPDM)
Here is a quick list of areas it emphasizes and this matches up very well with what I have heard from so many clients:
Centralize data to provide consistency
Index files to make them easy to find and reuse
Version and revision control to make it effortless to go back
Backups effortlessly of important company information
Access around the world
Automated workflows can boost productivity by eliminating approval bottlenecks
Scalable for any size of company
Windows familiar commands reduce learning curve
Out of the entire video, I think my favourite message was the emphasis on how designer’s energy is put into design, not management of their files. This is key because headaches caused by file mismanagment can not only lead to lost productivity but lost employees. Learn more about SolidWorks Enterprise PDM here: http://www.javelin-tech.com/main/products/pdm.htm
Project Managers are constantly being pushed to the limits to keep their projects on time and within budget while maintaining a high degree of quality. As time-lines are being shortened and margins are being squeezed, project managers face some real challenges with ensuring their goals are met. To help all of the project managers out there, we have outlined 5 ways which project managers can lighten the stress and achieve greatness:
1) Get a Head Start by Leveraging Previous Projects
It goes without saying that copying work is much easier than starting it from scratch, isn’t that the schoolyard lesion we all learned as children? The same principle applies to project management, using Enterprise PDM you can actually copy previous projects, reassign automatic serial numbers, create new folders and data structures, to be given an extra jump start when you begin a new project – all the original data is kept safe, and you are given a fresh copy to start from – so you won’t have to worry about data integrity being an issue.
This “start from a copy” approach will help you to hit your targets easier, as well as help you build your own intellectual property library of which you can start all kinds of new, or copied, projects from in the future – saving you time, and getting you off to the races quicker than your competitors.
Over the years, many customers have asked us to help them manage change. This means a lot of different things depending on who you talk to about it. To keep it simple, I break change into two distinct areas which are important to focus on: 1) Managing the history of a file 2) Documenting and approving why things change
Managing the history of a file
Luckily, managing the history of a file is the bread and butter of what SolidWorks Enterprise PDM does. It will automatically do the following things as the files evolve:
Coordinate who’s working and updating a file
Create new versions of a file
Keep a recorded history with comments, names and dates
Control access permissions
Update properties and titleblocks appropriately
Stamp released revision information
Allow controlled access and comparison to previous versions
Documenting and approving why things change
Properly documenting why changes were made with appropriate sign off tends to be slightly more challenging. This requires carefully implemented processes and company standards. To assist with this, Javelin has taken common requirements from numerous companies and has done the administration work to implement a great engineering change request that is fully integrated into SolidWorks Enterprise PDM. Below is a screen shot of some of the highlights but here is a quick lists of what it accomplishes:
Generate a standard ECR from a standardized form
Automate project, date and login information into the document
Get approvals for change
Track progress on outstanding ECR’s for engineering and monitor bottlenecks through reporting
Notify team of new change requests automatically
Link change requests to files for the purpose of linking them to specific revisions
Track billable ECR’s to ensure invoicing occurs when they are implemented
Categorize by urgency to deal with high priority items first
For more information, please contact me: email@example.com
It is no surprise that the fastest growing market segment for file management is the small to medium sized teams. With today’s competitive landscape, it is crucial that these smaller teams are doing everything they can to compete with the big players in their industry. I am currently working with over 50 different companies that have realized that managing their files effectively and standardizing how work is being created and changing hands is on the critical path for overall company competitiveness. In general, I have noticed that the size of a company does not necessarily change it’s requirements, and smaller teams quite typically have many of the same challenges relating to coordination and control that larger companies do. Many of these smaller teams are trying to avoid growing head count by making the best use of their time by working as effectively as possible, making the return on investment quite evident.
One reason why countless smaller teams have shown so much interest in this solution recently, is due to the unique approach our implementation team has taken with it. They have realized that many smaller teams are flexible and open to adopting Javelin recommended best practices, which drastically speeds up the implementation process and can reduce the initial investment at the same time.
A key advantage to working with Javelin best practices is that it makes it really easy to add additional functionality down the road that works perfectly with the overall system. A good example of this is the new SR&ED time tracking tool set that Javelin has developed to work with our best practice vault. This solution was created with the help of Techcentive (our funding partner: www.techcentiveservices.com), and has already help a number of clients start effectively tracking time against projects and creating accurate reports on SR&ED applicable time.
The best way to learn about this new implementation approach and to get a good look at the SR&ED time tracking is to attend our webinar that we have scheduled for March 22, 2011. Here is the registration link if you would like to join: https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/577817593
For a preview of the vault and SR&ED time tracking solution, have a look at this video below:
When showing the electrical capabilities of E3.WireWorks to our customers I have had many of them ask me whether it is a suitable tool for doing other types of schematics as well. The types that are most commonly asked for are hydraulics and pneumatics but process design (P&ID) should not be excluded. A lot of the functionality that I show in electrical design carries directly over to these disciplines. Some examples include, quick connections, device naming, connection lists, bill of materials, etc.
Some of you may have seen the new SolidWorks 2011 functionality which leverages P&ID’s for automatically generating piping. You may have wondered where these P&ID’s come from… well, luckily E3.WireWorks has stepped up to the plate and has programmed a way to generate them based on the automatic connection list (look for that in future postings).
One of the things that really makes E3.WireWorks stand out is how good of job it does with having all of these disciplines in a single project. I have created a quick video to describe how this behaves so have a look and let me know what you think or if you have suggestions for future content:
2010 has been an interesting year in many ways. We have had the privilege of helping organizations of all sizes and have helped individuals at all levels of these organizations achieve a variety of different goals. One thing that has really stood out as a recurring theme is the fact that designers are frustrated. This has been made most evident when looking at the most popular download for existing SolidWorks users in 2010.
I have been working with a large number of companies recently who have been curious about how the newest and best ways are to schematically plan connectors and cables as well as communicate those for manufacturing. One of the additional areas of interest is the integration with SolidWorks to make sure that space requirements are met and lengths of harnesses are calculated accurately. I have put together the following video to quickly highlight some of this key functionality and some of the benefits that it can offer.
Motion simulation has been integrated into SolidWorks animator for a few years now but I still teach people every day where it is and how to use it. Many people are familiar with basic animations where you move to a different point in the timeline and move your assembly to a different position but I feel that more people should give full motion simulation a try. The main difference is that instead of adding key frames of what an assembly looks like at different points in time you would simply say how long you want to look at your assembly and hit calculate. If the assembly doesn’t do what you think it should, it’s probably that you didn’t add the real world conditions like gravity, forces, motors, etc. No problem though, just add some real world conditions and hit calculate again until you get what you were expecting.
There are many advantages of using this approach instead of using the traditional animation methods. I personally feel that the end results are usually more realistic, but one of the main reasons why designers are doing this is to extract real resultant forces and power requirements. Have a look at this video to get a sense of what it is all about.
In SolidWorks Enterprise PDM 2011, we now have the ability to view 3DVIA Composer files directly inside the view tab in Windows Explorer and in the search dialogue. I see this changing the landscape for how we communicate our designs to the rest of the company. We have been able to preview 3D for a while but the key difference is being able to author digestible content. Instead of flipping through long documents or looking at complex drawings, we can now go directly to an interactive 3D instruction set. Applications that I’ve seen 3DVIA customers use it for include manufacturing assembly, maintenance, training and marketing. I’m sure there are many other applications as well.
I can’t wait to see the impact that this has on our customers because I believe it can really change how they communicate for many applications.
Joe: Hi Lou,
I just returned from a workshop at SoilidWorks fa...
Ahmed Rafeek: My dear
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i tried to create note wi...
John: I think they must have gone broke. I have been able to get r...
Lou Gallo: It is important to note this is only really applicable when ...
Iñaki: Dear all,
I also have this problem but the problem doesn't ...
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