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How to increment a Revision Automatically in a SOLIDWORKS PDM Workflow

Article by Andrew Lidstone, CSWE created/updated April 4, 2017

In SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional and Standard, your Workflow can be set up to automatically increment the revision value as a file moves through the approval process.  Looking through the properties of the States and Transitions in a pre-established workflow you might have noticed a number of settings related to revision information.  You might be wondering how these all work together.  Here is a basic overview of how a workflow will automatically increment the SOLIDWORKS PDM Revision.

There are two parts to the process:

  1. Setting the revision information in the State,
  2. Then creating the actual action that will increment the revision in the Transition (the screen shots below are an example using the default Workflow with the default Vault setup in SOLIDWORKS PDM).
Example Document Workflow

Example Document Workflow

Revision information in the State

Before a Transition can be set up to increment the SOLIDWORKS PDM revision value, the state must be told what “Revision Number” will be used.

Step 1:  Edit the State where the revision will be set, and go to the Revision Numbers tab.

Revision Numbers Tab

Revision Numbers Tab

 

Step 2:  Select the “Revision Number” that will be incremented from the drop list (in a SOLIDWORKS PDM Standard vault there will be only one “Revision Number” available).  You can also set the “Revision Variable”.  The “Revision Variable” setting here has absolutely nothing to do with the process of incrementing the revision through the workflow though, it’s actually used by the manual “Set Revision” command.

Setting the Revision

Setting the Revision

Step 3:  In the table you will see the “Revision Number Component” associated to the selected “Revision Number”.  Each component can have an “Increment by” value set here.  This “Increment by” setting is often a cause of confusion as this setting is also found in the Transition properties, so the question often comes up of where it should be set.  This really depends on your workflow and revision schema, but you must set it in either one or the other, if a value is set in both State and Transition then this will result in revisions being skipped by the automatic process.  If you are using major and minor revisions with multiple transitions which should behave differently entering the same state then the increment setting should be set in the transition.  If all transitions entering a state should increment the revision by the same amount then set the value in the state.  In this example we’ll set the increment value here in the state to “1”.

Revision Increment Value Set

Revision Increment Value Set

Revision information in the Transition

Now that the State knows what revision number is assigned to it and how much the revision number is incremented by, the Transition can be set up to use that information to perform an automatic increment of that Revision Number.

Step 1:  Edit the Transition that enters the state where the revision information has been set up, and go to the Actions tab.  To automatically increment the Revision as the file passes through the Transition, two actions should be set up. one to set the “Revision” variable and the other to increment the system revision value.

Setting up the Transition

Setting up the Transition

Step 2:  First, create the action that will set the Revision variable value on the file’s data card.  Click “Add Action” and set it to Type “Set Variable”.  Give the action a description and select the Revision variable from the “Variable” drop list.  Next to the Value box, click the > button and select the “Next Revision” option.  Click Ok to finish creating the action.

Defining the transition action

Defining the transition action

Step 3:  Next, create the action that will increment the system revision value.  Click “Add Action” and set the Type to “Inc. Revision” and enter a description, then click OK to create the action.

Create the Action

Create the Action

Note:  The “Increment by” field on the “Revision Numbers” tab of the Transition should be blank, if there is a “0” in the field there it will block the revision increment, if there is a “1” it will cause the file to skip revisions (in this example where the increment value has already been set in the State).

Increment By Field

Increment By Field

These steps should be repeated for any transition that enters the state which should increment the SOLIDWORKS PDM revision value.

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Andrew Lidstone, CSWE

Andrew is a SOLIDWORKS Elite Applications Engineer and is based in our Dartmouth, Nova Scotia office.

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