SOLIDWORKS: Understanding PDM Workflows

New to Solidworks PDM or considering it as a solution at your company?  Maybe you have used Solidworks PDM for years but workflows are still a bit of a mystery?  I hope to provide you some workflow basics that will take some of the mystery out of how they are configured and their benefit potential. This is not a replacement for Solidworks PDM Administration Training or a comprehensive functional description.  As always, Inflow Consultants are available to assist you in any Solidworks PDM activities that you find beyond your current capability. Definitions Here are some simple terms that will help you to understand the concepts presented. Work Product A work product […]

SOLIDWORKS: PDM 101 – File Types and Duplicate File Control

An often overlooked area of SOLIDWORKS PDM is the File Type options found in the admin tool. These options allow you to control how duplicate files are handled in your vault. You can disallow all duplicates or only include certain file types. There are a couple other settings, but those are only required if you use items or if your drawing previews need troubleshooting. The main reason for opening file types is to configure duplicate file rules. Before we dive into what you can do with files types, let’s talk about what is under the File Types node. The list that you see in the image below will be different […]

SOLIDWORKS PDM 101: Content Search – Explore Inside Your Files

Content search is a feature that has been available in SOLIDWORKS PDM for many years. It was on a brief hiatus when Windows Server dropped support for the key feature that made content search possible. Well, its back with Windows Server 2012 and SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional! If you are new to content search, this feature allows your PDM users to search within the text of files stored in the system. For example, if you search for the phrase “Critical Change”, all files with that text anywhere in the document will be returned. This can be very useful if you have a lot of files that do not have metadata to […]

Self Upgrading SOLIDWORKS PDM

If you choose to self upgrade your SOLIDWORKS PDM Products there are a few things that are commonly missed and some fundamentals that should be considered for healthy system and minimal downtime.  Also don’t forget to check the SOLIDWORKS PDM System Requirements! 1) SOLIDWORKS PDM Products are highly configurable to suite many types of business and company practices. This can make upgrading SOLIDWORKS PDM to a new version of software less than intuitive. 2) Each Version can introduce new challenges or practices. Make sure your Installation guide and reference material is up to date. The Whats New guide for PDM Standard and PDM Pro can help you understand new features or developments […]

SOLIDWORKS 2017 What’s New: SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional Database Replication – #SW2017

SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional 2017 now supports database replication which can be useful in high latency or high usage environments. This is only available in PDM Professional (and not PDM Standard) and requires Microsoft SQL Enterprise Edition 2012 or higher. The way it works is by setting up secondary SQL server(s) that can assist a primary server with “read” type database requests which in turn reduces the load on the primary server. The primary server will still handle any read/write operations such as check ins/outs, workflow transitions, and datacard updates. The secondary servers will handle operations such as folder browsing, contains, where used, UI responsiveness, search, BOM, data card viewing, RMB […]

SOLIDWORKS 2017 What’s New – PDM Task Enhancements: Generate MBD 3D PDFs, DXF to PDF & MS Office to PDF Conversions – #SW2017

SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional 2017 introduces a number of new enhancements in the tasks for converting various file types. The first being a new output format for SOLIDWORKS files. For SOLIDWORKS MBD users, the Convert task in PDM Professional can be set up to automatically generate SOLIDWORKS MBD 3D PDFs. To set this up, in the properties of the Convert task select the ‘Conversion Settings.’ Then set the Output file format to ‘3D PDF – MBD.’ Once set, you can then select the themes to use for Parts and Assemblies (if the theme is in your PDM Professional vault, it must be cached before task execution) and which views to publish. […]

SOLIDWORKS PDM 2017 What’s New – Latest Version Overwrite – #SW2017

In PDM 2017 there is a new feature that is as powerful and potentially risky as the “Rollback” function. “Latest Version Overwrite” gives a user the ability to overwrite the latest version of the file with the most current version of a file. If data storage is a worry for your company, “Latest Version Overwrite” may be the simple solution it needs. File cleanup can be automated through workflows or allowed per user’s discretion. In normal PDM function, a new version of a file is created EVERY time a file or its corresponding metadata is altered and checked back in. In the archive server each version is a separate file […]

SOLIDWORKS PDM 2017 What’s New – Copying Group Permissions and Group Members – #SW2017

With SolidWorks PDM 2017 comes a feature that will have admins everywhere celebrating. Right now the quickest way to copy group permissions and group members is manual and error prone (scroll down to the bottom to see this method). In the NEW! 2017 Admin tool it only requires a few clicks. After creating and naming a new group, go to its Group Properties, select Copy from Group, and choose the desired source group. Click Next and OK. That’s it! Inconsistent group settings are thing of the past. By utilizing a template group, new groups can be quickly created so only customization remains, saving precious time and money. Current Method In […]

SOLIDWORKS PDM One Click Open Files

Recently with all of the Windows upgrades we have been receiving support calls regarding why some/all files are opening from the vault with one click. Although this is not a PDM setting but rather a Windows one, we thought we would share the most common solution to this issue. Below are a few screen shots of there that setting in windows is and how to correct it for the entire vault. To begin, below is a screenshot of my local vault (at the root, this is an important step) with the Organize menu displayed in the top left corner. Here you will select "Change folder and search options". Here, on […]

PLM decoded – What’s a BOM?

WARNING: Do not read this post out loud in an airport or on a plane! What’s a BOM? In the context of companies that design and manufacture products, BOM is short for Bill of Material. I like to think of a BOM as a shopping list of items needed to make a product. If your product is a bicycle, your BOM would include tires, spokes, frame, seat, handlebars, and all the other items needed to build a ready-to-ride bike. It would also include important information like how many of each part is required and which of the seats you stock is the right one for this bike. The BOM might […]