Improve performance with Enterprise PDM

Okay…time to break out the calculator watch… I have visited hundreds of companies in the past few years and I have noticed that engineers are under more stress than ever.  They are doing more with less resources and are under tremendous pressure to hit deadlines.  As if that were not enough, engineers struggle with issues that could easily be solved with a PDM system (you knew I had to mention that eventually).  We see users breaking 3D CAD relationships between their parts and assemblies.  Engineers overwriting other engineers work.  Users copying files from directory to directory until no one really knows which drawing is the right one.  The end result is a sea of duplicates, broken […]

ECNs and SolidWorks Enterprise PDM

Over 1000 companies use SolidWorks Enterprise PDM for data management.  Hundreds of different file types can be put under revision control and viewed in the Enterprise system, including SolidWorks, Inventor, Pro/Engineer, SolidEdge, and many different office document types.  What some are discovering is that Enterprise has very powerful workflow tools to manage process, such as Engineering Change.  Whatever your process, it can be created in flowchart editor and then linked to your standard forms for ECR, ECO, NPI, RFQ, Work Order, or others.  The system can send automatic notifications and time/date stamp data cards and even drawings with the approval information. In the video, we create an ECN based on a […]

SolidWorks Enterprise PDM 2009 – What’s New (2/3)

In our next episode of "What's new in SolidWorks Enterprise PDM 2009", I want to introduce you to the new Bill of Material functionality.  In PDMWorks Enterprise 2008, SolidWorks added the concept of a Named BOM, or a BOM that was a copy of the SolidWorks assembly that could be made "Production" ready.  Essentially, the user could start with a SolidWorks assembly, and then work in a spreadsheet interface to complete the BOM.  You could add glue, paint, processes, and re-order or re-package the assembly to meet the requirements of the production BOM.  In Enterprise PDM 2009, SolidWorks enhanced the Named BOM and also added the ability to link to […]

SolidWorks Enterprise PDM 2009 – What’s New (1/3)

As many of you know, SolidWorks just released SP0.0 of SolidWorks Enterprise PDM.  There are quite a few changes in the new version so I will have to make this a multiple post blog. The first and most recognizable difference in the new version is the SolidWorks integration.  I have included a few screenshots: The biggest change in the integration was made to the Enterprise Task pane.  For those unfamiliar with SolidWorks, the task pane is a window along the right side of the SolidWorks session that can be opened and closed (see screenshot).  Enterprise 2009 adds a toolbar along the top with configurable columns in the pane.  In this […]

SolidWorks Enterprise PDM 2009 Preview

As many of you know, SolidWorks is just about to release SolidWorks 2009.  SolidWorks will also release SolidWorks Enterprise PDM, complete with many new features and benefits.  In this preview, I will talk about the basics. First of all, you may have noticed that the name has changed.  Yes, you can say goodbye to PDMWorks Enterprise and say hello to SolidWorks Enterprise PDM.  With this name change, SolidWorks has put the focus on the SolidWorks Integration, adding more functionality than any release to date.  Here are some things coming with the 2009 SolidWorks integration: Changed interface with State Changes, Where-Used reporting, and better graphics to help the user understand the […]

PDMWorks Enterprise Batch Printing

As more and more customers come on board with PDMWorks Enterprise, we are getting lots of requests for batch printing.  Of course, any user can search the PDMWorks Enterprise vault and select a bunch of files and perform a "right-click" print.  This is easy.  Here at InFlow Technology, we have taken it to the next level…SERVER SIDE PRINTING. Here is how it works: install our InFlow Technology Print Server software on your server (this could also be a workstation).  Configure your printers.  Change a couple settings in PDMWorks Enterprise and you will have a new menu available at the "right-click" that will show "Batch Print".  From windows explorer or from […]

PDMWorks Enterprise and MS Dynamics Part 2

After an earlier post regarding integrating PDMWorks Enterprise and Microsoft Dynamics, we have received some questions about how it works.  I never want to leave my fans hanging, so I have decided to provide additional feedback with an attached video. The integration is performed with an XML import adapter that will take information from PDMWorks Enterprise and load it into Microsoft Dynamics.  The adapter runs on the server and polls a directory every few minutes, looking for an XML file.  The XML file comes from PDMWorks Enterprise and is generated on a workflow trigger or by manual selection by the user.  The adapter loads the XML file and creates new […]

Link PDM Properties to SolidWorks File properties

Using the variable mappings in PDMWorks Enterprise, users can link their PDMWorks Enterprise data card properties to the custom properties in SolidWorks.  Did you know you can also link the data card properties to SolidWorks file properties, such as filename, configuration name, sheet size, last saved date, etc.??  This is useful if you want to push file properties from SolidWorks into PDMWorks Enterprise.  For example, rename the part…automatically update the part number property on your data card.  Here is a screenshot that shows how the variable mapping should be configured: The block name should be $PRP and the Attribute Name should be equal to the file property name.  Below are […]

HELP! I have lost my references!

On numerous occasions, I have helped people load SolidWorks (or other CAD) files into PDMWorks Enterprise.  In almost every case, we are loading a data set that is in disarray.  So, when we try to check in the files, the check in screen will send a warning that SolidWorks cannot find the file in the original referenced location.  You will see this warning: If a user moved the file or accidently referenced something on their local machine, the assembly simply cannot find the files.  This file has to be found and put into the proper folder to rebuild the relationship.  But this can be difficult if you are talking about […]

PDMWorks Enterprise and Microsoft Dynamics

InFlow Technology has recently put the technology in place to integrate PDMWorks Enterprise with Microsoft Dynamics.  Currently the implementation supports Microsoft Dynamics GP (Great Plains), but could be easily adopted for Dynamics AX or NAV.  The first screenshot shows the engineering BOM in PDMWorks Enterprise.  The second screenshot shows the BOM imported into Microsoft Dynamics GP 10.0.           Here is how it works: From within PDMWorks Enterprise, the user simply approves a CAD Assembly such as SolidWorks, Inventor, or SolidEdge.  From here a trigger outputs a file that is automatically formatted and imported into Microsoft Dynamics.  A Bill of Material and/or item master records can be imported […]