SOLIDWORKS PDM


  • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS PDM

    Working in Tandem: SOLIDWORKS Inspection and SOLIDWORKS PDM (Part 3)

    Tom Starks by Tom Starks on December 11, 2018

    SOLIDWORKS InspectionIn this three-part blog series, we’ve been discussing SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional and SOLIDWORKS Inspection and, most importantly, using them together in harmony. In our scenario, our CAD revision control process has had extraordinary success with the use of SOLIDWORKS PDM and now we want that same success for the quality team using SOLIDWORKS Inspection. In part one, we uncovered the capabilities of SOLIDWORKS Inspection as an add-in, as a standalone, and the ins and outs of SOLIDWORKS Inspection Professional.

    In part two, I introduced the six questions (and answers) for a successful PDM vault implementation and how to change your data management strategy. These are the questions that will ultimately help you meet your data management plan. In this blog, I am going to walk you through that process. Let’s get started.

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    • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS, SOLIDWORKS PDM

      Using Excel as a Reporting Tool in SOLIDWORKS PDM

      Lindsay Early by Lindsay Early on November 30, 2018

      SOLIDWORKS PDM AdminSome SOLIDWORKS PDM administrators want to gain more use of their data. Installing and using Reporting in SQL Server can be very powerful, but it requires a foundation of knowledge in setting up reports, permissions, and additional installations that some companies are not willing to give a PDM administrator.

      SOLIDWORKS PDM can also generate reports using the Report Generator, but it can only deliver the results in table format. Reporting in Excel can be more flexible and allow you to analyze the data with formulas and graphs without the need for installing and setting up the SQL Server Reporting Services. There are a few ways to import SQL data into Excel, but this is one way it can be done.

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      • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS, SOLIDWORKS PDM

        Replacing Control Logic with a Tab Control: SOLIDWORKS PDM Tech Tip

        Lindsay Early by Lindsay Early on November 2, 2018

        Control LogicControl Logic is a powerful tool for use in SOLIDWORKS PDM, but it does come with its limitations. Control Logic conditions can only be assigned to one control at a time. This means that if you have many controls that need to be shown or hidden at once, each one will need to be individually set up with Control Logic.

        Also, there isn’t a tooltip or other visual aid when editing a data card that would let the administrator know that Control Logic has been used. This can be frustrating if more than one administrator is modifying the data cards. The only way to see that Control Logic was employed is to enter the correct interface from each control on the card.

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          6 Questions (and Answers) for a Successful PDM Vault Implementation (Part 2)

          Tom Starks by Tom Starks on November 1, 2018

          PDM VaultBringing together two SOLIDWORKS tools can result in tremendous improvements to your overall workflow and business potential. However, the road to utopia can often be bumpy or, quite frankly, confusing. Just say your CAD revision control process is flourishing thanks to SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional and now you want that same success for your quality team with the help of SOLIDWORKS Inspection.

          In part one of this blog series, I ran through what SOLIDWORKS Inspection can do and introduced how to incorporate it within SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional. When SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional is installed, there are six crucial questions you’ll need to answer when creating your data management plan. In this blog, I’m discussing in detail how these questions can affect your overall strategy.

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          • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS, SOLIDWORKS PDM

            Deleting Already Used Workflows and States in SOLIDWORKS PDM

            Lindsay Early by Lindsay Early on October 15, 2018

            workflows and statesIf you’re a SOLIDWORKS PDM Administrator, you have most likely run into this issue: You need to change your workflow but if you try to delete a workflow state and save you get the dreaded message “The workflow was successfully saved but some states could not be deleted since there are files that are or have been in those states.”

            The reason this is strictly controlled is because of the file history. If the file is ever rolled back to the point in time it was in that workflow state, it needs to exist.

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              How to Leverage SOLIDWORKS Inspection & SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional (Part 1)

              Tom Starks by Tom Starks on October 8, 2018

              SOLIDWORKS InspectionJust say you use SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional to manage your 3D CAD revision control process and you recently purchased SOLIDWORKS Inspection for your Quality team. In order to start leveraging SOLIDWORKS Inspection and SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional with your inspection process, you must first understand that planning is key. In part one of this blog series, we will first discuss what capabilities are available within SOLIDWORKS Inspection and how they can be incorporated with SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional.  

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              • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS, SOLIDWORKS PDM

                Installing the SOLIDWORKS PDM Standard Server

                Heather Dawe by Heather Dawe on September 27, 2018

              • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS, SOLIDWORKS PDM

                Installing the SOLIDWORKS PDM Client

                Heather Dawe by Heather Dawe on September 24, 2018

              • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS PDM

                6 Considerations for Concluding a SOLIDWORKS PDM Latency Analysis (Part 3)

                Joe Frank by Joe Frank on September 12, 2018

                LatencyWelcome back to part three of our blog series where we’re discussing SOLIDWORKS PDM topology and latency. In part one, we introduced the subject and defined important terms discussed along the way. In part two we ran tests to put some real numbers on how our servers would interact with the users when various latency values were imposed. In our final installment, we evaluate our PDM topology and run some tests. As Engineers we are all about data...so let’s start gathering some!

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                  Performing a Latency Study in SOLIDWORKS PDM (Part 2)

                  Joe Frank by Joe Frank on September 10, 2018

                  latencyIn part one of our SOLIDWORKS PDM blog series, we learned about the topology of SOLIDWORKS PDM including the necessary terminology to better understand how the architecture or the various servers interact with each other and how numerous tests can be run to define these interactions. Now, let’s take a deeper look and put some real numbers to the interactions.

                  As users start to identify with latency a little more, they will find that only certain functions are impacted while others seem to be immune to latency’s effects. The real answer is that nothing is immune to latency, it’s just that many factors play roles in how this is able to happen. Sometimes it’s as simple as the server being hit the hardest by the user’s request.

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                  • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS PDM

                    SOLIDWORKS PDM ADMINISTRATOR 101: Topology & Latency (Part 1)

                    Joe Frank by Joe Frank on September 7, 2018

                    SOLIDWORKS PDM AdministratorAre you a new SOLIDWORKS PDM administrator? Has your company grown in recent years?  Have divisions or facilities been added since SOLIDWORKS PDM was originally deployed?  If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are not alone. Companies in recent years have experienced many if not all of these changes. SOLIDWORKS PDM topology is something that can and does change over time, as companies grow the topology changes are sometimes minimal, while at other times they are significant. It may be time for you to review yours.

                    Within SOLIDWORKS PDM when the topology changes, the latency should be reviewed because users feel PDM is not responding fast enough to their requests whether they’re adding new files to the vault, updating information on a data card, or checking in a large assembly with several component changes. These setbacks can often get frustrating as finger-pointing between users and the folks in IT responsible for the infrastructure start talking about such topics. The fact of the matter is that latency is a real thing that does impact the day-to-day functionality within SOLIDWORKS PDM.

                    In this part one of a three-part blog series, we take a deeper dive into this impact on functionality by documenting times for day-to-day functionals while imposing a defined latency within the SOLIDWORKS PDM architecture. We’ll then take a closer look at the numbers to better understand where and to what degree does varying the latency really have on our daily lives in SOLIDWORKS PDM.

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                      Getting the Most out of PDM for Project Management

                      Christa Prokos by Christa Prokos on August 13, 2018

                      PDM project managementDeveloping products can be complicated. Turnaround is tight and unexpected delays always seem to happen at the worst moment. Managers need to adapt to problems as they arise, encourage collaboration, and keep the development on track - all while keeping costs low. Product data management (PDM) software was developed to meet those needs by simplifying the management of engineering data. When used correctly, PDM software can streamline workflow and increase collaboration while also keeping your files secure. Picking the right PDM and leveraging its capabilities are key to increasing productivity.

                      In this recorded webinar, product data management expert Joe Frank will take you through some of the best practices you can adopt using SOLIDWORKS PDM. Here are a few of the benefits you can experience when using PDM for project management.

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                      • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS, SOLIDWORKS PDM

                        Improve Your Archery Game with SOLIDWORKS PDM Tasks

                        Peer Larson by Peer Larson on June 8, 2018

                        SOLIDWORKS PDM Tasks If you’re like me, then you like archery. There’s a lot to like about it - the serenity of nature, the simplicity of a bow and arrow, and the cool morning breeze as you line up your shot. While there are many of you out there that are far better at it than I am, we can all agree that practice is the key item that makes good archery possible. Also, a great excuse to do it more.

                        So how does SOLIDWORKS PDM play into this? As it turns out, there are a number of factors that can get in the way of our precious practice time. One of them being work; specifically tedious and repetitive work. We’ve all dreaded those late nights and weekends where we have to open hundreds or thousands of drawings, check a standard or property, and make a simple adjustment all before release day (or ISO inspection day) - usually Monday morning. If this is a nightmare you’ve experienced, are soon dreading, or simply don’t wish to encounter you’ve come to the right place. Let’s get started.

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                        • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS, SOLIDWORKS PDM

                          Are you sure it's a SOLIDWORKS PDM Permission?

                          Jodi Degenaer by Jodi Degenaer on April 27, 2018

                          PDM PermissionSOLIDWORKS PDM permissions can be tricky at times to the point where you don’t know for sure if the issue you are having is actually a permission issue at all. The best way to test if it’s permissions is to log in as the admin user and see if you can perform the action. If you can it’s a permission issue.

                          What permission could it be? In this blog, I’m covering a few tips where you might want to start looking. I also give a couple examples that demonstrate some common troubleshooting processes in looking for a permission.

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                          • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS PDM, CAD

                            How to Pick the Right Product Data Management (PDM) Solution For Your Company

                            Christa Prokos by Christa Prokos on April 18, 2018

                            solidworks pdm standard vs professionalHave you ever heard the phrase, “you get what you pay for?” Although the connotation can be limited, it’s important to know when it’s true - especially when it comes to software tools for your business. Companies who want to scale and remain profitable need to know when the benefits outweigh the costs and how to make the right investments for their long-term growth.

                            We’ve mentioned before that not using a PDM solution at all can result in longer cycle times, lost or inaccessible data, and much higher costs. A study by the Aberdeen Group found that PDM users saw a 15% decrease in development time, and were able to reuse data 10% more than non-PDM users. Even businesses who initially hesitated to adopt PDM due to worries over cost and setup have found PDM to be a cost-effective timesaver for their employees.

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                            • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS PDM, CAD

                              Connecting SOLIDWORKS PDM via SMTP to Gmail or Office 365

                              Peer Larson by Peer Larson on April 3, 2018

                              SOLIDWORKS PDM email As more and more SOLIDWORKS users take advantage of all the automation features in SOLIDWORKS PDM, it becomes clear how important it is to keep other users in the loop. This is especially important for both users who aren’t in the vault all the time and those who are never in the vault but still need to know what’s going on. That is when it is handy to take advantage of the ability to send SOLIDWORKS PDM notifications via the external SMTP method instead of the internal database method.

                              What this means, is that SOLIDWORKS PDM users who are on the go, on mobile devices, or not even part of the SOLIDWORKS PDM environment can be aware of what is happening in the engineering process related to ongoing and upcoming projects.

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                              • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS, SOLIDWORKS PDM, CAD

                                Resetting the PDM Admin Password in SOLIDWORKS

                                Lindsay Early by Lindsay Early on March 30, 2018

                                PDM Admin passwordA question I often hear from new SOLIDWORKS administrators is “how do I change the PDM Admin password in SOLIDWORKS?” When I hear this question, it’s usually for one of two reasons. Either, the administrator needs to change it to a more secure password, or the administrator has misplaced the password and needs to reset it.

                                In this blog, I demonstrate step-by-step instructions and tips on how to simply change the PDM Admin password. Let’s get started.

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                                • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS, SOLIDWORKS PDM, CAD

                                  What You Missed at SOLIDWORKS World: How to use SOLIDWORKS Treehouse and Templates to Create Assemblies Faster

                                  Heather Dawe by Heather Dawe on February 27, 2018

                                  SOLIDWORKS TreehouseOne of the most highly anticipated events at a SOLIDWORKS World conference is being able to attend break-out sessions that are hosted by Certified SOLIDWORKS users on an array of different subjects. If you weren’t able to make it to this year’s conference then you’re in luck. This blog covers what Fisher Unitech SOLIDWORKS Expert Heather Dawe presented to users to show how SOLIDWORKS Treehouse and templates can be used to create assemblies faster.

                                  SOLIDWORKS Product Data Management (PDM) templates are one of the most commonly used automation processes in a PDM vault. They can be used for everything from creating new project folder sets, to writing ECO’s/ECR’s, to generating new SOLIDWORKS files. Many companies already use PDM Templates to create new project folder sets. These folders can be used to implement project-wide variables and can be populated with pre-designed template files to create a uniform, organized project folders. What a lot of users don’t know is that by using a little-known tool called SOLIDWORKS Treehouse, you can take your assembly to the next level and use you PDM templates to kick-start your project planning and create your assemblies quicker.

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                                  • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS, SOLIDWORKS PDM, CAD

                                    2 SOLIDWORKS Tips For Working with Large Assemblies

                                    Toby Schnaars by Toby Schnaars on February 13, 2018

                                    SOLIDWORKS Large assembliesDo you often find that your SOLIDWORKS large assemblies are sluggish? Do you experience slow open time, lag, and a slow save time? If you do, you’re not alone, but there are several variables you may not have considered that could be causing this lackluster performance. In this blog series I’ve been covering each of those variables to help you get your SOLIDWORKS large assemblies opened, working, and saving faster.

                                    In my first blog, I showed several examples of a large assembly that was slow to open, slow to save, and slow to work with. We were able to remedy that by opening the assembly locally, we turned off shadows and shapes, real view, and changed the display to shaded. In part 2, I talked about network bottlenecks and the differences in hard drives and how those can affect how your large assembly performs. Part 3 introduced the “Automatically Load Components Lightweight” option in SOLIDWORKS and how to reduce the amount of data being opened. Continuing with that trend, today we’re going to talk about a couple of best practices for working with assemblies in general but especially with large assemblies.

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                                    • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS PDM, CAD

                                      Using Automatic Login with SOLIDWORKS PDM

                                      Heather Dawe by Heather Dawe on December 26, 2017

                                      Automatic login with SOLIDWORKS PDM-1One of the best features of SOLIDWORKS PDM (Product Data Management) is its integration with Windows Explorer and how it allows users to access the SOLIDWORKS PDM vault directly from Windows Explorer. In this tech tip, I’m going to discuss three different ways users and administrators can set up an automatic login with SOLIDWORKS PDM, which allows users to access the vault and get working faster. Let’s get started.

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                                      • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS PDM, CAD

                                        What’s New Series - SOLIDWORKS PDM 2018

                                        Christa Prokos by Christa Prokos on December 6, 2017

                                        SOLIDWORKS PDM 2018Today in our blog series about what’s new in SOLIDWORKS 2018 we’re covering SOLIDWORKS PDM 2018. If you’re not familiar with SOLIDWORKS PDM, it’s product data management software used by organizations large and small to improve product development collaboration and automate workflows.

                                        New features in SOLIDWORKS PDM 2018 include design branching and merging, which will help users improve the process of handling various design change scenarios such as engineering change requests, working with external vendors, and more.

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                                        • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS PDM, CAD

                                          How to Get Started with Your SOLIDWORKS Workgroup PDM Migration

                                          Tom Starks by Tom Starks on November 6, 2017

                                          How-to-Get-Started-with-Your-SOLIDWORKS-Workgroup-PDM-MigrationIn 2015, DS SolidWorks Corporation announced that it would phase out the aged product data management tool, SOLIDWORKS Workgroup PDM. It had reached the limit of what it could do with its architecture, the company said, along with advice that customers will be better served by migrating to SOLIDWORKS PDM Standard or SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional.

                                          We knew SOLIDWORKS Workgroup PDM end of life was approaching and now it’s here. The release of SOLIDWORKS 2018 has brought with it the official retirement of SOLIDWORKS Workgroup PDM. This blog provides advice on how to get started with your migration to SOLIDWORKS PDM.

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                                          • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS PDM, CAD

                                            Using a Data Card for State Changes in SOLIDWORKS PDM

                                            Todd Barr by Todd Barr on October 6, 2017

                                            Using-a-Data-Card-for-State-Changes-in-SOLIDWORKS-PDM-1When you have multiple SOLIDWORKS PDM users that need to make approvals or need to track tasks completed by different departments or individuals, it’s not always easily done using the Parallel option in Transitions. Using Automatic Transitions and Radio-button selections on a Data Card will allow multiple users to select when they are either completed with a task or approve a document. The last person to select approve or complete will send the document to the next State in the Workflow. Using the Data Card option you can also use the Search Tool to create Excel reports showing the status of documents, (i.e. who has approved or completed a task.)

                                            In this blog, you’ll learn how to configure the Vault for tracking completed tasks.

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                                            • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS, SOLIDWORKS PDM, CAD

                                              How to Link Variables in SOLIDWORKS PDM to a Newly Created Drawing

                                              Jodi Degenaer by Jodi Degenaer on September 8, 2017

                                              Often times, linking the variables in SOLIDWORKS PDM (Product Data Management) to newly created drawings can seem like a puzzle with a piece or two missing. Fortunately, this can be mitigated by arming yourself with a step-by-step system that I’ve found to be very useful.

                                              In this blog, I’ll take you through the steps to easily link variables in SOLIDWORKS PDM to newly created files. Let’s get started.

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                                              • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS PDM, CAD

                                                Don’t Let Mismanaged Product Data Hold you Back

                                                Christa Prokos by Christa Prokos on July 17, 2017

                                                Don't-let-mismanaged-product-data-hold-you-back-1If you hear the British idiom, “don’t be penny wise and pound foolish” it’s probably in the context of making an important decision. In other words, don’t cut corners to save small amounts of money because it could cost you more in the long run.

                                                The same idiom applies to the decision to invest in product data management (PDM) software. Some companies choose to cut corners and skimp on PDM. They may think it’s too expensive, or takes too much time to set up, or that their engineers and designers won’t like the new process and it could slow down their productivity.

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                                                • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS, SOLIDWORKS PDM, CAD

                                                  Using Custom Search Columns to Create Simple Reports from PDM Searches

                                                  Peer Larson by Peer Larson on May 10, 2017

                                                  It can often be very useful to collect information about your files from a high level, such as if you were interested to learn the internal PDM Document ID or who in your department approved what when.

                                                  You can use custom search columns to change how a search card displays information and then export your search results to Microsoft Excel. This can also be useful when tracking project management documents, as you can have all of your relevant fields show in the PDM search card and then export those results to Microsoft Excel for easy portability and communication.

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                                                  • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS PDM

                                                    Looking for the SOLIDWORKS Workgroup PDM Migration "Easy Button"?

                                                    Joe Frank by Joe Frank on April 24, 2017

                                                    Looking for the SOLIDWORKS Workgroup PDM Migration Easy Button 1With the retirement of SOLIDWORKS Workgroup PDM approaching, I’m getting a lot of questions about what to expect when migrating to SOLIDWORKS PDM Standard or Professional. I wish I could say there is an easy button, but there just isn’t.

                                                    Migrating your intellectual property out of your SOLIDWORKS Workgroup PDM vault is not an easy process. Many things need to be considered when setting up a SOLIDWORKS PDM Standard or Professional vault to accept your data. You want a vault that works for you, not the other way around.  Although there is not a simple program or “Pack and Go” process, I do know how to make the process easier.

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                                                    • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS PDM, SOLIDWORKS TRAINING

                                                      Your Training Starts Here: Saying Goodbye to SOLIDWORKS Workgroup PDM

                                                      Tom Starks by Tom Starks on March 8, 2017

                                                      There was a time when people were comfortable with Microsoft Windows for workgroups, then Windows NT came along and they had to relearn how to use the new Windows platform. The same thing happened with Windows 7 when Windows 10 came along.

                                                      With the retirement of SOLIDWORKS Workgroup PDM drawing near, now is the time to start the migration over to either SOLIDWORKS PDM Standard or SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional. Learning a new platform doesn’t have to be a challenge, but the earlier you start with proper training, the further ahead you’ll be.

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                                                      • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS PDM, CAD

                                                        Quick Lesson on the Value of Product Data Management

                                                        Brian VanderPloeg by Brian VanderPloeg on February 10, 2017

                                                        Product Data Management or PDM, is the often overshadowed acronym on the engineering whiteboard of design process workflow. Acronyms CAD, CAE and CAM stand boldly circled for the next software investment while PDM can get crossed off or postponed for consideration next year. Yet a PDM system has as much to offer in the way of business value and user benefits as the other acronyms, which, if you are new to the world of product development, are short for: Computer-Aided Design, Computer-Aided Engineering, and Computer-Aided Manufacturing.

                                                        So what exactly is PDM and why should it stand worthy of a bold circle for your organization? After fifteen years of helping a variety of product design and manufacturing companies solve business challenges with software, I have an “in the trenches” understanding of PDM.

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                                                        • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS PDM, CAD

                                                          Exploring SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional

                                                          Joe Frank by Joe Frank on January 11, 2017

                                                          exploring-solidworks-pdm-professional1With the retirement of SOLIDWORKS Workgroup PDM fast approaching, it’s time for users to move to a new product data management solution: SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional or SOLIDWORKS PDM Standard.

                                                          To help you understand more about the solutions, I recently delivered a webcast demonstrating the user interface for Standard and Professional. You can watch the recorded webcast to see how intuitive the interface is for managing data files and moving them through a workflow. Yet, while the interface may be the same for both PDM solutions, the capabilities are not. It’s important to understand the differences.

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                                                          • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS PDM, CAD

                                                            Nine Reasons Why You Need a PDM Solution - An Engineer’s Point of View

                                                            Jodi Degenaer by Jodi Degenaer on December 12, 2016

                                                            It’s a bright, early Monday morning and I’m excited to get to work on a hot project. I start my SOLIDWORKS design software, click ‘File>Open’ and navigate to my assembly. A dialogue pops up. The file is in use by someone else.

                                                            Who has my assembly open, and why? It’s still only in the initial design phase. Hmm…I know Jeff is working on similar components. I give Jeff a call. He says he doesn’t have it open, but Mary had some of his files open the other day and I should try her. I call Mary and get no answer.

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                                                            • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS PDM

                                                              SOLIDWORKS Workgroup PDM Retirement - Are You Prepared?

                                                              Christa Prokos by Christa Prokos on November 21, 2016

                                                              If you use SOLIDWORKS Workgroup PDM to manage your product design files, the time to start planning your migration to either SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional or SOLIDWORKS PDM Standard is now. You are probably already aware that this juncture would come.

                                                              Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks Corporation gave ample time for customers to prepare for change when in the summer of 2015 it announced that it would phase out the aged product data management tool. SOLIDWORKS Workgroup PDM had reached the limit of what it could do with its architecture, the company said, along with advice that customers will be better served by migrating to either PDM Professional or PDM Standard.

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                                                              • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS PDM, CAD

                                                                Upgrading to SOLIDWORKS PDM 2017 Part 3: PDM Professional Post-Upgrade Tips

                                                                Tom Starks by Tom Starks on November 18, 2016

                                                                Upgrading software should be something to look forward to, but it can also be time-consuming and challenging if you are not properly prepared. This is the final installment of a three-part blog series to help you with an easier and successful upgrade to SOLIDWORKS PDM 2017 Professional or Standard.

                                                                In Part 1 I covered tips to help you prepare for your upgrade. In Part 2 I took you through the post-upgrade process, covering commonly missed items. For this blog, I will provide additional post-upgrade tips that apply to SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional. These tips will allow you to take advantage of the new 2017 tasks, since tasks are not available in SOLIDWORKS PDM Standard:

                                                                • - Add the SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional 2017 SWPDFTaskAddIn
                                                                • - Using the new SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional PDM 2017 Tasks

                                                                Let’s get started.

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                                                                • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS PDM, CAD

                                                                  Upgrading to SOLIDWORKS PDM 2017 Part 2: Post-Upgrade Tips

                                                                  Tom Starks by Tom Starks on November 11, 2016

                                                                  Often times, the thought of a software upgrade can be daunting and cause concerns over how time-consuming or challenging the process could be. With help from the experts, you don’t have to worry. This blog series provides tips and tricks to help make it easier for you to upgrade to SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional or Standard. In Part 1 I covered tips to help you prepare for your upgrade. However there is always something that needs to be done after an upgrade and in this blog, I will cover the following post-upgrade tips:

                                                                  • - Run the PDM Database Upgrade Tool
                                                                  • - Manually upgrade any PDM Add-Ins like Dispatch or SWTaskAddIn

                                                                  So let’s get started!

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                                                                  • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS PDM

                                                                    SOLIDWORKS PDM Upgrade Tips Part 1: Preparing for Your Upgrade

                                                                    Tom Starks by Tom Starks on November 4, 2016

                                                                    YSOLIDWORKS PDM our organization relies on SOLIDWORKS for product data management. How else would you centralize all your engineering data and related files in a secure repository? But if you use SOLIDWORKS PDM, then you know that the software does more than just provide a secure repository. Some of its benefits include integrating workflows, automating design and approval processes, providing version control and enabling collaboration across teams and locations. Now with SOLIDWORKS PDM 2017, you can do even more.   

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                                                                    • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS PDM

                                                                      Latest and Greatest - SOLIDWORKS PDM 2017

                                                                      Angelle Erickson by Angelle Erickson on September 23, 2016

                                                                      The release of SOLIDWORKS 2017 is right around the corner and drumming up a lot of excitement for power users and new users alike. With every new SOLIDWORKS release, users anticipate enhancements and features that will increase their productivity and help make their design and product development processes easier.pdmcomp

                                                                      There is no better way to bring an idea and design to life than with the power of SOLIDWORKS. With multiple tools and functions such as electrical, simulation, and visualization, it’s possible to design a product seamlessly and effortlessly.

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                                                                      • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS SIMULATION, ELECTRICAL, SOLIDWORKS PDM

                                                                        Join Us at a SOLIDWORKS 2017 Launch Event Near You

                                                                        Christa Prokos by Christa Prokos on September 7, 2016

                                                                        sw17cropWe are excited to announce that Fisher Unitech and our friends at Prism Engineering will be hosting a series of SOLIDWORKS 2017 launch events beginning next month on October 5th. With hundreds of new enhancements and features, the newest version of SOLIDWORKS promises to be the most powerful release yet.

                                                                        So if you’re just as geeked out about SOLIDWORKS 2017 as we are you’ll fit right in! Join us at one of our live launch events to engage with our experts and gain some tips and tricks, along with a deeper understanding of how industry-specific tools can address your personal designing needs.

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                                                                        • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS PDM

                                                                          Walkthrough on Upgrading to EPDM 2015

                                                                          Lindsay Early by Lindsay Early on December 18, 2014
                                                                          Enterprise PDM 2015 has brought with it some important changes that will affect your upgrade. No longer do you need to download a license from the customer portal, because everything is now activation-based like many other SOLIDWORKS products. Additionally, there are new requirements of your hardware/software. System Requirements

                                                                          It is always important to check the SOLIDWORKS Enterprise PDM System Requirements before doing an upgrade. This year, Windows Server 2008 and all 32-bit systems are no longer compatible with the software. Additionally, SQL Server 2005 and 2008 are no longer supported, but EPDM media kits will be shipping with SQL Server 2014 this year. The Enterprise PDM Installation Guide has been updated this year to include steps on how to upgrade your version of SQL Server to 2014.

                                                                          The Upgrade

                                                                          Below are the steps you should follow to upgrade to EPDM 2015.

                                                                            1. Download the latest installer from the SOLIDWORKS Customer Portal. It is important not to use the version that is coming in the media kit because it is already out of date.
                                                                            2. Obtain your EPDM Serial number if you don't already have it. It should be in the My Products section on your SOLIDWORKS Customer Portal or you can obtain it from your SOLIDWORKS Reseller (like us!).
                                                                            3. Block log-ins. Log into your vault from the Administration tool, right-click on the vault, and go to Properties
                                                                          Walkthrough on Upgrading to EPDM 2015
                                                                            1. Turn off the Archive Server Service on ALL Archive servers. I like to add this step to make sure absolutely no one is modifying any files before I back up the database. This can be easily done in the Archive Server Configuration Tool
                                                                          Walkthrough on Upgrading to EPDM 2015
                                                                            1. Back up your databases. This can easily be done in the SQL Management Studio. Right-click your vault and go to Tasks > Back up. Make sure to choose the option for a Full backup. Repeat the process for all of your vaults including the Conisiomasterdb.
                                                                            2. Upgrade your Archive and Database servers. This is fairly straightforward using the EPDM Installer. It should automatically detect which components you already have installed. You will need your SQL Server name, username, and password to complete this.
                                                                            3. Set up the new licensing. You will notice there is an extra option now called License Server in the EPDM Installer. If you already have a SOLIDWORKS Network License Server, I recommend you just combine the Enterprise PDM licenses with the SOLIDWORKS ones. On that server, go to Programs and Features in the Control Panel, right click on the license server and choose Change. Go through the prompts until you get to the serial number section and add in the serial number you received from your reseller. If you don't already have a license server, go ahead and install it on one of the EPDM servers using the EPDM media. Make sure to upgrade your license server to 2015. If you do not already have a SOLIDWORKS Network License Server, go ahead and install one on your EPDM server.
                                                                            4. Activate the license. To do this, load the SolidNetwork License Manager which can be found in Start > All Programs > SOLIDWORKS 2015 > SOLIDWORKS Tools. If you aren't prompted to activate, choose Modify > Activate/Reactivate on the License Administration tab. Go through the prompts until it successfully activates.
                                                                            5. Upgrade the databases. You can do this from any machine with EPDM access. In the installation media there is a folder in the root called Upgrade. Run the Upgrade.exe inside. Check the boxes next to all of the databases and continue through the prompts until it upgrades.
                                                                            6. Permit log-ins. Go to the same properties menu as before inside of the Administration tool and instead choose Permit Log-ins. You don't need to turn on the Archive Server Service because it automatically does so when you upgrade.
                                                                            7. Finish licensing. Double-click the license node of your vault to set up licensing. Add a server and put 25734@<servername>. Test a vault view to make sure you don't run into any errors. 
                                                                          Walkthrough on Upgrading to EPDM 2015
                                                                          1. Finally, upgrade the rest of your clients and give yourself a pat on the back. You're now working in EPDM 2015!
                                                                          TIP: Now that EPDM is using SolidNetwork licensing, you can reserve licenses for specific people. Use swepdm_cadeditorandweb, swepdm_contributorandweb, and swepdm_viewer as the license names. Full walkthrough coming soon!
                                                                          For more training and tutorials on the many 3D CAD Modeling solutions in the SolidWorks family of products and add-ons, register for an upcoming Event or look into our SOLIDWORKS training.

                                                                        • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS PDM

                                                                          Migration from Windows to Enterprise PDM Part 3: Legacy Revision Workflow

                                                                          Lindsay Early by Lindsay Early on November 19, 2014
                                                                          Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3

                                                                          Many companies have several projects stored in their Windows file system prior to an Enterprise Product Data Manager (EPDM) implementation. While it is ideal to leave older projects within the old filing system, it is sometimes important to integrate them into the new PDM system for future use. This is the final entry of a three part blog series entitled Migration from Windows to Enterprise PDM.
                                                                          It is recommended that you implement in a test vault prior to executing on your production vault. Some instructions are intended for migrating large amounts of data at once. If you are only moving a few documents into the vault, it is still applicable, but some steps may not be necessary. 

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                                                                          Enterprise PDM does not automatically detect the revision levels of legacy data once it is entered into the vault, regardless of what is showing in the datacard. The datacard may display a revision, but if you were to do a new release, it would start at the beginning; this happens because EPDM keeps a revision counter separate of the datacard variable for each file. The only way to remedy is this is through the use of API (programming) or a Legacy Revision Workflow.Begin by creating a new workflow. Make sure your Conditions are set to either point to a single directory (such as a folder named Migration or Legacy) or exclude everything. If you choose to exclude all files from the workflow, you can move it to the workflow using a Workflow Link. The condition would need to be of type Filepath and the argument would be !=% (does not equal anything).

                                                                          Create the following state structure. Check Revision is a basic transition with no Actions associated with it. Invalid Revision is an Automatic Transition with no Conditions assigned to it. This will catch files that don’t have a revision or have invalid characters in their revision. They can be fixed while in the Invalid Revision state and then transitioned back into the workflow using Apply Revision. Choose Workflow is an interim state to hold files until you are ready to assign them to a workflow using a Workflow Link. An example below has the option to set it to the Released state in the CAD Files workflow.
                                                                          Migration from Windows to Enterprise PDM
                                                                          Next, you need to assign the appropriate revision counters. To do this, first open Choose Workflow, assign the revision counter, and set it to increment the counter by 1. For this example, we are using just an Alpha scheme. This will also work for numeric or dual counters. Make sure to increment all counters at this state or your workflow will not function correctly.
                                                                          Migration from Windows to Enterprise PDM
                                                                          Then, add a transition between Sort and Choose Workflow. This transition must be set to Automatic. In this example, we will set it to revision C.
                                                                          Migration from Windows to Enterprise PDM
                                                                          In the Conditions tab, choose the Variable: Revision, Comparison: Text Equal To, and Value: C. You may need to set configuration, depending on where the Revision has been stored in your legacy data.
                                                                          Migration from Windows to Enterprise PDM
                                                                          Then, in the Actions tab, add a new action and assign it the Type: Inc. Revision
                                                                          Migration from Windows to Enterprise PDM
                                                                          Finally, in the Revision Numbers tab, fill in the appropriate counter number in the Reset to input so that the preview matches the revision you are trying to set. If a revision number component does not show here, check that the Choose Workflow state has a revision assigned. Additionally, it may be necessary to save your workflow before the Revision Numbers show in the transition.
                                                                          Migration from Windows to Enterprise PDM
                                                                          Continue to make transitions for each possible legacy document revision. Be sure to test the workflow thoroughly including running them once through your regular workflow to make sure they increment to the next revision appropriately. Once complete, you are ready to set the revision counters on your legacy data.---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                                                                          Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3

                                                                           

                                                                          For more training and tutorials on the many 3D CAD Modeling solutions in the SolidWorks family of products and add-ons, register for an upcoming Event or look into our SOLIDWORKS training.


                                                                        • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS PDM

                                                                          Migration from Windows to Enterprise PDM Part 2: Fix Those References

                                                                          Lindsay Early by Lindsay Early on October 16, 2014
                                                                          Part 1 - Part 2Part 3

                                                                          Many companies have several projects stored in their Windows file system prior to an Enterprise Product Data Manager (EPDM) implementation. While it is ideal to leave older projects within the old filing system, it is sometimes important to integrate them into the new PDM system for future use. This is the second of a three part blog series entitled Migration from Windows to Enterprise PDM.

                                                                          It is recommended that you implement in a test vault prior to executing on your production vault. Some instructions are intended for migrating large amounts of data at once. If you are only moving a few documents into the vault, it is still applicable but some steps may not be necessary.

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                                                                          When migrating from Windows, some files may be missing references, contain cyclic references, point to duplicate files, or point to locations outside of the vault. Don't worry! They can be fixed!

                                                                          Update References Wizard

                                                                          A little known, but extremely useful, part of Enterprise PDM is the Update References Wizard. It will allow you to redirect, replace, add, or repair references. The tool can be accessed by selecting the parent file in Windows Explorer and selecting Tools > Update References. The sections below will explain how each tool works.

                                                                          TIP: It is important to fix warnings BEFORE checking in for the first time. If you ignore the warnings and check it in, the Update References Wizard will NOT show them.

                                                                          Redirecting References

                                                                          This tool is useful when you have the warning File Not Found or if you just want to redirect a reference to another file of the same name.

                                                                          1. Choose the reference you wish to redirect and press Find Files.
                                                                          Migration from Windows to Enterprise PDM

                                                                          1. In the Find Files dialog, select the folder to search for the file, select your search criteria, and press Next>
                                                                          Migration from Windows to Enterprise PDM
                                                                            TIP: Select the root of the vault and Search sub-folders in the criteria to search all files.
                                                                          1. If there is only one option found, the Update column will automatically be checked. Sometimes, there are multiple files you could use. You must select it from the dropdown under Found In and check the Updatecheckbox. Press Finish when complete.
                                                                          Migration from Windows to Enterprise PDM
                                                                          1. In the remaining pop-up press Update. It will close when it is finished.
                                                                          TIP: If you have the File Not Found warning and cannot find a copy inside the vault, you must find the file and add it to the vault or remove the reference in SolidWorks to get rid of the warning.

                                                                          Replacing References


                                                                          If you wish to replace a reference with a different file name, you want to use Replace File. It can be located in or outside of the vault. It is recommended that you add the reference to the vault if you choose a file currently outside.
                                                                          Migration from Windows to Enterprise PDM
                                                                          Adding Referenced Files to the Vault
                                                                          1. If you have the warning Outside SolidWorks Enterprise PDM, you must either redirect the reference or add it to the vault. Select the erroneous reference and press Add files to Vault.
                                                                          Migration from Windows to Enterprise PDM
                                                                          1. Select the folder you would like to add the file to and press Next>.
                                                                          2. Press Finish to complete the task.
                                                                          Additional Tips

                                                                          File Not Found

                                                                          If this warning is appearing frequently, it is likely because you did not preserve the relative file structure when performing the migration. It is very important to preserve that structure until everything is checked in for the first time. 

                                                                          File Outside of Solidworks Enterprise PDM

                                                                          If this warning is appearing frequently, it is likely due to the previous file structure still being available to the migration machine. Removing access to that directory will fix most of these issues.

                                                                          Cyclic References

                                                                          Sometimes with legacy data the Cyclic Reference error will appear. A Cyclic Reference occurs in assemblies when two or more components share external references in such a way that a rebuild of one component necessitates rebuild of another. The only way to resolve this error is to edit the file within SOLIDWORKS. It is not possible to check in these files until the issue is corrected.

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                                                                          Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3



                                                                          For more training and tutorials on the many 3D CAD Modeling solutions in the SolidWorks family of products and add-ons, register for an upcoming Event or look into our SOLIDWORKS training.


                                                                        • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS, SOLIDWORKS PDM, CAD

                                                                          EPDM TECH TIP: Making a Dynamic Dropdown for your Datacards

                                                                          Lindsay Early by Lindsay Early on September 15, 2014

                                                                          In SOLIDWORKS PDM, you can insert a Combobox Dropdown that will allow you to either type in an entry or choose from a list. What if you want your typed entries to show the next time you use that dropdown? This is possible through the use of a list that is based on a SQL query. First, you will want to create a list that will contain the items you would like to start with in your dropdown. In this example, I have created a list called Start Customers.

                                                                          Continue reading


                                                                          • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS PDM

                                                                            Data Management...why you NEED it.

                                                                            Rodney Harper by Rodney Harper on March 29, 2012
                                                                            Product Data ManagementA big question is, why do you need data management (DM)? It really can be summed up in two words: TIME and MONEY. It's really a simple reasoning.
                                                                            TIME
                                                                            While a fast computer works great in between saves, it can't help a slow network. Think of it like this: Driving from point A to point B can be done via a highway in a straight line (scenario A) OR done via a side road with a lower speed limit and some yield signs (scenario B.) Saving local is scenario A. Saving on a network is scenario B. It just takes longer to save onto a network, even with a fast network the speed limit is higher but you still have more checkpoints to cross to get there.
                                                                            The next objection might be, how do I back my data up or how do multiple engineers work on the design? This is where a data management system brings this and the above scenario together. Data is stored on a secure, backed up server. When any of of engineers needs to work on a project, he or she checks out this data to a local drive. A user owns this data while he/she works on it, saves are local, and only when he/she is done, one check in back into the data management system. While the data is checked out, everyone can see who "owns" the data. Which leads me to the next point about why you need a DM system...money.
                                                                            MONEY
                                                                            Have you accidentally overwrote a file or had someone else over-write your files? Have you "lost" your files due to poor organization in Windows folders or lost work due to data stored on a local machine due to a hardware failure? Even a minor mistake adds up quickly. Lost time, rework, ordered something incorrectly all add up. This alone costs more than getting a PDM system into your facility. Another way to see the time aspect is that you lose time if you work over a network. Every save you make takes a bit more time that adds up week after week. You depend on the guys down the hall not to stream music to ensure you network connectivity stays consistent. It all adds up to money lost for simply waiting.
                                                                            SolidWorks Premium and Professional comes with WorkGroup, a fairly bare bones DM system that even includes room for a single workflow for multi-level approvals. It's meant for single location implementations. Many people don't even realize they have WorkGroup to use. The next step up in DM is Enterprise PDM. It offers multi-site replication, and looks just like Windows explorer. Not too long ago, the cost of entry into this was fairly substantial costing more than a seat of premium SolidWorks - but not anymore. FISHER/UNITECH offers a quick start implementation that brings this into a much more affordable and obvious option over WorkGroup. I liken it to this: having a $10,000 car with a few options or spending $12,000 and getting a super sports car. It's such a small difference in money that it just makes sense to go with the better option.
                                                                            Take a look at the SolidWorks page on the PDM systems here: https://www.solidworks.com/sw/products/10157_ENU_HTML.htm Contact your local sales rep with any questions or click here to help us get you in touch with the right person.
                                                                            Have a great day!

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