EPDM Document BOMs vs. EPDM Item BOMs

A lot of people in the SolidWorks Enterprise PDM community were excited when EPDM Item BOMs were introduced, but the EPDM Item Explorer and its related features still cause some confusion about how to use both EPDM Document BOMs and EPDM Item BOMs.  Unfortunately, it’s impossible to definitively settle the question of whether to use EPDM Document BOMs, EPDM Item BOMs, or both, in a short article.    However, there are some general rules of thumb worth considering in determining whether EPDM Document BOMs or EPDM Item BOMs best fit a company’s business strategy:  Continue Reading

Composer for All Your BOMs

With so many different perspectives on the BOM in today’s organizations, companies have come to expect that different departments will be creating and re-creating content to describe their products.  Some will do it with Microsoft Excel, some with Microsoft Word, others with Adobe Illustrator, and others still with an alternative CAD package like AutoCAD.  With new tools like 3DVIA Composer, all of this extra effort can be saved.  Once metadata is stored in a set of CAD files, 3DVIA Composer lets users slice and dice the content and BOM information in whatever way is relevant for a particular audience, with full associativity for downstream changes.  Setting xBOM management in PDM aside, let’s look at how 3DVIA Composer can present very different views of a product’s BOM, visually.  Continue Reading

Swapping Models in SolidWorks

Design Automation is very powerful when creating unique “same as, but” models for new jobs. But in many cases, people are doing configure-to-order (CTO) just as much as they are doing engineer-to-order (ETO). Configure-to-order means utilizing standard components and using the automation to determine the logic for which component, or which size of a component, to put in an assembly. Configuring an automated design sounds simpler, and in many ways it is, but there are a few things to note and some design automation best practices to follow when planning to swap models in SolidWorks.  Continue Reading

EPDM Document BOMs

SolidWorks Enterprise PDM offers a number of ways to work with BOMs (Bills of Materials).  In EPDM 2008, SolidWorks introduced the Item Explorer, along with Items and Item BOMs.  Although many in the community welcomed this addition to EPDM’s BOM capabilities, EPDM users should not overlook the possibilities inherent in the EPDM Document BOM.  Here are some of the key capabilities of, and possibilities for, using EPDM Document BOMs: 

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SolidWorks Assembly Mates for Design Automation

When creating your SolidWorks assembly master models and preparing them for automation, a lot of decisions need to be made in developing the best mating schemes. One important consideration in this development is the creation of the relations between components. The design intent in your models can be established by parameters that are driven by your automation tool, or by relations within SolidWorks.  Let’s dig into this a bit deeper to uncover some an important design automation best practice related to SolidWorks mating.  Continue Reading

EPDM Item BOMs

SolidWorks Enterprise PDM offers a number of ways to work with BOMs (Bills of Materials).  For a while, SolidWorks Enterprise PDM (and its previous incarnation, Conisio) offered only EPDM Document BOMs.  However, in EPDM 2008 (aka PDMWorks Enterprise 2008), SolidWorks introduced the Item Explorer, along with Items and Item BOMs.  This logical extension of Enterprise PDM functionality was applauded by the EPDM community, but still causes a bit of confusion regarding how to use both EPDM Document BOMs and EPDM Item BOMs.  Continue Reading

SolidWorks BOMs and EPDM BOMs

Bills of Materials (BOMs) are a tricky subject since different industries, and companies within those industries have unique standards for how their BOMs and parts lists are documented.  SolidWorks Corporation has done quite of job of creating different tools to support different types of BOMs and BOM methodologies.  There are tools in SolidWorks itself (the CAD tool), and a number of additional capabilities in Enterprise PDM (the data management tool).  Here is an explanation of the various types of SolidWorks BOMs and Enterprise PDM BOMs.  Continue Reading