TopSolid 7 makes it even easier to configure your PDM server. Additionally, help is just a click away as we added a shortcut to the remote assistance command allowing you to obtain help from your reseller. Check it out by viewing this quick video.
I am often asked the question “How should I structure a project in TopSolid’PDM?”. And I often answer with something like…that depends. Why? To build a good structure for your process, you must first ask yourself a few questions. Before you can ask the questions however, you also should understand your end goal. And to understand the end goal, you need to understand the mission of managing data and how it will flow through your organization.
My goal in this blog post is to help you begin to understand your own work flow. Then take that workflow and turn into some basic structure within the TopSolid 7 platform.
The mission of data management
Why do you want to manage your data? It’s a very simple question…but wow the impact of the answer can be intense! Why? Managing data (or information) should be in the top 5 of items that have the largest impact on your business. If it is not, then you might be making a critical business mistake. The reason I say this is because if you do not manage information within your organization correctly, then you can run into problems like:
Misinformation being shared (internally or worse externally)
Wrong revisions being manufactured
Projects not starting on time
Projects starting too soon
The list can go on and on. Managing your data in a way the follows even a basic structure can ensure that some of these business-critical mistakes are lessoned or better eliminated altogether. Ask yourself this question:
What would it be worth to your organization if you could eliminate or even minimize the number of mistakes made during the flow of your manufacturing process?
I’ll bet that if you really sat down and thought about this question…the answer would shock you. And hopefully the answer will motivate you to begin down the path of structure.
Now if we circle back to the first question in this section… Why do you want to manage your data? The simple question after all will have a simple answer. You want to structure your data so that you can ensure it flows through your organization in a way that follows the most optimal path while ensuring all parties involved always have the most up-to-date information possible.
The end goal of structure
Now that you understand why it is important to manage data, it’s time to discuss the structure of data. In thinking structure, you want to think about what you need to manage and what the parent/child relationships of managing that item might look like.
For example, maybe you build vices. The overall vice will have a part (or item) number for the final assembly of the vice. Each of the components of the vice will in turn have their own part number. Each component of the vice would be a child to the main assembly of the vice (called a parent). Yet still some of the items of the vice are standard off-the-shelf items and might have their own part numbering structure as well. Continue reading Structure a Project in TopSolid PDM→
The following video was put together by our reseller in Mexico, CIMCo. Feel free to visit them here. I think that they did a great job of showcasing the TopSolid solution for Mold design, simulation and manufacturing within this video.
Part of what makes TopSolid such a great platform is its continued focus to solve manufacturing problems for our customers. In the case of mold manufacturing doesn’t it make more sense to work with a solution that does 100% of the process within the same platform? This includes:
Plastic flow simulation
Full 3d mold design with standard components
Document management (PDM)
Have a look at this cool sample and see for yourself why you should choose TopSolid as your manufacturing platform.
Choosing a CAD or a CAM solution can be a daunting task. There are many aspects that you need to take into consideration prior to making your choice. These include, but are by no means limited too such things as cost (up front and annual), functionality, availability, learn-ability, support resources, development schedule, popularity, and…well even more. Many people companies choose their solution based on a number of these items. However, one of the most important items to consider is often missed…integration.
Integration between your CAD and your CAM software is paramount in today’s manufacturing world. Integration allows downstream elements, such as CAM files, to automatically receive updates from upstream items like CAD files.
For example, ACME Manufacturing designs and manufactures their own product line. Today ACME uses one CAD product to engineer with and a totally independent and different CAM product to manufacture with. This was ok to do…10 plus years ago.
The problem with this methodology is that when the engineering team makes a change to the CAD data how do they ensure that the manufacturing teams not only receives that engineering change, but that the manufacturing team uses is? Also, how long does it take the manufacturing team to integrate the new data into their standalone CAM solution? Is it a few minutes? Hours? Days???
Herein lies the problem of independent products that do not communicate with each other seamlessly.
Simply put, they cost ACME a lot of money in lost time and rework.
Maybe your work is safe and sound on your company server and backups are beeing done regularly. Or maybe it´s stored locally and you have been talking about that backup your gonna set up for years.
Of course this applies to any important files of your´s, may it be your work files such as cad or valuable family photos.
Whatever your reason might be, here is one way (of many) to keep your files safe online.
Now, there are numerous online backup sevices out there and one is better than the other. It´s not easy to find a service that might fit your specific needs.
Anyway, this time were using Live Mesh .
One thing that´s pretty neat with Mesh is that it´s part of Microsoft Live and if you are using MSN your probably already set up with a Live account. If not you need to register for one first.
So first of all you need to log in to Live Mesh using your Live account.
Go to Live Mesh Devices and click “ad device” and install on the computer. When the installation of mesh is done you will be asked to login to you live account on the mesh client.
When signed in, you will be asked to name your computer.
Open up windows explorer and navigate to C:\TopSolidPdm\Local\Vaults. (or any other folder containing whatever you want to backup)
Now right-click the vault (folder) you want to backup with Live Mesh and choose “add folder to Live Mesh”. Then just leave the name as it is.
Then go to your Mesh Live desktop and right-click your Vault folder. Choose when to synchronize and with what device.
It´s possible to ad more computers and sync the folder(s) to other computers as well.
Some users put alot of time and effort into customizing their work environment so that they will get a more efficient workflow.
Others do nothing, they are quite happy with things as they are (default setup that is).
Sometimes when working in teams you just need to create one basic setup of toolbars, icons, colors, windows etc and then distribute them to your co-workers.
Or maybe you just want to save your settings in a safe place, just in case of…
Well, no matter what your plan might be, here´s how you do it!
First navigate here using Windows explorer: C:\Docs and Settings\UserAccount\Application Data\Roaming\Missler Software\TopSolid\7.2\TopSolid\Kernel\SX\
There youwill find: Config.ConfigData.xml which contain all the settings except the window positions. Copy that file and put it in a safe place or distribute it to your co-workers.
Then navigate to this folder: C:\Docs and Settings\UserAccount\Application Data\Roaming\Missler Software\TopSolid\7.2\TopSolid\Kernel\UI
There you will find ApplicationWindow.xml which contains the window positions. Copy this file to you safe place or distribute it and your done!
So what is a safe place to store it you might think? Well since you are reading this post your are most probably using TopSolid 7 with a powerful built in PDM server. What can be safer than that?
If you did not know it, TopSolid 7 PDM can handle loads of files, not just your CAD models.
First you can either create a new project or library called “settings” or something else. I just created a folder in my default project. What you need to do next is “Import file without conversion” (see screenshot)
Import your files, “Check in” and now your settings are safe!
Letting TopSolid 7 handle other files than just your CAD models can be quite useful sometimes. When in a project you might want to save configurations from a customer, photos taken on site or whatever. Now everyone involved can easily find these documents!
TopSolid 7 features integrated PDM right out of the box. Sure, it sounds cool but what does i really mean and how will it affect my work?
Whats the point? Windows explorer works just fine for me and those PDM systems are way to complicated anyway some might say.
To keep things simple you could think of a PDM system like a librarian. Someone who stores data, keeping things in order, checking what goes in and out, to whom and if the state of the books have changed and if that is the case you will probably have to pay a fee (in your PDM system a revision will be created instead).
Try to keep track of everything and maintaining some sort of order when you have a large amount of documents. Your brain will eventually have a meltdown.
At first i have to admit i was a bit irritated that i couldn´t just click “save as” and save the file to the server using the same method i always use. But after a while it started to grow on me. It´s just so easy to work with. The software keeps track of everything for you do and you barely have to know anything about PDM. Revisions and changes are all in perfect order.
It´s all good but i kinda feel there´s something missing… automatic part numbering according to custom specs. I miss it cause i still have to keep track of all the numbers myself…
But despite that, in short i like it! Well done Missler!
There is a short video that shows TopSolid 7 and it´s built in PDM here.