Library parts – in or out of the vault?

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From time to time I like to answer email I get from my many fans.

Dear Great Wizard,

My Aunt Emily just bought PDMWorks Enterprise 2008. Do you think she should include her purchase part library in the Enterprise vault?

Signed,
Wondering in Kansas

Dear Wondering,

The question of if your purchase part library should go into your PDM system has been going on for as long as scarecrows have been afraid of fire. Many argue that once the library goes into the vault, only people who have access to the vault can see the parts. While that is true; how many people need access to the library parts and not any other engineering documentation that is stored in the PDM system? So you have to figure these people are going to need in the vault for other purposes anyway so you really aren’t making much of an argument for a way to save on your licensing fees.

Let me give you a few reasons why I think the library should go in the vault:

  • If you are in a replicated environment, it is important for all locations to have access to the same library. PDMWorks Enterprise can do this for you. Granted, you could put the parts on a shared drive, but that is slow for people off site, plus you are forcing your users to design over a network -and that is like going through life needing oil every time it rains.
  • Parts in the PDMWorks Enterprise vault are searchable. You want your users to find the parts they use most often fast. If the parts aren’t in the vault, they aren’t searchable.
  • It is important to be able to click on a part and know every location it is used. PDMWorks Enterprise can do this, but only for files inside the vault. If a library part does need to change (obsolescence or supplier changes it) you need to know what assemblies may be affected.
  • As much as I hate to say it, library parts change too. For library parts revision tracking is very important. A PDM system is made to track revisions. Files not in the PDM aren’t being tracked.

Lastly, don’t worry that your library parts are suddenly going to go into your engineering workflow. In PDMWorks Enterprise, you can set your library parts to go in their own unique workflow. Thus you can keep them out of your ECN process.

I hope this helps, and please stop shouting at my flying monkeys. It frightens them.

Sincerely,

Jeff Sweeney

Jeff “The Great Oz” Sweeney
Engineering Data Specialist
3DVision Technologies