EPDM Work orders - Demanded from the great beyond

Sadly, because of all of my blog fans I recently had to get an unlisted phone number. However because of FCC regulations I have learned it is not possible to get an unlisted séance phone. As a result I still get Marie Antoinette calling offering me Little Debbies, Pince Albert asking me why I have him in a can, and Slimer asking me if I know how much longer Bill Murray will be with us. Though yesterday I got an interesting call from Leo Tolstoy saying my blog entries have been too short lately and asked if I could “beef” one up a bit in his honor.

Okay Leo, if you promise to stop calling me (once he gets started you cannot get him off the phone) I’ll tackle a topic that I get asked about all the time – How to create and manage work orders inside of SOLIDWORKS Enterprise PDM.

Work orders, kits, packages…whatever you call them are a little out of the scope of what most people think of when they think of PDM. A PDM generates and maintains the data, an ERP/MRP handles the requisitioning and storage of the actual parts. [That is where I draw the line … data files vs. actual parts.] Don’t let “out of scope” stop you, EPDM laughs at scope and draws gray lines everywhere.

A work order is not a file. So you need a different way to maintain it. I have in past entries demonstrated that EPDM’s item master can be used to maintain work orders. I still rather like this method, but let me show you another that I think also has merit and perhaps has less setup.

Virtual Documents are thought of by most people as only place holders for items in the BOM that you don’t want to model inside of CAD. [Paint, grease, fasteners, etc.] However they can represent anything – even things you invent. How about your “.wo” files?

You don’t have any .wo files? (Probably not, it is typically an Apple file type and since you aren’t a hippy…) So from this point forward I proclaim .wo files as work order files. (You can use any extension as long as it isn’t something already used in your vault. However I would get on the .wo train now, it is going to be hot!)

First make a .wo datacard containing information you might want to store about a work order. This is an image of a rather clever design: (click on thumbnail for full size)


Now we can make our first work order:




I don’t know how my Tolstoy did it. I am worn out. I’ll take on more of this novel in my next blog entry.

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