Multi-language in Enterprise PDM
In SOLIDWORKS Enterprise PDM, I do not like the idea of mixing languages within the same Enterprise variable. I want to be able to run reports and see BOMs in a chosen language. Multi-language reports and BOMs are difficult for users. I like adding a suffix to each variable name for each language, i.e. “Finish” is broken in to multiple languages: “Finish-English”, “Finish-French”, etc… Then define different BOM column sets pointing to each corresponding language.
Same concept for search cards, reports, file properties, etc.
It is difficult to have one title block support multiple languages/business units. Beyond the fact that the block needs to be bigger to support multi-languages, each group likes to have their address, phone number, logo, etc. Usually it is easier for each language to have its own sheet format with fields pointing to the proper language’s file property. It only takes a few seconds to swap sheet formats in drawings. (It may be a slightly modified macro that swaps the language specific notes?)
Some company’s default sheet formats are only a rough skeleton showing designers their drawing area, the proper “language appropriate” sheet format is only applied when needed -printing. (Since meta data is just to the right of the drawing preview in the viewer, internally a title block may not have much value.)
In summary: The part file has a file property for each language it needs to support. The drawing sheet format points only to the property of the language it needs. Swap the sheet format, the new title block is now in the new language.
The downside to all of this is that you need to collect data in multiple languages and your data cards need to support this. If your users don’t speak all the languages your files require, you can either have the second language group populate the data cards as needed, or give your users cross reference look-up tables so they can populate the entire data card themselves without needing to know how to speak the other languages. 3rd party tools such as PigeonHole can help you do this: