Design Table / Charted Drawing, Help Please!

We are doing allot of family of parts in solidworks which means design
tables. This ends up as what we've termed as a "charted drawing". One
drawing may now contain 2 - 50 different parts where just the length changes
(which is great). However I am at a crossroads.
When we number our "new" drawing, we give it a 7 digit number ex.
2010000. The part numbers in the charted drawing then become 2010000-01 on,
and on. This is simple enough.
The problem has come up that replacing all the old part numbers (which
with 2d the drawing number and the part number were the same) with new part
numbers throws off all our manuals, effects our parts department, etc. etc.
They want to keep the old part numbers with a new drawing number. The
problem is we print jobs and ship them to the floor with copies of the
prints attached to each job that our pulled out of a file of all our prints.
The person who pulls these prints has no way of knowing the prints to pull
unless she goes through each job.
Which way do you guys number when replacing legacy drawings from 2d and
trying to use SW to its fullest potential. I am at my wits end here trying
to get people to understand a little time and effort now is going to save us
huge in the end.
Please Help
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I don't quite understand your problem - because you are using design tables you can create a column for both drawing and part number and have these automatically inserted into the drawing title - so it should be quite simple to include whatever you want into a drawing.
I you want to know what numbering system to use then you have just hit the age old conundrum so you are likely to get a different answer from just about everyone you ask. Every company does it differently and it seems that every new drafting manager wants to re-invent the wheel. If your old system worked, why not stay with it!
Merry :-)
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Merry Owen
I CAN understand Tim's problem, Merry. If he wants to use Design Tables to create models of very similar parts (a significant advantage of using SolidWorks) and he follows your suggestion, the Drawing Number is going to be significantly different from the Part Number. Now if he has a part listed in a BOM somewhere, somebody in Purchasing or Manufacturing or QA is going to want to go to a drawing using the part number to get there. Not only that, but if someone is editing a SolidWorks assembly and wants to right-click and choose "Open Drawing" SolidWorks is not going to know which drawing to open (and of course one is then faced with the Open File dialog box).
Tim, I suggest MAYBE (see next paragraph) following Merry's suggestion, but also creating and maintaining a global spreadsheet that cross references any Part Numbers which are significantly different from the Drawing Numbers for the Drawings on which those Parts are described. For those Parts which jibe with the Drawing Numbers newly created, the spreadsheet wouldn't really be necessary . . . but you might want to maintain it for all Parts anyway, or else combine this function into your company's MRP database (if there is one) because it might be hard for people in other departments to tell whether they need to use the cross-reference or not.
I'd also like to echo and underscore what someone else said in another thread. "Intelligent" part numbering systems cause extra work. I put the quotation marks there because such "intelligent" systems usually turn out to be NOT so intelligent. In SolidWorks you've got to be darn sure that when you rename a Part or Assembly file that you have the references changed in all the other Assemblies and Drawings in which the renamed Part or Assembly is used. That means relying upon SolidWorks Explorer to find and update all the "Where Used" instances . . . and I hope you'll take my word that SolidWorks Explorer isn't foolproof. It sometimes misses something, and of course if you don't specify all the directories in which to search it won't find everything. Having "intelligence" built in to your part numbering and/or drawing numbering ensures that you're going to be doing a lot of renaming of Parts and Assemblies -- especially if the "intelligent system" includes a numbering indicator that relates to WHERE or HOW the component is used. That last because anytime you decide to change the assembly structure you're going to have to rename a bunch of files. And if you have even moderately complex assemblies AND unless you happen to be an infallible clairvoyant you ARE going to run into restructuring assemblies. I can't stress enough how much of a time drain that can be. If you can use this argument to convince your management to abandon the use of "intelligent" part numbers then you will have accomplished something worthwhile.
Been there and done that, failed and I keep trying anyway.
Merry Owen wrote:
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