We do 90+% of our own manufacturing to maintain quality control. With the recent advances in certain technologies ( specifically laser cutters ) and the resultant design freedom they give us, we have begun to have more and more parts made by outside vendors due to the fact that we don't do enough of a type of manufacture to warrent the capital equipment investment.
Generally I provide our vendors with a .pdf of the completed part with inspection dimensioning, and a .dxf of the 2D portions ( ie. the flat condition of a bent sheet metal part ).
Recently, we used vendor A to do the prototype and pre-production run of a particular part. When it came time to order an actual production quantity, their laser was in the process of being switched out for a new one. We sent the order to one of our other vendors (B), and continued getting this part from them for the remainder of the season. As the new season began, we ordered the same part from our normal vendor (A). Between them having done our pre-production work and their first production order, a change was made to the parts design. That resulted in us paying for several hundred parts that are not useable as vendor (A) was not informed of the revision.
I would like to set up a permanent passworded ftp site to which our vendors have access and can verify revision status prior to a production run.
Is there a way to have PDM automatically generate the pdf and dxf files and place them into the ftp folder as parts are checked into the vault?
Does anyone have any alternate suggestions for a solution? I realize that this would not have happened if I had been showing due diligance and informed all vendors of the change when it was finalized. 99% of the time, that is the case. But sometimes its easy to forget things especially when you are swamped. An automated/semi-automated solution would go a long way to prevent human ( my ) error.