Renaming / moving files

When doing some conceptual design I don't want to assign part numbers to parts/assys/drawings because the design may change in a way that makes the
item obsolete. The file names therefore tend to match the description.
When the design has firmed up, I want to assign part numbers which also need to be used as the file names to guarantee they are unique. Also, the file name (i.e. number) determines which production folder the file gets saved in - each folder has a batch of 500 numbers and contains any part/assy/drawings within this number range. As you'll probably gather, we don't have PDM :-(
I therefore need to rename the files and move them to the correct folder without screwing up any references. Does anyone have a slick method for doing this? Doing "save as" with all the related files open to maintain the links is a partial solution, but then I have to remember to go back and delete the old files (scope for mistakes) - this is made worse because sometimes either SWX or WinXP still thinks the old file is open and won't let me delete it until I've exited SWX.
Any suggestions?
Out of interest, do any of the PDM offerings solve this problem both for parts already in the vault (I presume they allow you to rename it and take care of any refs automatically), and also for those that have not yet been checked in?
Regards, John Harland
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Probably the best free manual method is to use SW Explorer. You can rename files, tell it to find where that file is used, and update the references.
WT

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Don't forget, SolidWorks Explorer only finds top level drawings. So, assembly component drawings files will have to be individually edited.
Best Regards, Devon T. Sowell www.3-ddesignsolutions.com

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Hi Wayne,
The drawback with SWEx is that it doesn't let me specify a new folder to put the renamed document in to.
Regards, John Harland
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After renaming, use windows explorer to put the files in the right folders. Then open the top-assembly in SW and when SW asks for the missing files, browse to the correct folder and select the correct files. Save the assembly and your finished. This is how we rename and re-arrange our SW-files (also no PDM system).
\./\./im

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I tend to agree with MS Explorer and SWks Explorer use.
It would be nice to have a more intuitive and self-tracking and easy file finding system that was more transparent, but I am not going to hold my breath.
I often generate 100s of files or more before I get to a finished plastic part design that has a couple parts with their variations of fittings. The numbers of trials and evolutions of the early work can be mind numbing. On one plastic assembly, I modeled about 6-8 different joint designs for assembly before I managed to come up with the simplest of all to tool and assemble. That left a raft of models all looking very similar that could easily get mixed up if I was not careful.
I have tried to set up a folder Trial #1 and then when I progress to where a major change in the design is contemplated, I create a new folder with MS Explorer Trial #2 (or maybe occassionally #1a). I then use SWks to Save As (assembly file now w/"2" suffix), click the References button and check all the parts and save both the Assembly and all parts to the new "Trial #2 folder".
Then I have to go back and use SWks Explorer to give all parts the new "2" suffix. It is a bit time consuming, but it keeps ALL REFERENCES STRAIGHT with NO DUPLICATE NAMES so I don't get hopelessly lost after 5 iterations of a design, and I can always "Go Back" if I go down a blind alley (always happens somewhere when you are pushing the envelope of what is possible).
I think there is a basic difference between concept work and just continuing evolving engineering of established products. Conceptual design is more like envelope sketches or PostIt notes, where each page is a new design, and I would not want all of those conceptual files in a PLM, as most would have to be deleted later.
Maybe someone has a better solution or a macro-automated solution.
Thanks - Bo
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Bo wrote:

Well...I can tell you that using PDMWorks makes it a lot easier to rename files. Part of this is due to the precedence of how Windows searches for files. There is an explanation in SW help under Search, File locations for external references. Because all the files are essentially in one place, the vault, PDMWorks keeps track of all the relationships regardless of renaming, changing projects, etc. Since we've moved to PDMWorks, I rarely get "Cannot locate file.....".
Good luck
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What I faced on developing a new plastic product with 4-5 pieces & some variations was ultimately only a couple dozen or so of finished files on products and measuring tools (ring & plug gages).
The other files used to plan tooling, early trials, competitive part files, etc consumed over 500 files. Those 500 files don't belong in an official Engineering PDM as I see it, because we are not controlling or updating or guaranteeing the viability of those models in any way. They were development, prototype mold layout and reference materials. We need to keep them around, but not because we use them in production or make them available as a product.
Thus this is often like the old "Engineering File Cabinet" used to hold all the "stuff" about a project, but they are NOT the drawings in the official company plan cabinets drawn on A to E size drawings.
I wonder how other firms handle the planning, dross & sludge & reference materials such as I encounter?
It is not a trivial issue, even with simple parts. I imagine it is even worse if you design a large custom machine.
Bo
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I wouldn't worry too much about what goes into PDM. You can still delete unecessary files after the fact. We generate a lot of files in PDMWorks...some get Released, some get trashed. One of the nice things about PDMWorks is the ability to vault any document type and associate it with a SW file. This is a good way to manage your reference material that you want to keep for historical purposes.
Cheers
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John,
This is more or less how our company operates. What we do, is open the assembly (and any assembly layouts if they are started) and do a "File/Save As" within Solidworks. This updates the referances as you save.
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