Sharing files within your company?

I've been challenged with finding a better way to share drawings
within the company. Currently drawings are always at one of three
stages: In Progress, To Be Approved, and Final.
Once a drawing becomes final, we save it as pdf and post it in a
folder that the entire company has read access to. This way, anybody
can print a current drawing at any time. If that drawing changes, we
update the pdf and send an update notice out via email.
There is currently no process in place for In Progress/TBA drawings,
but we want to put one in place. The first thought was to do the same
as we do with the Final drawings, but the problem with that is that In
Progress/TBA drawings are revised much, much more often than Final,
and we'd spend half our day just saving pdf's and sending emails.
What I want is a system where anybody in the company can see if a
drawing (file) has been modified. Then they have the option to look
at the drawing and see what has changed. Instead of saving to pdf,
we'd give read access to the folder that contains the drawing, and
they can use some sort of viewing program to open the file. This sort
of puts the burden on them to keep track of the changes, rather than
the draftsmen having to constantly update a pdf file.
Do any of you have a system like this? Any suggestions for
alternatives that would work? I'm open to anything. The basic need
is for 'anybody' in the company to be able to get their hands on a
copy of a drawing in any stage. I look forward to your responses.
Reply to
Brian Mears
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Why not use native SW files and have the people who need to view or print install the SW viewer? You have to do this with pdf's and view them with a pdf viewer.
Same concept, different format.
Reply to
I will second that. Our shop floor, purchasing, etc. all use the SWX viewer to look at drawings. Bruce Chapman Manager - Product Engineering Rayco Mfg, Inc.
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Reply to
Bruce Chapman
Should have added this first... i'm not (yet) a SW user. We're currently evaluating it, but have not bought it yet.
Tell me about the viewer... any user can open a native SW drawing with it? Print easily from it?
If it works well, that might be something that speeds along the process of buying SW. Thanks...
Reply to
Brian Mears
Yep, The viewer is free It can view ANY SWX file (displays it in its last saved state) And it is VERY printable. At my previous job, ALL shop drawings were printed with the viewer.
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you can also use eDrawings to open/view native sw files. output is not as sharp as viewer though.
Reply to
kenneth b
The Windows Explorer folders technique that folks are talking about has the possibility of working fine, but you will need to have either a highly documented and controlled system or well disciplined users. I can't help feeling that it sounds like a messy work-around, though.
If you're interested in taking a look at something that was designed to work that way, have a look at a PDM system. I'll just talk about PDMWorks because it's the one I deal with on a daily basis. The "web portal" will allow an unrestricted number of concurrent users to use a web browser to see documents in the vault. This has at least 2 advantages over the system you're talking about. First, I'm sure you don't really mean that you want "everybody" to look at "everything". You can control access permissions with a system like this. Second, if you're doing revision control, it won't be long until you're looking for something more sophisticated than Windows Explorer. Also, if you get the web portal, you can also have PDMWorks "triggers" automatically create PDFs for you if you want or just use eDrawings as a viewer.
PDMWorks can also handle the "in progress" documents in several ways.
matt (Brian Mears) wrote in news:
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I believe I have PDMWorks as part of my evaluation... I'll install it and take a closer look at it. Also, you are correct about 'everybody' and 'everything'--I simplified it a bit for the post, but there will be restrictions. Thanks for the info...
Reply to
Brian Mears
I would look into e-drawings if it were me. You could not only view and mark-up the SW part, assembly and drawing files but also other file formats you may have like Pro-e, DWG and DXF. E-drawings is also free and I believe SW plans on doing away with the viewer because E-drawings achieves the same goal.
Reply to
Rob Rodriguez
In order for a person to tell whether a drawing file has been modified I think you're talking (at least) about the implementation of some kind of PDM software which can be used to track changes. You MAY even be talking about implementing a custom database written specifically for your company. Check out DBWorks and PDMWorks (get an on-site demo of each). I think one or the other has some capability which you can adapt for use to suit the purpose.
Good luck, 'Sporky'
Brian Mears wrote:
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