Automatically Generate a PDF Using SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional Tasks

With the 2016 release, SOLIDWORKS has created a powerful product in the form of PDM Standard. Files now live at states, and move through workflows, so you always know their status; integrates right in windows explorer; and most of all it’s included at no additional cost with all Professional and Premium licenses.

So where does this leave Enterprise PDM (EPDM)? ‘Why do I need it?

EPDM is dead.

No, not really. Not at all, actually! Enterprise PDM has just been renamed to SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional. It’s an upgrade over PDM Standard, which has many additional functions, the biggest of which is task automation.

Let’s say I’ve got the following workflow with my files:

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What this means is every file in my vault is always in sitting at one of the blocks or ‘states’. As work is completed on it, users move the files through the arrows or ‘transitions’ to other states. This is a function of both PDM Standard and Professional, and makes it really easy to understand what state a file is in. It also makes it very easy to create an electronic approvals process.

In our specific scenario, maybe when a file is approved, and moved into that state in the workflow, we need the manufacturing shop to get a PDF of the SOLIDWORKS drawing. The PDFs themselves would be easy enough to manage in PDM Standard’ but they would have to be generated by the user.

But what happens when you’re designing a complex machine that has potentially hundreds of parts? Each part has its own drawing file’ your user now has to manually create hundreds of PDFs.

Enter PDM Professional, with automatic completion of tasks. This is one of the key differentiators, and why PDM Professional is still the complete PDM solution for companies small and large alike.

Convert to PDF is a common task, so it’s actually included with PDM Professional right out of the box. It’s just a matter of simply configuring some settings, like output paths and details.

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Then we add the task to automatically occur at the transition ‘Passed Approval”

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And we’re good to go!

I can now transition many files at once through the approvals process. PDM Professional will automatically create the task, and save each of those files out automatically.

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Automatic task completion can be run on a local machine, or even on the server. Either way, it easily creates all the files you’ll need, even for hundreds of drawings at once.

File data management without a PDM system can be a huge headache. PDM Standard addresses these concerns. However, manipulating large numbers of files can still be time consuming. PDM Professional looks simplify that aspect with a lot of automation, and get you back to doing more design faster than ever.