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The main components that make this redline markup system work include creating a vault folder the markups will reside in, a File Card to capture critical data (e.g.: document number, description, and comments), and a Dispatch script that prompts the user to fill in information that will show up on the card. A Workflow may also be necessary if you want some additional control.
The folder part is simple of course. I have a Change Management folder at the top level of the vault that has an ECOs (Engineering Change Orders or change notices) and Redline Markups folder in it. The data card is also simple. Mine has just a few fields. The Description and Comments are captured from the Dispatch script. The Document Number is set to have a default value based on an EPDM Serial Number.
So at this point, without the Dispatch script, someone would save their markup file in the Redline Markups folder and the file would get a document number automatically (again, just shows up on the data card). They would then go to the card and fill in the remaining fields and probably rename the file to include the document number and maybe even description. The Dispatch script automates this process and ensures the user fills in critical information.
My Dispatch script is set to launch when a file is added to the Redline Markups folder (That could either be a save as from eDrawings or a scanned jpg dragged into the folder). The script then prompts the user for a Description and Comments (These values are temporarily stored in Dispatch variables and then pushed to the card fields). The Document Number is pulled from the card and stored in a Dispatch variable. Now that the Description and Document Number are captured, the file is renamed using the following format: NUMBER (DESCRIPTION).ORIGINAL-FILETYPE-EXTENSION (I like to include the description in the filename because it helps with browsing). These are some of the most important parts of the script. Mine also asks the user if they want to open the folder when done (a nice touch at the end).
So with this Redline Markup System and the Engineering Change Notice System described in the previous post, we now have key components of a very nice Engineering Change Management System within our vault. In the next post we will show you how these two pieces, along with some EPDM file management functionality, make EPDM excellent software for Engineering Change Management.
Upcoming Topics (Feel free to comment on what you would like to hear about next):
- Part 4 of Change Management – Putting it all together
- Inter-department communication example with EPDM
- Project Management with Enterprise PDM
Revisit Part 1 of this blog series on Engineering Change Management with EPDM.
Want to learn more about SolidWorks Enterprise PDM. Visit the main page of my blog!