Often times when designing components, we have several different potential solutions we’d like to experiment with. Not knowing which of these will work out the best, we often model several of them, and work with them in a “concepting” phase. Each different idea is evaluated and compared. But what happens when we finally pick the one we want to use?
In Enterprise PDM, we can very easily manage concepting as a part of the design phase. A simple way to do this is with a single-state concepting workflow and a workflow link.
Here I’ve set up my concepting workflow and the link. Files initially created begin in the concepting state. Here they can be checked in/out as needed, and EPDM will manage all versions – keeping our design history. When we decide that we want to use this particular design, it’s as easy as changing the state using the “Use for design” transition I created. This then utilizes a workflow link to move my concepting file into my regular design phase workflow in the editing state.
We can now just continue to work the way we would with everything is in place. In this case, I’ve also set my “use for design” transition to increment the revision. This sets up my standard that all components start at Revision A. A file in my concepting phase has not begun design yet, and therefore does not have a revision. However, as soon as I decide to use for design, it is assigned revision A.
EPDM isn’t just for your production files, it’s for all your files. This is just a quick example of how we can handle even files that will never end up in production. However, it’s much better than keeping them locally because it enables the multi-user environment and version control. In addition, those concepting versions will always exist even when the file makes it to the released state, so you’ll always be able to track your work back to the starting point.