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Interaction with manufacturers

Konstantin_ShKonstantin_Sh Member Posts: 11 PRO
We have multiple projects which are meant to be deployed at multiple manufacturers - usually a few manufacturers per each project. And we have two ways of dealing with them: in the old style - sharing manually a pack of documentation collected for each of them, that requares searching for each part and each drawing and exporting it in the correct configuration and appropriate format and manually attaching info of a quantity requared. But this piece of functionality within OS turned to be pretty weak - no group export, no way to switch from part to drawing, no search-based actions at all. And because of this the workflow we where trying is to create one document for each project shared for each manufacturer, which contains part models added to the assembly tab and part drawings added in pdf format. But still a lot of manual actions requared, we can't link drawings in native OS format between projects and can't find if the part has a drawing at all. The functionality which would solve almost all needs in this area is:
- multi-property search objects within the document or external which collects references to the parts, drawings and pieces of BOM's ( with respect to the search conditions applied) and provides exclusive accsess to it's elements (not document-wise) with respect to this search object share permissions.
Also I'm curious what workfwlows for manufacturer interaction are used by other users and if there are some reccomended ones by Oshape?

Comments

  • tim_hess427tim_hess427 Member Posts: 142 PRO
    Whenever I've shared documents with outside vendors, I've ended up re-creating anything I want to share with them in new assemblies and drawings to ensure that I don't "over share" with them. Looking ahead, I don't think this workflow will scale very well. It also creates duplicate drawings, which invalidates the "single source of truth" that we're going for. 

    What if there was a "linked tab" option for documents? I envision creating an empty document, then creating read-only links to existing tabs from any other existing document. This way, I can link-to and any specific entity. If I want to share one specific part out of a multi-part Part Studio, I can still pull that part into a new assembly easily enough. 
  • Roy_MutalikRoy_Mutalik Member, Onshape Employees Posts: 8
    Hi Konstantin,

    This certainly sounds like a complex situation, and I wouldn't want to pretend I know all the details and intricacies of your scenario just from what you've shared above. However, I'd be happy to share a few strategies or best practices that may assist.

    First, Document Organization. It sounds like part of your challenge is a result of how your model/drawing data is organized within your documents. Typically, it is recommended to keep UNIQUE data to a project in a document (or multiple documents, depending on the size of the project). However, allowing data related to multiple projects in a single document often leads to confusion of "where is this coming from". Perhaps you could create a Project-level document that contains all the drawings, separate from the 3D models? The goal would be that just this document could be SHARED with the manufacturers, rather than having to export a PDF package.

    Library parts or parts re-used across multiple projects still pose a challenge. Typically, it's recommended to keep these in their own documents (and organized in a Library folder). One option I've seen to help identify these is using a metadata field on the BOM that calls out it's a library part, or even a library-part-specific prefix on the Part Number. This would make it easy to scan through a BOM and identify which library parts are in it. You will then still need to export the PDF of the library part drawing from its document (if required) and include that in the Project-level document that includes all other drawings. However, hopefully, this drastically reduces the amount of manual export you are doing. 

    Lastly, I do agree that a multi-object search would assist with this process. Additionally, we are working on some improvements that could solve this and other challenges. In the meantime though, I hope this information helps!
  • Konstantin_ShKonstantin_Sh Member Posts: 11 PRO
    What if there was a "linked tab" option for documents? I envision creating an empty document, then creating read-only links to existing tabs from any other existing document. This way, I can link-to and any specific entity. If I want to share one specific part out of a multi-part Part Studio, I can still pull that part into a new assembly easily enough. 
    Currently this seems to be the only workflow if you want to keep your interaction with external manufacturers within OS. This "link tab" function is what I do when mooving PDF of the drawings to the new document for sharing with manufacturer, as you said the problem is that it still creates outdated sources of information. And you can't automate it using property search.

    Hi Konstantin,

    First, Document Organization. It sounds like part of your challenge is a result of how your model/drawing data is organized within your documents. Typically, it is recommended to keep UNIQUE data to a project in a document (or multiple documents, depending on the size of the project). However, allowing data related to multiple projects in a single document often leads to confusion of "where is this coming from". Perhaps you could create a Project-level document that contains all the drawings, separate from the 3D models? The goal would be that just this document could be SHARED with the manufacturers, rather than having to export a PDF package.
    Thanks for the elaborated answer, Roy. As a rule the project is organized (splitted into documents) to better handle it development within the CAD system, which doesn't neccessary suits best for sharing with multiple manufacturers. So I still have to manually create the data structure suiting for the manufacturers - just asking for automation: search objects and links to the original sources instead of copies and neutral formats. And I see  two main problems here;
    1 - the unit of sharing is the whole document VS ability to share folder within the document
    2 - abcence of parametric search collection object which should give exclusive access to the elements matching search conditions
  • Roy_MutalikRoy_Mutalik Member, Onshape Employees Posts: 8
    Konstantin - Very valid points.

    I know for certain Onshape is looking at providing solutions that either encompass, or override the need, for both items 1. and 2. you have listed there. As always, it's tough to provide any kind of timeline as to when we'll see these new features though. Have you reached out to be added to the associated Improvement Requests? We prioritize based on the number of customer hits - the more hits, the sooner we should see this functionality. 

    Thanks again for your feedback!
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