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Visual PDM On-Line Tour

1: Login - admin, author, viewer
2: Load Part - Retrieve documents by specifying part number
3: Load Order - Retrieve documents by specifying order number
4: Bill of Materials - Demonstrate BOM view and all features
5: Drawings - CAD and scanned; show zoom and pan
6: Work Instructions - Operations, steps, plan objects
7: Other Documents - Video, Word, etc.
8: Document Associations - How it's done
9: Item and Order Query
10: Substitution - Drawing and work instructions, bill and parametric
11: List of Lists and List of Parts

1: Login - admin, author, viewer
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    Purpose: To show who can make use of Visual PDM.

    Visual PDM offers three levels of security in addition to your network security. The levels are Administrator, Author and Viewer. Authors are typically engineering personnel, including design, manufacturing and industrial engineers. Viewers are typically shop floor personnel, but can also include service, sales, tech support and other departments.

2: Load Part - Access documents by specifying part number
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    Purpose: To show how easy document retrieval is and to solve the following problem:

    How are documents accessed by various departments or delivered to the shop floor now? In a paper packet? Who puts the packet together? How much time is spent on this process? How many copies are made? What happens when more paper packets are needed than are available.

    Display the documents associated to this part in an orderly fashion. All the documents, whether they are plans, drawings, or even Video assembly instructions, associated with that part are displayed on the screen:

    Any number of documents can be associated to a part by its number and revision. Users will never need to know what the document file names are, what directory theyíre in or what program to use for viewing them. Eliminating reliance on paper for document storage also eliminates problems with lost, misfiled or damaged documents.

    If a users system is set up to do so they can access a certain revision. The default is to access the latest or highest revision. In essence, what is in effect today. This is how control and access to up-to-date documentation is assured.

3: Load Order - Retrieve documents by specifying order number
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    Entering in an Order Number of MPS1004. Results in Visual PDM loading an order. The parent part number on the order is used for document retrieval. Documents donít need to be reassociated for every order made. The associated documents for the parent part are shown. The bill of materials is order-specific. When the Line number is left blank, the first order line is used.

4: Bill of Materials - Show BOM view and all features
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    Purpose: Discuss data source, configurability, sort, single BOM indent, multi-level indent, BOM revision control, point and click retrieval.

    The Bill of Material information comes directly from MRP/ERP using the ODBC driver or from nightly extracts. The information displayed in the BOM view is configured by the system administrator, so your company sees only the information you determine as pertinent. The BOM printout is also configurable, including such capabilities as adding a company logo.

    Each column header in the BOM view is a button that when pushed will sort the data on that column.

    Each component in the BOM view can have itís Bill of Materials expanded by double-clicking the icon next to the component number. A complete multi-level indented Bill of Material view is possible by selecting ĎExpand Allí from the Tools menu.

    Visual PDM adheres to your MRP/ERPís BOM revision control standards. Visual PDM can be set to find the highest revision, or what is in effect today or any other day. The Bill of Material view can serve as a method of retrieving documents associated to components within the BOM. Simply point and click on any component within the view, even at any level, and itís documents are retrieved.

5: Drawings - CAD and scanned; show zoom and pan
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    Purpose: Show CAD viewing capabilities - Visual PDMís built-in CAD viewer.

    Whatís so bad about paper drawings? When design engineering releases a new rev of a drawing, old copies at various storage locations must now be replaced. What happens when the old revís prints are not found? They could still be in use somewhere on the shop floor. Has an old paper drawing ever been kept by a shop worker, maybe because he has written notes on it? Has this old drawing been used to produce your product? What were the ramifications of building your product from out of date documentation? What happens when a copy of the drawing is lost on the shop floor? Are the workers familiar with where the drawings are kept? Are they comfortable with entering the engineerís domain to retrieve documentation? How does this need to retrieve a lost document affect their productivity? Visual PDM makes it quick, easy and simple to access the latest documentation for every work order.

    Visual PDM provides direct viewing support to AutoCadís DWG format as well as 160+ additional file formats. Existing paper drawings can be electronically scanned (to formats such as TIFF,CAL,PCX,etc.) and then made available company-wide via Visual PDM.

6: Work Instructions - Operations, steps, plan objects
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    Purpose: Show the power of creating work instructions with structure, flexibility and reusability.

    Traditional routings are limited by no provisions for text formatting and graphics. Important steps and changes can too easily be missed by shop floor personnel, causing rework, product return or failure. This means lost time, productivity and dollars. Visual PDM provides a compelling solution and puts an end to routing limitations.

    Does your company have a need for detailed work instructions? Using a standard word processor provides this flexibility, but what about the structure? Visual PDM provides a means by which your companyís work instructions can be routinely created with a chosen format, yet enabling the author complete flexibility as to the content. Substitution (described in a later section) provides improved accuracy and minimizes maintenance.

    Do your current work instruction documents contain information that is repeated over again and again in multiple documents? If so, when a change is required to this repeated text, a maintenance nightmare exists in order to apply the change across all affected documents. This nightmare is eliminated with the use of ĎPlan Objectí references. Change the plan object, and the change carries across to all documents referencing that object.

7: Other Documents - Digital Pictures, Video, Word, etc.
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    Purpose: Show the limitless possibilities of document linking.

    If a picture can say a thousand words, then video with audio must be worth a thousand pictures! Create instructional videos for training, machine setup or what ever your need may be. Then associate the video clip to a part or link it within the work instruction document at an individual operation. Utilize existing documentation such as ISO procedures in Word format or statistical information in Excel. Attach documentation regardless of file type, and create an electronic document packet that makes sense for your company, your process.

    In Visual PDM, simply clicking on the video would cause it to play.

    Visual PDM provides internal viewing support to over 160 file formats. Other practical examples could include: picture of final assembly, before and after pictures, on-line ISO 9000 procedures, test procedures, etc.

8: Document Associations - How itís done
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    Purpose: Show the simplicity of linking a document to a part number.

    Plans, Drawings, Parameters and Auxiliary documents are the file/document categories of Visual PDM. Documents are associated to the active part through this dialog. Attributes such as substitution and auto load are assigned here to each document. Associations can be done part by part or Insight Manufacturing Software will work with you to get these associations done in large quantity, saving additional time and money.

9: Item and Order Query
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    Purpose: Show how to display any sub-list of items or orders using the query capabilities of the File Open List command.

    The Open List dialog lets you choose which list and whether to query for a sub-list. Turning off the By Query option will cause the entire list to be shown. Select the Item List, turn on By Query and press OK.

    The Retrieval dialog is where any number of criteria can be added or modified to make up a query. Queries can be saved for reuse and loaded from prior saves. To enter the above criteria, press on Add, enter ĎItemí, Ďbegins withí and ĎPRODí to the next dialog and press OK. Finally, press Retrieve to perform the query.

    At this point, double click on any item line to view the documents for that item. Use the Window Item List command to bring the Item List window back on top. Repeat the above steps for an Order List.

10: Substitution - Drawings and work instructions, bill and parametric
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    Purpose: Show the power of substitution and the elimination of multiple data sources for Bills of Material (MRP, Drawings, Work Instructions)

    Has the shop floor packet (Bill/ CAD/ Work instruction documents) ever been out of sync, that is, the bills do not match from document to document? If so, what was the result of the confusion - lost time, lost production? How much would it be worth to your design department if bill maintenance were reduced to one source (MRP/ERP system)? How do you think this can assist you with ISO?

    Most companies that use CAD drawings maintain Bills of Material in both the MRP system and the CAD system. Specifically, part numbers are called out within the CAD document for identification purposes, and as you know, bills reside in the MRP system for requirements planning. Problems arise when bills are revised, requiring maintenance to be performed in various systems to accommodate the changes.

    Visual PDMís substitution feature can be likened to using document templates. Using Visual PDMís reference naming convention within CAD files or Plan files enables item/bill data or parameter information to be dynamically linked in at viewing time. The original document is not updated, but is simply used as a template that is merged in memory with itís referenced data links in real time. Maintain the Bill at itís data source (MRP/ERP) and documents such as CAD files or Plan files will reflect the change without document maintenance.

    When order-specific bills are used, how else could part number accuracy in drawings and plans be assured? Visual PDM will place order-specific part numbers into the appropriate views.

11: List of Lists and List of Parts
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    Another method of retrieving documents associated to parts is through Visual PDMís part lists. There are two drop-down lists on the Toolbar. The one on the left is the List of Lists and contains list file names. These are simple text files containing part numbers that are displayed in the List of Parts drop-down to the right. Possible uses for part lists include: Final Assembly schedule for the shop floor, Work Center or Operation specific schedules. Part lists can be named according to the function they are to serve. As in the example of a Final Assembly schedule list, the file could be named FINSCHED.lst and stored in the working directory for Visual PDM. Visual PDM maintains a History list containing part numbers viewed during the current session. It also provides functionality to generate where-used lists (see Tools Where Used). Finally, an entire list can be printed at once, making multi-document printing easy.

Details ] [ On-Line Tour ] Get the Demo ] Articles ] How to Purchase ] Find Out More ] FAQ ]

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Copyright © 2009 Insight Manufacturing Software, Inc.
Last modified: September 03, 2009

Key words: pdm, erp, manufacturing, process planning, work flow,documentation,crm