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Spreadsheet bill of materials and separate parts lists

Spreadsheet bill of materials and separate parts lists

Spreadsheet bill of materials and separate parts lists

How do you handle working with large numbers of pdf drawing packages?
I have had two job experiences where excel spreadsheets had been typed up to help organize the relationships between all the old drawings.
The other one had the old printed drawing packages bound together and laid across numerous tables in a room where you had to walk through the isles to find the physical drawings.
I'm just looking to see how other people are dealing with drawings.

RE: Spreadsheet bill of materials and separate parts lists

What exactly do you mean by "dealing with drawings"? Particularly by "relationships between the old drawings"?

If you have enough money and enough drawings to make it worthwhile then PDM (Product Data Management) software is a help for a lot of problems. Essentially a database to track them, but also of value to ensure the approval cycles are followed.

If approval cycle enforcement by the software isn't required I found that a Wiki (a particular Content Management, CM, software) was more useful than a PDM system. For my use I created a page for each drawing with a list of extracted notes and the BOM. Any specifications within the notes got converted to links to specification pages; all the entries in the BOM got converted to links to their representative pages. The drawing files themselves were attached to the drawing page so they would accumulate all the previous versions for quick review. I usually had links to any stress and strength analysis, design trade-offs, cost analysis, et al.

Unlike PDM systems, Wikis don't require that links point to existing records. One of the frustrating things for PDM is that they make it difficult to create by Top-Down and they make it difficult to incrementally integrate existing information. They are usually set up to import the full data structure because of that. But, suppose you have a contract that has 2000 specifications? If you create 2000 empty specification records to the create links from the contract record, it makes it difficult to look at the contract record and see which specifications have never been used/integrated in the company. In a Wiki the ones that haven't been dealt with show that the link is pending.

I also found it useful to create discussion links - that is, suppose a document is locked and cannot be changed? In a Wiki one can create a document that refers to that document for managing interpretations - it will show up on the locked document record under "What Links Here" so that anyone coming to that document can see if anyone else has thoughts.

Some people worry about security - permissions can be fine grained for users to prevent deletion; there are records of who makes edits and it keeps history of previous versions so deltas can show what edits happened. Pages can be created that can only be seen by authorized users.

They aren't a substitute for spreadsheet calculations; not great for flashy and complicated animated presentations. Not sure why a Content Management program should do those things. They won't do BOM or cost roll up. But for capturing what the thought process and documentation about a product they are as perfect as any I have seen.

RE: Spreadsheet bill of materials and separate parts lists

About 10 years back, I roughed out a program to keep track of clients, projects, documentation and drawings using Microsoft Access. It was a small relational database and it worked great. It wasn't used because I didn't know that the company I worked for had about 150 computers 'on the floor', but only two of them had MS Access. It was a neat idea at the time, and done on my own time... not chargeable. I'll see if I can dig up the work. It's buried and/or may have been left at the company I worked for.

Rather than think climate change and the corona virus as science, think of it as the wrath of God. Do you feel any better?


RE: Spreadsheet bill of materials and separate parts lists


Quote (3DDave)

What exactly do you mean by "dealing with drawings"? Particularly by "relationships between the old drawings"?
The management of how they relate to one another.
eg 1. You see a part number listed in a BOM on one drawing and need to find it.
eg 2. You have a drawing that needs a change and have to find where it exists in other drawing's BOMs.

RE: Spreadsheet bill of materials and separate parts lists

1) Find it where? Like the file drawer where a drawing is?
2) Text search does that.

Both are well within a wiki capacity.

In a wiki:

1) The part number is hotlinked to the supporting drawing, so just click.
2) Look at "what links here" on the part number record.

Very helpful in a wiki:
a) getting a list of pages/part numbers that aren't used/referenced anywhere. This can be used to detect typos as well as to manage one-offs that went nowhere.

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