File Property Planning:
This podcast covers the importance of utilizing file properties in your SolidWorks designs in order to future-proof your data. Topics covered:
- Overview of SolidWorks File Properties (FP)
- Where FPs are used in SolidWorks
- Examples of FP automation (Property Tab Builder, SW Explorer...)
- How FPs ease the migration into a PDM system
- PDM + FP = search/automation/data sync power
- Moving FP from PDM to ERP/MRP
File Properties have been a foundation power tool of SolidWorks forever and it surprises me how many users that I still run into that are not utilizing them to even half of their potential. As engineers we are typically the source of so many pieces of metadata that might begin with the assignment of a part number. From there a number of other important pieces of data will follow that part number and taking a few simple steps up front can enable that data to be a powerful, single-point database for systems down the road.
With the introduction of PDM and other database systems that can leverage these file properties and translate that data into a indexed state that exponentially improves that data's search ability and downstream automation. Once this data is indexed in a database, the options open up to elevate engineering from having to do so much duplicate data entry and get back to that we care about, ENGINEERING!
All of this starts from the source and can be as simple as setting up a template to ask for 5 pieces of information (i.e.. Part Number, Description, Author, Material, and Date) to fill out the drawing title block. Then with the move to PDM and other systems, automation can be planned out in an earlier phase instead of the issue of garbage in=garbage out. Get started today with a plan for file properties! ~Lou