When a part is just a part, how to manage files and part #'s

Honored Contributor
Honored Contributor

This is not so much an SE questions as it is a file management question.


I'm just about done figuring out how to manage files for an entire engineering and fabrication setup.


Let's say I have a simple part. The name and part number are filled into the fields of that model so they display in the drawing of that part. Let's say the part in an angle iron with a hole and chamfer.


For the drawing of that part, the description and number is of the material the part is made from.


Then that part is used in an assembly. I believe I need to make an assembly of that part (all by it's self) so that I can have the finished parts description and number show up in the assembly that uses it.


So the process becomes

1. Make part and drawing of part

2. Make assembly of part (even if a single item)

3. Then use the assembly in upstream assemblies


This allows the parts information to be available in the top assembly. With out the intermediate assembly, the raw materials for the part show up rather than the parts information on the top level drawing.


Is this how most of you work? Or do you use seporate fields to get this done?


Re: When a part is just a part, how to manage files and part #'s

Good evening,


Please see the image below. We use Solid Edge for SharePoint which has a part number generator which I have customized. A managed environment is more “rigid” when it gets to file management, but for a very good reason. Please note the following:


The file name in this example is “PRT-02774-SGB_00.par”. The document number (part number) is “PRT-02774-SGB” and the revision number is “00”. When I revise this part (given that the new revision is interchangeable with the old one) the new part file will be “PRT-02774-SGB_01.par”. The part number stays the same.


I exposed the 250mm dimension as “Cutting Length” in the variable table and selected “Equal angle 50x5” from my material table which will then display in the relevant drawing parts list.


Even though you are in an unmanaged environment I will highly recommend a similar numbering scheme. I will not recommend that you use the material as part of your part number and I don’t see the need to create assembly files of each part file.





Re: When a part is just a part, how to manage files and part #'s

Esteemed Contributor
Esteemed Contributor

I would not use the intermediate assy as it is not needed.  The PAR file should be assigned it's final Part # (Document Number) and Title.  Use the Material Table to assign material and use that property on your drawing for the "Made From" or if that doesn't work, create a custom property for that to use in your Draft.


Production: ST9 MP10
Testing: ST10 MP3

Re: When a part is just a part, how to manage files and part #'s

Honored Contributor
Honored Contributor

You  are bringing up the right issues but missing the point.


When making a simple part, that calls out the raw materials like a sheet or some extruded ANSI shape (L,W,S, etc...) Examples: ASTM A 500, W8x68, or 14Ga CS. Some combination of material and shape.


When using that part in a drawing, that part's number is called out using the same system as the companies inventory system. Say P-1234


So on the drawing of the part that makes P-1234

Part NO = Inventory number of raw material

Description, 14 Ga Sheet, CS, Dim1" x Dim 2"


On the drawing using that part

Part NO = P-1234

Description = Noun, best description of use or name


Where the part is used, I need to in sert an assembly that includes the part

On the drawing that makes the part, I use modled part directly.


Me main reason I'm considering this way of organizing files is to keep the BOM template the same for all drawings. The same slots are used to call out a part number and description no matter if the part is made from raw material or a stocked part.

Re: When a part is just a part, how to manage files and part #'s

Honored Contributor
Honored Contributor

Grundey, your solution to the issues is to add a column to the BOM so that you have material about the part all the time?


I'm trying to set it up so that each piece of information is only in one place. Then parts can be updated without changing everything downstream.


I'm also trying to keep the BOM as simple as posible and the same for all drawings. Using frames along with sheet metal is already a pain and forces me to use assembies for framed parts. So I figured why not use the same setup for simple parts and avoid adding more BOM configurations and using more fields that make the logic of how the fields are being used more complicated.


I already have to used 3 cut colums in my BOM's. Flat-X, Flat-Y, and Frame CUT. As 90% of my drawing parts call out raw materials. It's the other 10% that are static part made for stock that are the problem. The part then assembly way of working I see as the path of least resistance.


If parts become assemblies, then you have a place to store everything and keep the logic simple.


I will take exception to this.

For purchased parts, I work put putting the parts information directly into that part file. We dont make it, so I'm not making a drawing of how to make it.

For parts we make, then I have to use that part and assembly part method. So I can make the drawing that creates the part, then insert the assembly of that part where it's used.

Re: When a part is just a part, how to manage files and part #'s



Sorry, but I don't get your workflow. I guess everyone’s needs are different. To get back to your original two questions.


Is this how most of you work?   No


Do you use separate fields to get this done?      Yes




Re: When a part is just a part, how to manage files and part #'s

Honored Contributor
Honored Contributor

Yes, everybody is doing different work with the same software.


So how do you keep track  becomes the question. 


Do you use a different BOM's depending if it's a part you make from raw materials vs. assemblies you make from part?


What fields do you add and for what.


Grundey brought up a "made from" field


My aplication is mass coustimisation of sheet metal. I make sheet metal box's that all use the same details, but the overall size is different every time.

Re: When a part is just a part, how to manage files and part #'s

Honored Contributor
Honored Contributor

I think I now understand the typical work around.


For drawing that are documenting an "in house" stock parts, yall would use a different BOM and different field to serve the same fuction I was considring the parts "Name" and "Number" to be used for. So that raw materials are not in thoes slots.


To me it seams like using an assembly to avoid having to make new templates for BOM and assigning new fileds would be worth it.

Re: When a part is just a part, how to manage files and part #'s


Thinking out loud here and will need some other help to flesh this out...

I was wondering if you could define a variable that says that the "part" is either raw material or other. Then you might be able to set some logic in the titleblock that says if RMATL=1 then use material else use Description


Would something like that work?


BTW we do use raw material numbers for all in-house manufactured components and part numbers for purchased parts. It's not pretty and heaven forbid if we ever had to send drawings out to do outside manufacturing! 

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Re: When a part is just a part, how to manage files and part #'s


Using an assembly as a pass-through sounds nuts for just getting your purchased vs fabricated properties on the BOM correctly.


You can create custom properties in each part file, and specify whether they are text, date, number, Yes/No:




I create quite a few custom properties for the exact same type of sheet metal work in my shop. This also determines things like routing the part straight from laser to mill if I want to deburr later, for example. You can display all of these on the BOM. If you add the variable fields into your part template, then all you have to do is fill them in when you make a new part.


The BOM is only set up once, and then you can save it as a template independent of the draft template. Just right click on the BOM, click properties, make your edits, type a new name in the Saved Settings field, and hit save:




Now, when you make a new BOM, you can just go into properties, select your custom BOM from the dropdown, and voila, you have your extensive and painstaking variable column and row work applied! I have different BOM templates saved for different manufacturing processes my parts will go through, and each BOM drags up different custom properties that I put in the original part file. 



-Dylan Gondyke