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How to organize files in Teamcenter when switching from file based storage

Hello!

My group is switching to Teamcenter which is a huge change from using Intralink 3.4.

For those who don't know, Intralink is more-or-less, a file/folder based storage organization structure.

My question is, how do other companies organize/sort/store all their CAD data in Teamcenter, and be able to call it up in the future without being able to 'browse' folders, and needing to search for specific names/part numbers without having them all memorized?

12 REPLIES

Re: How to organize files in Teamcenter when switching from file based storage

Johno, If you are definitely going with Teamcenter, then you're really in for a ride! Teamcenter doesn't use "files" per se. It uses "ITEMS", which are a slightly different way to think of data - and I don't know what you're background is, so it's hard to describe unless I have that context. But an item is a part number. An item contains revisions that can be CM-controlled, released, and statused. Each revision contains "Datasets", which are a compilation of all the data needed to present to you your CAD file - NX file if you want the best tie-in to Teamcenter. Items can have many attributes, revisions can have many attributes, and datasets can have many attributes in Teamcenter that help describe each in their own context. All of these are called "objects", and can have a different icon for each type. Anything that you see in the workspace can be described as an object. To answer your question, again, it's hard to know without know what your product is, but we have discrete products - that is, products with a single or finite number of end items. We also have products that are variable where we use variant configurator to decide how a customer makes an order. So we have both. But each product is considered somewhat a project, and we use projects to organize our data, with a top level folder for each major category and subfolders for subcategories of producst/projects. Each folder contains folders for CN's, Initial Releases, Hardware items, Software items, and Document items. But that's only for browsing. The awesome part about Teamcenter is, because it's a database, you can either browse, or, at the top left of the workspace, just put the part number in, and Teamcenter will find it. You actually are not required to use folders to the nth degree. All objects in Teamcenter are "pointers" to the actual data. Anything in your workspace is not actually the actual original object unless you're the one who created it. But even then, you can cut it from your workspace so that it is not referenced in any folder, and it is still out there. You can just find it if you know the part number. If you don't, then that's where browsing through well-organized folders can come in. The only thing we're careful about is to make sure we know what the top level number is, and all of it's associated data, if it's related by being in the product structure, is easily found by opening the product structure or using the relation browser. Searches are very cool because you can search using the built-in searches, or you can create customized searches. No matter what it is about your data, it can be customized to either have attributes to identify features that you understand, or at the very least, search with the very powerful search engine that is the query or query builder. Keep in mind that the backbone of Teamcenter is the most powerful databases that can be had. You can use Oracle, which used to be the standard of the most powerful, or you can use XML. The power of such a database has everything you can possibly need. You just have to know how to use it. I've been on Teamcenter since long before it was Teamcenter - it used to be called iMan, short for information manager when I worked for EDS. I have a ton of experience and can tell you a lot about it, but I'm not actually a sales person for Teamcenter. I'm just someone who does CDM and I can tell you that the very best change processes can be built in, if that's what you're looking for, but it will only work if you're organization has the discipline to match. So all in all, to answer your question, decide on a folder structure, but don't put too much into that - put more into the understanding of how Teamcenter works, how to do searches, how the relational engine works, and make sure everyone is on the same page.

Re: How to organize files in Teamcenter when switching from file based storage

We are transitioning from Solidworks and it's vault, to NX and Teamcenter.  To aid in this transistion, we have created a folder structure, which emulates the Vault.  When a user creates an Item they can copy, or cut-n-paste it into this folder structure.  I tend to only do it after I release the item.

 

This helps some users, that prefer to "browse" for things, and have not become comfortable with the search function.  Personally, I never "browse" like this, but I was never a SW vault user.

 

Now, this is probably not a Siemens sanctioned method, and it does not help ween people from the idea of browsing, but it has helped ease the transition to TC for some users.

-Dave
NX 11 | Teamcenter 11 | Windows 8.1

Re: How to organize files in Teamcenter when switching from file based storage

In Teamcenter each group is typically assigned a volume.  When a user belonging to a group creates a file in a dataset, the file goes into the volume and a pointer is created in the database.

 

The volume file is managed by File Management System (FMS).  All a user has to do is double-click the dataset in his Home folder which can be arranged logically to fit his needs.

 

Home

|_folder1

|_folder2

  |_folder2.1

  |_folder 2.2

 

etc.

Re: How to organize files in Teamcenter when switching from file based storage

Can anyone tell me what is the Teamcenter Unified equivalent to Teamcenter Enterprise "Vault" objects?

Re: How to organize files in Teamcenter when switching from file based storage

It really depends on how your origination runs...

 

Buy this I mean "At our company we use projects". So when we used SW in Native, all the CAD data was structured into a hierarchy folder structure that was based on project numbers.

 

We have somewhat mimicked the same folder structure in Teamcenter, but only to allow people to browse if that is there thing. Most users find that a quick project number search is much faster. Once they have performed such a search a look-up in the Impact Analysis tab for references finds the folder or container.

Re: How to organize files in Teamcenter when switching from file based storage

Thank you for the reply!

We all got some very basic training and then got shoved off to use this system.

To clarify, our company makes tools and systems to repair and inspect stuff. That being said, we have around 250,000 parts, and assemblies, scattered amongst around ~150 different, unique systems. Previously (using intralink) we had a file folder organizational system something like this:

 

Tooling_Group:
->Genaric_tools

- ->Tool system a
- ->Tool system b

- ->Tool system c

- ->etc...

->Inspection_tools

- ->insp_tool_a

- ->insp_tool_b

- ->insp_tool_c

- ->etc...

->Maintenance_tools

- ->maint_tool_

- ->maint_tool_

- ->maint_tool_

- ->etc...


That goes on for a while dosens and dosens of folders and sometimes sub sub folders filled to the brim with cad models and drawings.

 

so basically standard shared windows folder organization only with some loose revision control.

 

Now we have teamcenter, none of us know how to do anything but search. All of us have been using the browse method of searching for parts because Creo, formerly know as pro/engineer, limited cad part file names to 30 characters or something, and no spaces, so most of our files are named Block_brg_tp__TG_MTa instead of an actual part /item/drawing number for both part and drawing. so finding a top bearing block for maintenance tool system A is a pain in the butt due to the lack of ability to browse. we don't know what the systems are all named, nore do we have the top system assembly title as it is named in the cad system. looking for the drawing number associated with the system would be helpful, but we often dont have that, and sometimes the thing we are looking for is a tool or attachment that isn't actually on the system, but in the same folder, which makes finding that part or tool very difficult and time consuming.

 

Re: How to organize files in Teamcenter when switching from file based storage

I would LOVE to do this, only question is HOW/??

I have tried using projects, but i cant seem to make sub projects, so it would just be a mess.

the folders we can make in our home cabinet are for our own personal organization, so it only benifits the people who do it, and doesnt create a system wide folder set...

Re: How to organize files in Teamcenter when switching from file based storage

Johno

In your case I think my starting point would be to create a folder structure that you outlined. under each of those I would create the sub folders. What I do here is the 1st Item you see under a project is the top end drawing (or assembly) Item. the next few Items are then all my product sub-assembly Items. I then have a folder for all the base level CAD models (or assembly parts you may call these). This way it is easy to find the drawing.... In your case you could have a second folder for tools that aren't part of the product as you point out. This is how I would start out.

What I would then do is use ItemMaster Form attributes to add the full product actual part /item/drawing number for both part and drawing that you were forced to truncate. This will take time to do, but you may need to bite the bullet and just roll the sleeves up. Smiley Happy Once this is done you will then be able to search on the Item Master attribute, but you may need to create a custom query first. I am sure there are plenty of Teamcenter specialists out there that can assist with these concepts for you.

Re: How to organize files in Teamcenter when switching from file based storage

Sounds like a great idea. How exactly do i create folders? where do i create them, and will the rest of the group/network be able to see and access them?

As for attributes, that is the only way we have been able to search for and find anything.

We have a list of our old file folder names, and during the transition we got the transition team to add the folder abbreviation that we normally put as an attribute in Pro/E, to each item, so we can search for an entire folder and the results should show the folder, but it doesn't quite work 100% because not every part/assembly got that info put into it. so... no matter what we do at this point geting the system organized where we can efficiently find things will take time.

 

So, for the life of me, I can't figure out how to create folders in teamcenter, where i can add items to them. The deepest we go is about 4 sub folders. top folder->sub1->product family->product a, b, c etc... 
I've tried using projects but it doesnt seem to be able to let me add any sub projects in any way...

 

keep in mind, i got enough training to revise, release, checkout, and deal with the errors involved... thats about it.