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Manage item id on right and left part.


We generate id's in Teamcenter for each part and now one of our sites wants to manage item id in a special way with the same initial number but with an suffix when it is a left and right part .

It is a legacy from past which is well incorporated in logistic, purchasing etc.

This site is working within Automotive so they design the left side when it's same on right just mirrored.


The generated id is like this example 874-1234 and it comes from a counter in the naming rule.

When they for some reason needs to make a right part they want to name the parts like this

874-2345-00 (Left part)

874-2345-02 (right part)


This leads to the situation that we have a third id 874-2345 either already created (the user realized after a while that they need a different design on right side) or

an unused item id which could be used in future if the counter for some reason is reset and it will start picking the empty slots in the series.


Questions I have

How do you manage right and left parts id when the design is more different than just a mirror part?

Are there any functionality in Teamcenter to manage this in a better way, if we still want to use the suffix "-00" and "-02"?

Can we consume the 874-2345 automatically when a user created the 874-2345-00 in some way?

In assembly (Structure Manager) it exist something like variants (red, blue, painted, not painted etc) but can it be used also for parts?


Jörgen Mähler, PLM Lead Hydro
TC11.5 | TcIC11.5 | Swim 11.4 | Supplier Collaboration
NX 11,12 | Catia V5 | Solidworks 2018 | AutoCad2018

Re: Manage item id on right and left part.

Solution Partner Phenom Solution Partner Phenom
Solution Partner Phenom

This is a great discussion topic and I look forward to hearing it.

Smart numbering has many heads and this is yet another example. The right answer in most cases is to create a dumb number for each and record "handedness" in a property. Smart numbering falls down in the CAD integrations as they don't honor naming rules. Users need to be disciplined enough to create the Item in Teamcenter first then send to CAD if they want the naming rule to be honored. Always a problematic proposition.

Smart numbering has recently been introduced in Tc but until the CAD integrations support it it's a useless feature. I had a discussion with the NX Program Manager at the last conference and he stated that support won't be in NX12. If the community starts applying pressure then maybe we can get it into NX13. Then we have all the other CAD integrations that need to support Smart Numbering too.

Randy Ellsworth, Teamcenter Architect, Applied CAx, LLC
NX 11 | SW 2016 | Creo 4 | TcUA 11.4
Evaluating: AW 3.4

Re: Manage item id on right and left part.


Hi Randy,


as you write to have some property(ies) to manage this and just take a number was also my initial thoughts but as always business get the last word and at the moment it's manually managed were they consume the number the counter gives and type in the suffix.

Looking at the ERP side it's not so 'stiff' with legacy rules as there they just give the parts a number and that's fine. Not so much logic in the id from what I have seen in our SAP and Dynamics setups we done.


As you also mention the cad integrations lack allot of the Teamcenter functionality.

Another example is when you assign two counters in the same naming rule, Teamcenter Rich Client shows a drop-down menu when creating an item.

In Catia, SolidWorks etc it's not possible to select the different series, not even NX manage this so our users needs to go to Rich Client first, instead of only working from their cad tool, when assigning id's to the item. It's reported already in 2012 to support for Catia and we saw the same now with NX when we started to use it last year :-(, but let's not be sad about this it will come sooner or later.


I hope more users on the forum gives the input on how to manage left and right parts as it's interesting challenge many have when they go into a system who managed generation of id.

Jörgen Mähler, PLM Lead Hydro
TC11.5 | TcIC11.5 | Swim 11.4 | Supplier Collaboration
NX 11,12 | Catia V5 | Solidworks 2018 | AutoCad2018