UK - 01926 333777
ROI - 01 297 4440
Search
01926 333777
SOLIDWORKS Elite Specialists

Using a 'Virtual Document' Template in EnterprisePDM to manage scanned data

Wednesday October 30, 2013 at 3:00pm
 

A conversation I often have with EnterprisePDM (EDPM) Customers is one around the topic of "How do I incorporate scanned data into my Vault's metadata rules, naming conventions and Workflows?". The document in question could come from a number of sources; marked-up printouts, posted documents, material certificates or (the example I will use today) a 'Calibration Report' which is completed by hand but needs to be stored in the Vault, with a reminder for next time the Machine in question needs to be calibrated again.

There is a standard function within EPDM to create a Virtual Document within the Vault. These have a built in file extension of .vcd but on creation the user is prompted for a name and file extension which determines which DataCard to display alongside it.

Menu: New / Virtual Document New Virtual File Dialog Box

In the screen shots I have created a 'virtual' PDF.

Once created the User can then 'Replace' that Virtual Document with a 'real' document at any time. When the user selects the replacement file the document is copied to the Vault location and takes on the name, metadata and lifecycle status of the Virtual Document it has replaced. A suitable comment is also added to the file to record this.

Select Virtual File and from 'Actions' choose 'Replace'

As useful as it is, the user still needs to create the Virtual Document in the correct Vault location and define a suitable name for it. If however we create an EPDM Template to utilise a Serial Number and our existing Metadata rules we can automate this process too. The following Checklist will describe the process I have used to create a Template for the creation / management of a Calibration Report; a form filled out on the shop floor then scanned in for storage with a reminder of when the next calibration is due.

  • I have created a new Virtual pdf Document within the folder in my Vault that I use to store Templates.
  • I have created a new 'Template Input Form' (DataCard) with a Serial Number generator and any other Metadata I wish to collect on creation (including a next due date).
  • I have created a new EPDM Template based which copies the Virtual Template File and uses the data from the Template Input Form to generate a new Virtual Document in the folder I store my Calibration Reports, using the Serial Number as the File Name and adding the required metadata to the new file.
  • I have assigned suitable permissions to the Template to allow it to be accessed by the User's who will need to add the Calibration Reports.

Execute the Template to create the Virtual 'PDF'

When I run the Template the Virtual 'placeholder' is correctly named, stored in the correct location within the Vault and all the (searchable) Metadata assigned.

Virtual file created in correct folder with suitable filename

I can then simply locate the placeholder and 'replace' it with the pdf scan of the physical document.

By adding a 'Calibration Date' Variable to the DataCard I can now set up a my Search Favourites to alert me on the Calibrations required in any given time period.

Favourite Serach based on Custom Card with 'Variable Control'

The Custom Search Card shown above uses the Variable Search Control. The topic of searching in EPDM, and the flexibility of this particular type of search, is something that I will be presenting as part of my What's New /  Hints and Tips presentation at our 2014 Launch events this year and something that I will be revisiting with some additional Tips in my Webcast later this month.

Thanks for stopping by. For more information about EnterprisePDM be sure to visit the product pages.


by Wayne Marshall
Customer Support Manager
 

Related Blog Posts

How to Create 360VR Video using SOLIDWORKS Visuali
Virtual Reality(VR) videos provide one of the most immersive methods of viewing a design concept and can be used to bring your product showcases to the next level. Recently VR has become a valuable tool for many companies when it comes to design revi...
3D Experience - 3D Swym
The 3DSwym application is at the heart of the 3D Experience platform and is the gateway to collaboration within your business. It allows users to post ideas and concepts and interact with them as things progress from concept to reality. Ideas are jus...
SOLIDWORKS PCB BOM Template Column Map
A document mapping columns within installed SOLIDWORKS PCB BOM Templates
Top