How do you keep track of drawing revisions in SolidWorks?
Do you use the revision table and symbols that are built in SW? If so do you insert them only as needed or it's in your layout template by default? Do you archive both 3d and 2d files of each revision or only a pdf version? At my job we do custom project so very little revisions are involved. At my previous job we had programmers develop a revision/approval software but it was not well implemented inside SW. Lot of manual work and retyping involved. How about PDM works and enterprise 360? anyone using them?
Every time I make a change in the file, the old file, including the part file, drawing and pdf is archived (zip, rar) and the new revision gets the number in order. For example, a file named "seat holder" actually is labeled as "632-SH-OR" where the 632 is the number code for the book keeping records, that is, a number that defines the article that is made by laser cutting, SH is for Seat holder and OR as Original iteration. The next version (after modification, keeps the 632-SH and ends with REV_date number), so, the revision number five from November 23. 2011. is labeled as "632-SH-REV_112311_5" Of course, there is a separate folder for every part that is manufactured, and all the versions are placed into it, but as archived files. To pick the latest one, I open the folder and have direct access to it, to open an older revision or the original, I need to unpack the archive and open it after decompression. With a well organized folder structure, it's never taking more than a minute or two to get the desired file open. And of course, there is a paper/printed drawing version for all parts, active parts in production kept separately from the older versions.
Thank you for your time Robert, As I understand in your assembly file you have to specify the different path for each part, that makes a lot of different folders... What we do at my job is custom window wall. There is a shit load of drawing for each and every project. Only for the glass roof of University of Sherbrooke in Longueuil my assembly had 6500+ components of witch 290 were different. We currently don't have any sort of revision control and things can go out of control pretty fast. I use a .rar to archive my PDF versions but not the 3d and 2d SW files
Is your file name "seat holder.sldprt" or "632-SH-OR.sldprt"?
The name of the original file is actually in my mother tongue, but based on the "serial number-part name initials_(revision)-date of revision_revision number" pattern. So, it sometimes it's "1024-CDU-REV_070809_3" and the folder structure is split for external (parts made by someone else) , and internal (made by us) "frameworks" and within that "sheet metal", "tubing", "forged" etc... As I said, a well organized folder structure is essential to be able to keep track on what you will need to find anytime later when you need it. Completed assembly files are always "packed" with "Pack and go" and have the appropriate labeled files in the appropriate/matching folder. Assemblies/projects which have been re-visioned are packed in archive and labeled as such.
edit: it is very important to define the part names and matching codes and have a printed list with definitions what the two or three letters are meaning. Especially if you have parts that have their names shortened to initials "overlapping" with initials of some other parts that start with the same letters...