How did I implement or typical PDM systems implementation problems in post-Soviet factories

It is no secret that for the successful implementation of any document management system it is necessary to make several logical steps, in this post I will omit the research steps, I will start with a pilot project. And I’ll try to describe the problems and ways to solve them, which with 90% confidence exist in any post-Soviet "condom" enterprise.

System implementation steps

  1. A working group was formed, consisting of a designer, a technologist, a DTD archive operator, and a system administrator;
  2. The analysis and assessment of existing business processes was carried out and the main business processes typical for the enterprise for approval and delivery of documentation were identified;
  3. The analysis of market offers and the choice of PDM-system;
  4. Purchase of a small number of licenses, according to the number of participants in the working group (6 Search licenses, 3 AVS licenses (system for generating specifications and secondary documentation), 1 Techcard license (system for working with technological processes)
  5. A plan for the implementation of the system on a real order “***” was drawn up as a pilot project;
  6. The design and engineering documentation forms were set up;
  7. Created and approved a design template for documentation in the COMPASS system.
  8. Created a methodology for creating a base of standard elements;
  9. Created a methodology for maintaining electronic file cabinets of documents DTD;
  10. Created a methodology for maintaining classifiers OTD;
  11. The operation of creating specifications in the PDM system has been created and tested both with manual input and in semi-automatic mode, based on documents and other products available in the database.


Based on the results of the stages, existing problems at the enterprise related to the documentation were identified:
  1. The documentation has a huge continuity (70% of the design and engineering documentation for the pilot project is borrowed from another product).
  2. Documents are executed in different versions of the Compass CAD system (the system does not support continuity), with different design templates (Search is a parametric system and is based on the principles of reading attributes from CAD system sheets, attributes are defined in templates), i.e. To upload a document to Search, you must re-save each file to the current version of Compass using new design styles. Since various templates are used, some of the important information is lost, it is necessary to re-fill the corresponding fields (Name, Designation, Developed, Verified, N.cont, Primary applicability, etc.)
  3. Often multi-sheet drawings are saved in different files, but have the same attributes. To upload to the system, you need to collect the project into 1 file, otherwise errors occur, because to on different documents one decimal number.
  4. The CAD Compass option is not used - “specification on a sheet”, ie, for example, connecting cables are written in smooth text in a hand-created table; accordingly, the Compass-Search integrator does not receive product data.
  5. Secondary documents (specifications, statements of specifications, statements of materials) are not automatically executed by CAD, but in various programs that are not adapted to this (word, excel, TDD, etc.), in case the specification is issued in the Compass system, then upon This table is executed, created by means of the compass, and is filled manually and has no links with the drawing. PCB developers, in turn, issue lists of items on a compass form “specification sheet” in tabular mode, entering data manually. Which leads to logical breaks in ties with the primary documentation.
  6. Designers and developers do not make small (often design, or change of face value) changes in the designed products, after the release of notifications of adjustments, in other words, it is impossible to say how much the current electronic document matches the document in the DTD.
  7. Problems filling specifications and list of items:
  8. b) P-CAD CAD libraries are outdated and do not correspond to the elements used in the enterprise, nor do they contain Russian and Soviet elements accepted by industry standards, as a result of which the developer is forced to create personal element libraries. These libraries are not synchronized between developers in any way, which causes duplication of elements, incorrect interpretation of elements, as well as commonplace errors associated with the name: for example, "Capacitor K-73-21b-500v 10A-0.1mkF + - 10%" and Capacitor K -73-21b-500v 10A-0.1mkF + - 10% ”when printed, look the same, but in the second case, the English characters are used in the name. That is, 2 elements will be created in the database, and when automatically creating specifications and a list of purchased items, they will not be added up.

c) The existing database of standard products in the Search system is excessively redundant and does not match (full Gostov names and parameters are used, the company accepts names from industry restrictive lists), and it also lacks some industry elements from other products (sockets, connectors, bushings) with thousands of elements.
d) The Materials library is not used. The corresponding column is filled in manually, and materials that do not exist in the current GOSTs are used (the thread is harsh, instead of twisted kapron thread 3K OST-17-330-84)

8) There is no single system for the development of printed circuit boards and circuits. Development is carried out in completely different design systems: cheemage, p-cad, orcad, visio, altium designer.
9) In the projects created in the P-cad system, elementary but necessary design attributes are not filled in (developed ... name, designation), these parameters are applied to the sheet with text, the main inscription is made with the drawing. Additionally, you need to fill in design attributes in the file menu.
10) The Search system is a parametric system, therefore, it is necessary to follow the rules for filling in the attributes of elements, entering it on a circuit or printed circuit board. Those. it is necessary to fill in the main attributes of the elements from which a complete entry is formed in the list of elements and specifications, i.e.: name, type, face value, tolerance, reference designation. Or create a separate attribute, for example PE3, in which the full name of the element should be written. The following errors existed in all files participating in the **** pilot project:
a) Attributes of elements on the circuit (* .sch files) and printed circuit board (*. Pcb) and are not filled
b) Attributes are not completely filled, for example, only the name "capacitor" is affixed, without a rating and other parameters.
c) The attributes from element to element differ in composition and name, for example: for capacitor C1 the attribute “description” contains the name, and for capacitor C65 this attribute corresponds to the field “name”.
d) Problems with the quality filling of these attributes:
i) The rating is not indicated in accordance with GOST
ii) The rating of the same elements with different designations (microns and microfarads)
iii) The designation is not completely filled.
11) During the preparation of documents for downloading, it turned out that the list of elements is created in a separate program - TDD, in which incomplete names obtained from the attributes of the P-CAD system are manually supplemented by the user. Based on the corrected file, a list of elements is generated, which is submitted to the archive of design documentation in print. The TDD utility allows you to re-save the list of elements back to the p-cad project file, thereby leading it to the ideologically correct form, but this is not done. This file is saved next to the project files.
12) From clause 10, a new problem arises: when adjusting the set of documents submitted to the DTD, the TDD file is not corrected, therefore, no adjustments are made, and the list of elements is manually corrected.
13) On the diagrams, the connectors are designated as a contact pad, and not a group element or an element from the library, which gives rise to a mass of elements of the type X1 ... Xn in the automatically generated list of elements.
14) File names and names have a “code”, Search is constructed in such a way that translates the code into execution.
15) Altium Designer does not have an integrator to the Search system, because there is no open API. In the 2070 division, together with the developers of STC-4. Processing is being developed to overload data into a PDM system.
16) There is no single library of circuit board development system elements.
17) Documents submitted to the archive do not have electronic versions, or the search for electronic versions is difficult. Working copies of the documentation are not stored in a structured manner; it is not possible for the block to collect all files by the minimum cell of the product.
In other words, at this stage, the system is at the first, practically transitional, stage 2 of 3 possible stages of implementation:
1. File-level integration. It implies the simplest operations with data: save the file in PDM, open the file from under the PDM. In the classification of automation systems, this is not even integration, but basic functionality. With this approach, the PDM system fills the file properties with some information from its attributes, for example: document name, designation, developer, mass. Or in the external program in the standard interface the button “save to PDM” appears, by clicking on it, it opens the PDM interface of the system and the user has the opportunity, according to his access rights and role in paperwork, fill out the attributes of the card and place the file in The directory corresponding to the directory of the current development.
2. Integration at the attribute level. Such integration is understood as an approach in which the PDM system reads the attributes found in the CAD files of the systems. A CAD developer has the ability to create and populate any attributes consistent with the PDM system in his model / drawing. These attributes are located in the system (open area) of the file and the PDM system can read them, create objects inside itself and automatically fill in their attributes. These attributes may contain information related to the main stamp as well as information on applicability, technology notes, part material, weight, and external link names of associated files.
Example: when loading a 3D model of a part (a set of files) into the PDM system, the system:
- updates the designation of the document object,
- fill in the attributes — name, developed it, etc.
— create an object — material (or indicate the correspondence of the material in the database) and indicate its designation / name if it was assigned to the model,
—fill the attribute “detail” with the attribute value “ mass ”
- saves the file and fills in the attributes“ last modified date ”, etc.

3) Reading the electronic structure of the product (ESI). In other words, the full integration of PDM systems into various CAD systems. Under such an approach is understood the receipt of the composition, with this approach manual entry of objects and filling in the attributes is avoided. ESI is contained in 3D assembly models and in the “specification” document, which, in turn, are assembled from the PDM database of the system, and the specification is directly related to document files.
Those. when loading PDM documentation, the system reads the ESI (system areas of files created in CAD, where there are links to documents involved in the assembly), and then:
- creates a hierarchical structure of the product with the available quantities of parts, standard and purchased products.
- further on the links stored inside the file recursively, for each element of the assembly:
- the type of the object is determined (part, assembly unit, library element - fasteners),
- a designation is created;
-filled attributes of the object;
- objects are created - “documents - 3D model of the part”, a designation is specified
- the attributes of the document
are filled in , the file is saved
If the designation of the object included in the assembly is known (applied) to the system, then the system will automatically create a “applicability” link and add the existing structure tree to the missing elements from the database.

For poor formatting - I apologize separately; in the next post I will correct it.

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