In this week’s video tech tip, we will walk through the Product Release Engineer tool. This tool allows us to check and make sure that our files have the necessary data associated with them and any property that we may need to tweak. It will also create a bill of materials, add part numbers, and before releasing all the files for production.
First, we will navigate to the BOM tab at the top of the screen. Here, we have the Engineering Release App and this app displays the entire bill of material structure. If we expand it out, we can see the assembly structure. It doesn’t matter if the assembly was created in SOLIDWORKS or xApps, this tool can handle both. A really great feature is the ability to edit and modify the custom file properties directly in the Engineering Release App. For example, we can quickly and easily add a new custom file property or add a material.Let’s look at one of the properties and make a few edits. When we right-click on the gear, for example, and go into the information icon, we can see the file properties for it. Click on the pencil icon and all the fields become editable. We can change the title, add revision comments, descriptions and even add attachments. We might also want to add a material. For example, we can include that this gear is made from stainless steel. Once it is saved, we can see that the core material is applied.Now that the material is applied, we will start looking at the item numbers. In this case, we have a numbering system that can adhere our bill of materials. Any of the components that do not have an item number, we can select where it says none and update each one. Let’s update this right knife sleeve component that is missing an item number. When we click set, it automatically assigns a unique item number. It is customizable, so you can set it up to fit whatever numbering scheme you are using at your company. A nice feature is that we can go in and change these fields, even if we did not create the different components.
Add a New Engineering Item
When we are creating a new bill of materials, it can be a pain dealing with items that are not in the model. For example, to assemble this carving knife, we need some adhesive. We don’t need to model that component, but right in the app, we can click the plus icon and add a new engineering item. It will create a new physical product item where we can update the name to say “adhesive” and add additional information as needed. This allows us to quickly and easily add non-model items that need to be included in bill of materials.
Finally, we need to look over the properties for the top level. And just like we could treat any of the specific components, we can treat the parent assembly. We can update the title, descriptions and add its own model number.
We can see that the components are all in different maturity states along their lifecycle. We can set a release date individually to avoid anyone making changes accidentally as it is getting completed. As an example, we will release the motor so it will be in a locked state.However, if we know that our entire assembly is final and good to go, we can go to the top-level maturity state and select include structural objects box. This means that all the different child components are included. Next, we will click release the item, and it will apply to all the components.Regardless of whether that component was already released, frozen, or still in work, we can release them all at the same time. We are now able to export the bill of materials as a CSV file, which can be used in Excel. To do this, click on the dropdown at the very bottom where you’ll find the option to export. Click the include intermediate to include all the components and click the export button.
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