The thoughts of a CADD Manager.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Different View of the Same Info - Using ADT Tables a Little Differently

Mission: Export BOM to Excel (to make things easy) AND make them presentable enough to be shown on a drawing. Seems simple enough right? Um, well I guess it could be, but when you are working with variables like multiple deliveries, manufacturing plants, calculated lengths, and so on, it can get a bit confusing.

To add a little background, I work for a fairly large engineered wood products company and we produce shop drawings for the products we supply. Before sending out the final product, we allow the buyer to approve the shop drawings and verify that the list of material is correct. Once that is finished, we provide the manufacturing plant with a list of materials to produce and send to the job site. Although the material is exactly the same, these lists of materials can look almost completely different. As much as I wish they weren't, they are. So how do I do this in the program our company is using - Architectural Desktop?

Schedule tables are a wonderful thing. To be able to add arbitrary data, as well as extract a few properties, from just about any object in ADT is just what we were looking for. But initially, they didn't solve our problem - to provide a list to both the customer and also to manufacturing. So, as usual, we gave in to manufacturing and produced a schedule table that looked very cryptic to anyone besides veteran employees. Then, one day, it hit us - why not have multiple tables for the same product?

This is how we did it - 3 tables: Detailed, Manufacturing, and Drawing.

Detailed List - This table will contain pretty much all the stuff that you would like to see in any of the other tables and maybe even a few others that could be used for calculating.

Manufacturing - This is all the cryptic stuff that your manufacturing plant may need to see like cut dimensions and plant numbers. It may also contain a few things that show up on the drawing schedule. This will also be the one that is exported to excel.

Drawing - The simplest of the bunch. This only has the stuff that the customer is concerned with. In my case that would be such things as quantity, model number, and length. This is the one that is going to be shown on the drawing.

So, we have essentially created 3 views to represent different data for the same object. Its all a process of simplifying the complicated.

Cheers.

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