Storing and Organizing Files

SolidWorks Series
May 16, 2022

Hardware companies want to keep their information organized and stored in a way that helps them build the best possible product. This can be challenging because hardware teams have to handle both a large number of files and many different types of files. The most important files for a hardware team are its designs (parts and assemblies). However, there are also essential design-related files (BOMs, quotes from suppliers, inspection data, design notes, etc). Additionally, it is important that certain files are kept with the correct versions. For example, a mechanical engineer may have several versions of a design quoted by a supplier. The engineer ends up with several design files and several quote PDFs. They must keep each revision and its corresponding quote together without mismatching in order to make a design decision. All hardware teams end up facing this challenge and look out for solutions around file organization and storage.

Many teams choose a PDM system to manage their designs. Legacy PDMs succeed in helping teams check out/check in files to prevent version control issues. It would be great if these systems also worked well as an all-in-one storage and organization solution for hardware teams - but unfortunately they don’t. There are several reasons for this. First, legacy PDMs do not store files themselves but only serve as a management layer. This creates a fundamental separation between where data is stored and where it is managed. This separation prevents cohesive workflows on one platform. Second, the main access point for files managed on legacy PDM is through a CAD design tool. But it is not logical for the user to go into their CAD design tool in order to access a design-related file which is a PDF or an Excel file. Due to the separation between designs and design-related files, it is difficult for an engineer to keep a corresponding assembly, BOM, and quote stored together. As a result, design-related files end up getting stored separately than designs. This effect leads to information being difficult to find and getting lost.

In contrast, Bild is an all-in-one storage and organization solution for your hardware team. First, Bild is equally accessible through our CAD tool plug in and a web browser. As a result, everyone on the team can access and view files directly from the web without needing a CAD design tool license. This enables teams to intuitively store, organize, and access files in the same place. Second, Bild enables teams to keep their files together in a project-based view. Rather than having a flat folder structure with only designs managed by PDM and then a complex folder structure for other files, Bild enables a better alternative. In Bild, users create a project where both designs and design-related files can be stored in folders. It’s as easy to use as Google Drive but includes all the PDM capabilities needed for design files. This project-based view keeps all of your team’s work together, easily accessible, and usable for every member of the team. Bild is the best way for hardware teams to organize and store their files.