Tuesday, October 14, 2014

CustomTools 2013 SP4 release

Yes! We released CustomTools 2013 SP4, and what a release.


There are so many enhancements that it would be impossible to highlight every single one of them, but I'll pick a bunch, and tell you why you should update now, if you did not do so already.

Usability when it comes to Print & Convert.

We have removed a panel which became obsolete by other changes, so you can now get to the print and convert dialog even faster than previously.
There is no more guessing and fiddling about, when it comes down to selection of documents to batch process.
Each batch rule is now intelligent, and when you select for instance DXF, all files matching the criteria for the profile will automatically be selected in the file view.

If you want to add more files to the Print and Convert list, you can browse for a folder containing files, and you can even select to include files which reside in subfolders to the one you add.

Configurations and batch operations

For users doing configurations, we have introduced an option to print the active configuration. This means, you have an assembly with parts. Each part have configurations, and each part configuration will have a configuration specific drawing.
Now, simply activate the assembly configuration you wish to print, and rest assured that CustomTools will print all drawings belonging to this configuration.

Are you creating DXF or DXG files from your sheet metal parts?

We now support adding notes related to the part. This could for instance be the Project Number, Material and Thickness properties plus the manufacturing quantity.
A minor improvement also worth noticing is, when using the CNC Tool on a drawing, we create now the flat pattern outline, and return to the parent sheet for more consistency.

 

Selecting files to copy, convert or print

Another enhancement was made for Print and Convert, but as a bonus this is also working during Copy operation.
If you have an assembly you can select groups of parts in the feature manager. Use CTRL or Shift selection as you are used to in Windows, press the print and convert or the copy, and the selected documents only will be handled.

Hierarchical lookup list

For the definition of the profile, we added a new type of list to the options.
This is called a hierarchical lookup list.
With this, you can define a tree structure list, where items can be grouped in logical top groups, and under each group you can then specify a more detailed sub-group. This will look and feel like a folder structure in Windows Explorer.
An example could be a car.
So you have the list CAR.
Under this item, you have chassis, frame, engine ...
Under engine, you have pistons, injection system, generator
Under Pistons you have raw piston, piston rings

Another thing we added is the option to remove characters from a combination property.
This means, you can now show first or last XX characters, or remove first or last XX characters, letting you have even more control over the output.

Search based on configurations

The search capabilities have also been greatly enhanced for this version.
Now you can search on configuration name, and you can see previews of the found files. And to make the search even more useful, we now added the option to print directly from the search result window.

Keeping folder structure in copy

If you ever copied an assembly in CustomTools, you will like also the new feature we made here.
It is now possible to recreate the folder structure under the main assembly being copied, for a much more consistent result.

Excel reporting was also slightly enhanced, and we are now pleased to inform you that the inserted image is the one specific to the used configuration.

CustomTools now available in German

Finally, we added German language support to CustomTools and we are now localized in 7 languages: Chinese (simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Czech, French, Hungarian, German and of course English.

Did you read it all? - Now, watch the great video of our teams Top 10 Enhancements in CustomTools 2013 SP4.0

CustomTools 2013 SP4 - Top 10 enhancements video:

Friday, March 28, 2014

Introducing the CT Apps and CT Services

ATR Soft is now introducing a new set of applications and services called the CT Apps and CT Services. Those applications and services have been designed to help the CustomTools, Enterprise PDM or SolidWorks users to focus on design by automating certain routines or tasks.

The CT Apps have been designed to extend or add functionalities to SolidWorks and EPDM. The following applications are now available:

- Office to PDF for EPDM
- Property Propagator for EPDM
- EPDM Drag & Drop
- Track file usage in EPDM
- Vault analytic for EPDM
- SW Property batch updater

The CT Services are customization and consulting services offered by ATR Soft for SolidWorks, EPDM and CustomTools users. ATR Soft has built its reputation on those products over the years and we are proud to offer our unique expertise and knowledge to the SolidWorks community. The CT Services includes services for the following products:


- CustomTools
- Enterprise PDM
- SolidWorks
- Composer
- Draftsight

 Please, find more information about the CT Apps and CT Services on our website. Please note that in the future we will also introduce new applications for SolidWorks and Enterprise PDM.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Feedbacks from the SolidWorks World 2014


This year, ATR Soft was an exhibitor at SolidWorks World 2014 in San Diego. First of all we would like to thank everyone who took time to visit us and discuss with us. Also we would like to thank all our partners (including our CustomTools resellers and SolidWorks employees as well) as the exhibition is always a great opportunity for us to meet most of them. If you visited us, please remember that on the 14th of February we will announce the winner of the $100 Amazon gift card on our Facebook page, so stay tuned!

Over the years we have received an increasing interest in the solutions that we are offering for SolidWorks and Enterprise PDM. This SolidWorks World was also very special for us, not only because it was our 10 Years SolidWorks World anniversary, but, also as we introduced our new products/services line called the CT Apps and the CT Services to the SolidWorks community.

The CT Apps are applications designed mainly to automate routines inside EPDM. While the CT Services focuses on development work offered for SolidWorks, EPDM and CustomTools for specific customization works. More information about the CT Apps and Services will be published soon on CustomTools.info. The CT Apps and Services greatly contributed to our success in San Diego, so this is definitely an area where ATR Soft wants to focus in the future.

Based on feedbacks that we received from the SolidWorks Users and Resellers, the top 3 features of CustomTools are the Excel reporting, the DXF automation, and the merge PDF. For the CT Apps the top 3 Apps are the Batch property editor for EPDM, the Vault analytics for EPDM and the Office to PDF for EPDM.

We are proud to announce that CustomTools was also nominated among the best in show by CAD Insider at the SolidWorks World.

Once again, thank you all and we hope to see you next year in Phoenix, Arizona, for the SolidWorks World 2015.

Check some photos from the SolidWorks World on our Facebook page


 
 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Multi file editor

The Multi file editor is an innovative solution to easily batch modify or propagate property values to the data card of your documents stored into your EPDM vault.

See how the Multi-file editor for EPDM has helped Paroc, a Finnish company specialized in the production of stone wool insulation, to optimize and ease the management of their EPDM data.

Where can that EPDM add-in help you:


- When adding files to the EPDM vault
One issue that was faced by Paroc when adding documents or drawings sent by sub-contractors and suppliers to their EPDM vault was that the users needed to fill the data card for each documents separately. This was very time consuming as the operation needed to be repeated for every documents. This has now been fully automated.

- From the EPDM Searches
The Multi File Editor can also be accessed from on the search results. Making it possible for the user to select files from the EPDM Search to be modified. One possible use case could be that there is a new vendor.

- EPDM Copy Tree
When files are copied inside the EPDM vault, the data cards appears automatically (e.g Assign new project or project number).

-When files are moved inside the EPDM vault

-Selecting the files to be modified

Benefits:

  • Important time savings
  • Files are automatically Checked out/in
  • Eliminate or significantly reduce errors
  • Manage your data with consistency
  • Ensure that all the files are properly modified
  • Easily update property values of the files stored into your EPDM vault
  • Can be set up very easily

Video:


This case study was written in collaboration with Pirkko Bulut, SolidWorks Enterprise PDM Main Administrator at Paroc.

Friday, July 19, 2013

SolidWorks – M-Files integration

Looking for an effective way to integrate M-Files to SolidWorks


CustomTools provides a special integration between SolidWorks and M-Files and offers a different approach to use SolidWorks concurrently with M-Files. Most importantly it also covers a missing link between the two solutions. With our integration we tried to simplify the export of SolidWorks data to M-Files so that the users would be able to manage their engineering documentation quickly and easily.
 

Benefits:

  • The document structure is created to M-Files based on the file structure in SolidWorks assembly BOM
  • Defined custom properties are exported as M-Files document properties
  • SolidWorks files are converted to defined secondary file format (e.g. PDF, DXF, and DWG) and they are linked to document objects in M-Files
  • Approval workflows can be enforced for the published documents and modifications to approved content can be prevented.
  • Revision master is SolidWorks for SolidWorks files. When new revision is created in SolidWorks, a new major version is also created in M-Files.
  • When new revision is created in M-Files all parent documents are updated so that they also refer to new version of child document
  • Behavior and business logic of integration can be easily modified to match customer’s needs

Video:

 


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Migrating SolidWorks data to PLM

Case Study: ATR Soft Data Migration Utility - Sensata Technologies - Agile

 

Sensata:


Sensata Technologies, a global industrial technology company, is a leader in the development, manufacture and sale of sensors and controls. They produce a wide range of customized, innovative sensors and controls for mission-critical applications such as thermal circuit breakers in aircraft, pressure sensors in automotive systems, and bimetal current and temperature control devices in electric motors. (More information at www.sensata.com)


Ken Webber:


This project was done in collaboration with Ken Webber from Sensata. Ken has 29 years of experience in CAD management and is currently the global CAE Manager for Sensata Technologies. Sensata is one of SolidWorks’ largest customers with nearly 1,000 SolidWorks users at 16 locations in 12 countries worldwide.



The Problem:


Sensata Technologies needed to migrate 143,000 SolidWorks files to Agile. Before files could be migrated to Agile several issues needed to be addressed:
    • File naming was inconsistent for certain files
    • File references were not always accurate
    • Some files had duplicates or were missing files

In addition, Sensata Technology wanted to generate PDF files for all the drawings to be migrated to Agile.


Features:


To help ease Sensata Technologies’ migration to Agile, ATR Soft developed a customized data migration utility.

This utility allowed Sensata Technologies to automate the renaming of files that were incorrectly named based on their own file naming conventions. In order not to break the assemblies where the renamed files were used, all the references needed to be updated.

In order for Sensata to track changes, a parent-child reference was generated so that they would be able to track all the different changes.

A conversion tool was also built into to the data migration utility in order to generate PDF files for all the SolidWorks drawings.

As the processes would require a lot time and memory use, a fault tolerancet was also implemented in order to automatically detect hung processes and automatically restart to conserve memory.


The Result:


Our data migration utility allowed Sensata to correct all the inconsistent file names and update the references for 143 000 SolidWorks files. All the missing files were identified as well as all the duplicate files. The PDF files were successfully generated for all the SolidWorks drawings.

The final result enabled Sensata to load SolidWorks data to Agile without issues. As mentioned by Ken Webber, CAE Manager at Sensata Technologies, that data migration utility automated what would have been an impossible task, if attempted manually and took only three days to run!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

SolidWorks EPDM Vault Audit Log

Looking for an effective way how to track file usage inside SolidWorks Enterprise PDM?



In this post I will introduce you our latest SolidWorks Enterprise PDM add-in application called EPDM Audit Log. It's an application designed for EPDM and used to track file usage inside EPDM. It's especially designed and extremely useful for companies that need to track their files more closely for regulatory purposes such as those involved in the aerospace, defence and medical industry sectors.

How it works?


EPDM Audit Log contains an EPDM add-in and separate viewer tool to access log information. EPDM Audit Log uses Microsoft SQL Server to store file access information. SQL Server Express edition is also supported. Required database can be created trouble-free by using .dacpac file or SQL script delivered with the application.


EPDM Audit Viewer to access event log


EPDM add-in application is used to store file access information to the audit log database. Administrators can access log by using EPDM Audit Log Viewer application. It's a separate application with extremely user-friendly interface which doesn't require an EPDM license.

Following information is recorded when a client computer gets a file from EPDM Vault.
  • Time stamp
  • Name of client computer
  • IP address of client computer
  • Logged in EPDM user
  • File name
  • File version
In the Log Viewer you're able to search events by any search criteria or a combination of them. You can watch my video presentation demonstrating how to setup and use EPDM Audit Log.


Where to get it?

You can get more information about EPDM Audit Log from ATR Soft web page. You may also contact directly sales by email.