What are yor approaches to working on one big file with Vault/multultiple user scenario?
Lets say you design a car and having the frame and the body you have different guys that come in and do electrical, fuel system, so on... They need to work with the frame and the body doing their parts, since thats the reference for them.
But only one guy can check it out. We try the approach that one system is an entire independent assembly inserted into the top assembly but its not perfect.
My answer may be a bit long winded by might give you some ideas.
We operate with the idea of a single top level model for any given project. (We previously allowed different users to make their own layouts for just the bits they were working on but it proved problematic on the shop floor. To this end we considered shrinkwrapping each sub-assy into a part within a single GA but since we drive PDM direct from the assembly BOM we decided it was not worth the effort to train/coach everyone into this method)
Regardless of the number of people working on the project there is one project leader responsible for driving the GA. Its up to that person to co-ordinate the other people and mainting the integrity of the model.
That said it still requires constant nurchuring to keep up the idea of checking your files and only checking out to do the work then back in. Because one project may be across multiple time zones its up to the project leader to ensure the GA is up to date, checked in and avaible to users for the next working day. This may involve other users checking all their files in at say 4:30 (outllok apppointmets work well) allowing the leader to update and plan discussions for the next day. It doesnt need to be a senior, just comsone who understands vault and multi-user interaction and is good at co-ordinating the levels of assemblies. They can then report/discuss with an actual senior engineer/project engineer any problems that are flagged up.
It fundamentally boils down to communication as well as users understanding the vault icons. The idea that users can work for days/weeks isolated in cubicles without interacting with each other is non-existent in my opinion. Open plan offices help to promote this i think, but thats a whole other discussion.
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