Articles and videos of new features are good for providing awareness, but they don't always answer the question "So what?" That's why I like real world examples that actually show their value. Here's an example a customer recently had where one simple feature was able to save hours of tedious analysis. The feature? The property Has Drawing that made its appearance in Vault 2020 (at the time, 2020 was the latest release, so it was still a new feature). An idea that had been around for a few years that was actually green-lit into the product.
Scenario: Customer utilized custom material libraries for their parts. Some of those materials didn't have precise names, which was fine when they only had single source suppliers with which they had a shared vocabulary; each knew what those material names meant. Once designed, parts were documented with material names in the notes. The material property is mapped into Vault so that it is searchable, though, not editable in Vault.
Problem: A change in business required them to utilize more than one supplier, but the material names remained the same. Again the names were descriptive, but not precise. So they were getting varying results when the parts came in from the different suppliers. It was then decided to change the material names so that parts could be fabricated consistently. But that meant changing hundreds of drawings. And to make matters worse, not every part was documented in a drawing.
Solution: They could easily enough search the Vault for all the parts that had material names that required changes. However, they only really needed (at the beginning stage) to change the drawings, as they were the deliverable to suppliers, not the native part files. They would have had to analyze thousands of parts to see which had drawings and which didn't. We set them up with the "Saved Search" seen below.
Results: The saved search, utilizing a parametric material search condition gave them the flexibility to search for an offending material and get a "punch list" of the parts that had to be changed. Once the material was changed they were able to just update the drawings by using the handy Open Drawing from Vault command in Inventor.
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