Solutions for efficient product design

The relations in our Creo parts are a big mess

16. June 2021 | Updates

The relations in our Creo parts are a big mess

Do you struggle with the relations in your Creo parts? Have a look at this story to find out how you can solve it.

Relations in Creo parts are a big mess. How can we solve it?

After-Work family dinner

“Dinner is ready!” she shouted and noticed how her hand was trembling on the fridge handle. “How was your day?” he asked her while grabbing four plates and giving her a kiss on the templar.

“Awful, just awful.” she answered after a short break. “Children, wash your hands first!” she added. “We just found out, that our Windchill implementation project is going to take ten times longer than we initially thought. We will need every spare work hour we can find within the department. The relations in our Creo parts are a big mess.

“Thank God our relation works pretty well!” he said giggling and set the stew pot on the table. “We are going to have to edit them by hand” she continued undisturbed. “Every part needs about 10 minutes of full attention. And there are at least 300K parts. We need about 312 months of work time to fix that. With close to 100 designers, we could do it in about 3 months, yet the project was due last month already. Look at me, I’m all shaking. I may have to put in some night shifts, too just like the others. I can’t let them down. And all this right now when we wanted to take swimming lessons together with the kids. I might have to cancel that. I am so sorry!”

Challenge: Update 300k Creo Parts

He fixed the chairs for the kids to sit comfortable and said with a peaceful voice: “Anja, let us sit down and enjoy this wonderful meal. I am confident you will find a way to manage this challenge as well as you always do. If you delay the project by three months and then it’s fixed for good, your customers will still be happy. You always deliver high quality. They’ll trust you this time as well.” “You’re right, let’s eat! Guten Appetit!” she said. “Frau Schmidt, pommes frittes!” answered both kids like in the kindergarten delighted and started munching.


Relieving designer meeting

The sun rose happily over the vast plant lighting up the B&W coffee mug of Dietrich who was just setting up his workspace for fixing relations for the third day in a row. He felt well, only his eyes were gazing unenthusiastic into the monitor and even the coffee started tasting bland. He fixed one more part and then stood up heading for the weekly designer meeting. Finally, he was happy to take a break and maybe sit again next to his colleague Juliana he admires very much for her superior speed and efficiency in fixing part relations, even if they both started on the same day.

“We began the relation fixing action last week.” started Anja Liebhammer, the head of department for CAD design of one of the most innovative automotive suppliers in Germany. “We recorded a good progress so far even if we are by 25% behind the schedule. Everybody is doing a great job despite the circumstances, and I am very thankful and proud to work with such a motivated team. Fixing Creo part relations by hand is a bold task, yet every one of the 102 members in the team is tenacious and reliable. And this makes me very happy!

Along the way, we identified two issues which may hinder our success even more in the next weeks: We have no way to check if there are absolutely no errors. Several parts still had typing errors and obsolete erroneous relations. Which leads us to the second issue: A systematic error accumulation over time requires a next relation fixing action. And even if we are doing well so far, I am not very enthusiastic putting the whole team through the same stress test again. Therefore, we considered using software to help us manage this task.

The software light at the end of the tunnel

Our internal attempts to develop Creo applications were not very productive due to the steep learning curve of the corresponding API ProToolkit. The maintenance of the applications across Creo versions is another difficult challenge. PTC’s own application ModelCHECK cannot handle relations the way we need it to, and updates to its functionality are very rare.

There are also some alternative products on the market from companies who are specialized in Pro/Toolkit software development. Our benchmark revealed that only one of them can handle relations the closest way to what we need, yet it needs a few enhancements. The Software product is called SMARTUpdate and is offered by B&W Software GmbH where we purchased other products like Expert Moldbase Extension (EMX) for moldbase design and SMARTHolechart, too. We contacted the developer team and they are trying to implement the missing functionality and provide us a new version within this week.”

A tremendous round of applause erupted from the silence preceding this last sentence. When the cheering and laughter ended, Anja continued. “Thank you for your excitement! We are as well happy if everything goes according to the plan. Because we then can abandon the manual fixing project immediately and relocate the time into testing and improving the software.” Another strong round of applause was to hear.

Anja cleared her voice nodding thankfully. While the applause subsided, she started the presentation which indicated on the first page: “How to correct Creo relations with SMARTUpdate without breaking the models.”

How to correct Creo relations with SMARTUpdate without breaking the models

To be continued..


The next part of the story will be available soon. Stay tuned!

This is a fictional story based on real events for informative and entertaining purpose. Any coincidence with real persons is not intentional.