The approval process


The approval process of a part should ideally be separated into two sub-processes:

- part approval (main and factory parts)

- drawing approval


The drawing approval involves only people of the R&D offices (planners and platform managers), the part approval involves both the R&D and the factory managers, that finally release the new component for production.


The sequence of activities that lead to the approval of a part is illustrated in details by the diagram below.   In a PDM environment, the completion of the various activities is represented with a state promotion of the part lifecycle, which is realized through mechanisms of electronic signatures.


(1) Create Part:  the designer creates new part code or revise an existing part;

      edit the new part attributes


(2) CAD file check-in:  the designer prepares the CAD drawings with a CAD tool and uploads them through the CAD integration client module;

                               the CAD integration (server side module) creates the CAD parts, connects them with main Part, defines the proper CAD structures and synchronizes the CAD attributes


(3) Progress CAD Part to UnderReview: the designer completes his work on the CAD file and the PDM module checks that all requirements are satisfied (for example you cannot promote the master of a family if you don’t promote first the family members)


(4) Progress Part to UnderReview: the designer completes his work on the main Part and the PDM module checks that all requirements are satisfied (CAD Parts must be present if a DrawingType is specified and all attached CAD Parts must be in UR or REL status)


(5) Progress CAD Part to Released: the platform manager verifies the correctness of CAD file and CAD structures and approves the designer work


(6) Progress Part to FactoryCheck: the platform manager verifies the correctness of Parts attributes and the PDM module checks that all requirements are satisfied (all attached CAD Parts must be in REL status)


(7) Create FactoryPart: the factory manager creates a Factory Part (it is revised from previous revision if exists) for his own plant and edit the attributes



(8) Progress FactoryPart to CostValuation: this step is required only for purchased factory parts; in this status the account manager has to specify a cost estimation for the component


(9) Progress FactoryPart to Released:  this promotion can be performed directly from the InWork status by factory manager or from the CostValuation status by account manager (after the cost estimation).  The PDM module promotes automatically the main Part to Production (if it is not already in that status).   The passage is not possible if main Part is in the Obsolete status.


(10) Progress Part to Production: this promotion is automatic when the first factory part is released or it is manual (platform manager) when no factory part is yet been defined. 

The PDM module promotes to the Obsolete status the Part with the same code with previous revision index.


(11) Progress Part to Obsolete: this passage is automatic when the Part with the same code and next revision index is promoted to Production.

The PDM module promotes to the Obsolete status all related CAD Parts.


(12) Progress CAD Part to Obsolete: this passage is automatic when the main Part is promoted to Obsolete.



Revision and Cloning


The PART / FACTORY PART / CAD PARTS lifecycles define the approval process for basic PDM elements.  When they reaches the Production or Release status in the related lifecycle it is not possible to perform more changes on attributes or files:   the designer may only create a new part a start a new approval process for it.


If the new part must be identified with the same code, you are talking about


Revision: only the revision index is updated to the next value.

Revision is possible only for:

- the main part with last revision index in the Production state

- the CAD part in Released state when the main part was already revised

- the factory part in Released or CostValuation state when the main part has been already revised and its new revision is in the FactoryCheck or Production status

The new element inherits the attribute values of the reference object (no files) but it starts from the InWork state, so it will be possible to make changes on them.



-       CAD Parts are revised automatically by the CAD integration module during the first check-in of CAD file with new revision index]

-       If the CAD or Factory Part object with previous revision is not defined, the new Part will be created normally without a revision (and you will not be able to define in the future the factory part with previous index)




On the other hand, when the new part of the same original part type must be identified with a different code you can create it by a Clone operation.

Cloning is possible only for the main part in any state; the new part inherits the attribute values of the reference object (no files) but it starts from the InWork state, so it will be possible to make changes on them.



Drawing Correction Process


There are cases in which the review of a part for updating the drawings is a too expensive operation because this part could be used in many product structures and you need to massively replace the old with the new revision.

If the modification to the design is not critical, and when from the point of view of quality processes it can be permitted without generating a new code, you can open a “Drawing Correction Process” (DCP) that keeps track of all the performed operations and it is submitted to all required approvals.

The approval flow can be described with the following lifecycle:





The conditions to be satisfied for creating a new DCP are:

-       the corrections regard only CAD Parts in Released status (if in UR it is possible to regress with normal flow to the InWork state)

-       modifications are simple and there are not substantial or structural changes

-       the reason for the modification can be:

o   correction of notes or comments

o   correction of quotes or secondary parameters

o   adding new specifications or new components in FoP or FoA when the release process is not yet complete


To start a new DCP the designer must specify the Drawing Type, the reason for the change as well as the platform manager (reviewer) to forward the request for verification.



name:  PDM_DCPReason

description:  Reason of a Drawing Correction Process

type:  string

ranges:  list of reasons  (range program)




name:  PDM_DCPReviewer

description:  Reviewer for a Drawing Correction Process

type:  string




name:  PDM_DrawingCorrection

description:  Drawing Correction Process

abstract:  false









name:  PDM_DrawingCorrection

description:  Approval flow for a Drawing Correction Process

revision rule: -

classes:  PDM_DrawingCorrection

stages:  Open ,Verification,Implementation ,Closed,Rejected




Open:  a DCP just created assumes the Open state in which the requesting user (designer) can attach one or more Parts for which it requests the opportunity to update the CAD files.  The parts that can be subject to the request:

• have to be owned by the requester

• must be the latest revision, in Production or in FactoryCheck state

• have CAD Parts related to the declared Drawing Type in Released state and not mounted in CAD assembly structures

• are not connected to other open DCP (in the states Open/Verification/Implementation).


At the end of compilation, the holder promotes the DCP to the Verification state; the PDM module verifies (before the transition) the technical feasibility and in case of a positive outcome it sends a communication to the cited reviewer, for a more comprehensive analysis.



lifecycle:  PDM_DrawingCorrection

name:  Open

description:  Definition of Drawing Correction Process

access rights:

holder:  edit,destroy,progress

community:  read

assignment[PDM_Designer]: create




Verification:  in this stage, the reviewer may accept the request and then sign for transition to the Implementation state or send back the DCP to the designer for some corrections (regress to Open state) or ultimately reject it to the Rejected state.


Before the transition to the Implemetation state, the system performs the following actions:

• checks if instances of a FoP / FoA are connected and in that case it connects also the master element if not already present

• stores the status of each part

• regresses the CAD parts for the connected objects to the InWork state, to allow the new check-in operations

• notify the requester designer by email



lifecycle:  PDM_DrawingCorrection

name:  Verification

description:  Review of Drawing Correction Process

access rights:

community:  read

assignment[PDM_PartReviewer]: progress,regress




Implementation:  in this stage, the requester designer can perform new file check-in for the demoted CAD Parts and promote them again to UnderReview.   At the end of his work he signs the DCP.


After the designer signature, the PDM system performs the following actions:

• checks that state of connected main Parts is FactoryCheck or Production

• checks that the state of the all interested CAD Parts has been put back to Released

• checks that members of FoP / FoA  have not been removed

• sends a message to the reviewer for inviting him to check and finally bring the DCP to Closed final state.

The reviewer receives the mail and finally promote the DCP to the Closed state.




lifecycle:  PDM_DrawingCorrection

name:  Implementation

description:  Repeat file Checkin

access rights:

community:  read

assignment[PDM_Designer]: validate

assignment[PDM_PartReviewer]: validate,progress




Closed:  this stage is automatically assigned when the reviewer signs the DCP in Implementation state.  The process is completed, no more changes are possible at the stage




lifecycle:  PDM_DrawingCorrection

name:  Closed

description:  Drawing Correction Process terminated

access rights:

community:  read




Rejected:  this stage is automatically assigned when the reviewer refuse the DCP in Verification state.  The process is aborted, no more changes are possible at the stage




lifecycle:  PDM_DrawingCorrection

name:  Rejected

description:  Drawing Correction Process refused

access rights:

community:  read





Part Sample Approval


The approval flow of the components that are designed in-house, but purchased from outside suppliers or built by mean of subcontracted work is more extensive than the normal certification of CAD drawings.  In particular, the drawings (even in the preliminary state) are sent to the suppliers and they produce a first sample of the workpiece or of the semi-finished part.  The R&D department have to give an assessment about the constructive goodness and the faithful reproduction of what was designed; this is referred to as the Sample Approval.

The Sample Approval can be negative if the piece does not match the characteristics expressed by the designer in the technical drawing or if it reveals design errors.

The Sample Approval can be planned in advance also for the mold of the piece, in this case the supplier is referred as the "mold maker".   This kind of approval is not related to the production plant, but to the supplier of the sample, this is why inside the PDM system, it can be viewed as a feature of the general part.  When creating a new Part and up to the UnderReview state, the designers have to  indicate if the sample approval for the specific component is mandatory or not (generally the parts with CAD drawings have this flag automatically set).   From the FactoryCheck state and forward, the holder of the part and other designers with a specific role can insert their valuation:  the approval may be initally negative and become positive after a second sample comes from the supplier. In the case of mold makers, the system may also store the attached file and the documentation that accompanies the mold.   Any time a Sample Approval is given, a new Sample Approval item is created and connected to the main Part;  if the valuation is positive will be possible to indicate the factories for which the approval is valid and connect them with a secondary link (only one approval can be associated to each factory).




name:  PDM_SAValuation

description:  Outcome of Sample Approval

type:  boolean

ranges:  true (positive) , false (negative)




name:  PDM_SAMoldApproval

description:  Type of Approval Mold / Sample

type:  boolean

ranges:  true (mold) , false (sample)




name:  PDM_SASupplier

description:  Supplier for the mold or sample

type:  string




name:  PDM_SampleApproval

description:  The Sample Approval class

abstract:  false









name:  PDM_PartToApproval

description:  Connect a Part with Sample Approvals

flags:  !duplicable , !selflinks

from: PDM_PART  (single, !revision, !clone)

to: PDM_SampleApproval (multiple, !revision, !clone)

access rights:

community:  read

assignment[PDM_PartReviewer]: create,destroy




name:  PDM_ApprovalForFactory

description:  Connect the Sample Approvals with Factory Parts

flags:  !duplicable , !selflinks

from: PDM_ SampleApproval (multiple, !revision, !clone)

to: PDM_FACTORYPART (multiple, !revision, !clone)

access rights:

community:  read

assignment[PDM_PartReviewer]: create,destroy



The connections between the sample approval and the suppliers are made with an attribute in the basic PDM module and with a physical link if the module for the Supply chain is also installed.   The lifecycle for the SampleApproval class has only one stage:



name:  PDM_SampleApproval

description:  Lifecycle for Sample Approval elements

revision rule: 99

classes:  PDM_SampleApproval

stages:  Exists