Tutorial: Using the Import From Spreadsheet Action in Windchill PDMLink

Using the Import From Spreadsheet Action in Windchill PDMLink

One way to create many Parts and associated BOM structures in Windchill PDMLink is to define them as needed in Excel spreadsheets using an importable format.

Once importable spreadsheets have been created, they can be imported using the “Import from Spreadsheet” action available on the Action menu of the desired Product or Library.

You can import part and product structure data from a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet into a library or product. Importing allows you to build product structures from existing parts, create new parts, or update existing parts using data in the import spreadsheet.

You can import the following types of data:

- New parts or modifications to existing parts.

  • For example, a component engineer receives a spreadsheet from a vendor with updated part data for a particular manufacturer. The spreadsheet contains both new parts (replacement for obsolete) as well as modifications to existing parts (for example, changes to the life cycle status or environmental regulatory compliance data). When the component engineer imports the spreadsheet, new parts are created in the target library or product, and modified parts are iterated.

- A new bill of materials (BOM) or modifications to an existing BOM.

  • For example, a design engineer may need to send a completed design to an external manufacturing partner for review. The design engineer exports a product structure to a spreadsheet and sends it to the manufacturing engineer. The manufacturing engineer reviews the spreadsheet, makes changes, and sends it back to the design engineer who can then import the modified spreadsheet back in Windchill PDMLink to create a new Manufacturing view of the BOM.

When you export parts or product structures from Microsoft Excel to Windchill

PDMLink, consider the following:

- You can import a spreadsheet with multiple worksheets.

- In Row 1, the first cell contains a string that defines the type of data to be imported:

  • For parts: ImportSheetType=PART
  • For a BOM: ImportSheetType=BOM

- Rows 2 through 5 of each worksheet are reserved for comments. If you previously exported the spreadsheet from Windchill PDMlink, row 5 may contain logical IDs for the attributes included in the spreadsheet.

- Row 6 contains column headers.

- Rows greater than or equal to 7 contain the data to be imported.

- The order of columns in the spreadsheet is not fixed.

- If you want to exclude one or more worksheets from import, leave the first cell of the worksheet empty or change the value for ImportSheetType, for example, set it to ImportSheetType=NONE. A worksheet that does not list the correct value (PART, AXL, or BOM) will be excluded on import (Ref Figure. 1).

Importing Parts and Product Structure

When you import parts from Microsoft Excel to Windchill PDMLink, consider the following:

  • If you are unsure of the format to use for your import spreadsheet, export a part that has the required attributes and use the format of the exported spreadsheet.
  • When you import, you can import new parts and modify attribute values of existing parts.
  • If you modify existing parts, the parts are iterated. If you modify the soft attributes of a part, the soft attribute definitions must exist in Windchill PDMLink or the import will fail.
  • If any related parts are checked out, the import will fail.
  • If the column names do not match the Windchill PDMLink attribute names that you want to specify, the import fails.
  • If you do not specify attributes in the import spreadsheet, object initialization rules are used to assign any attributes to the parts.
  • You must include the organization ID of the supplier organization for manufacturer and vendor parts (for example, a name, DUNS number).
  • If you want to import part classification attributes, each worksheet must contain only parts that belong to the same part type (for example, only manufacturer parts) and classification node. To import classification attributes, the classification structure used in the spreadsheet must exist in Windchill.
  • When you import parts, you choose one of the following import actions:

Action Description

Add and Update: If a part exists, it is iterated and updated to the attribute values in the spreadsheet. If a part does not exist, a new part is created.

Update Only: If a part exists, it is iterated and updated to the attribute values in the spreadsheet.

Add Only: If a part exists, no action is taken. If a part does not exist, a new part is created (Ref Figure. 2).

Importing Bills of Materials (BOMs)

When you import BOMs from Microsoft Excel to Windchill PDMLink, consider the following:

  • When you import a BOM, a new baseline is created for each worksheet. If you specified the name for the baseline, it is prefixed with the worksheet number. If you do not specify a name, the baseline is assigned a name using the following syntax: <name>-<year><month><date><hour><minute>seconds> where <name> is the file name of the import spreadsheet without the extension.
  • Imported BOMs must reference parts that already exist in Windchill PDMLink. If a part referenced in the BOM does not exist, import fails. However, if you need to import a BOM with parts that do not exist in Windchill PDMLink, you can import one spreadsheet with both the new parts and the BOM. To ensure the import does not fail, make sure the worksheet with new parts precedes the worksheet with the BOM information.
  • If an import spreadsheet contains both new parts and BOM information, do not select to validate the spreadsheet or validation will fail. You can skip the validation step and import the spreadsheet successfully.
  • If you import a modified BOM, existing product structure links that are not included in the import spreadsheet do not change.
  • If you create a new BOM, each row in the worksheet describes the Add action. If you modify an existing BOM, each row in the worksheet describes either the Add or Delete action.
  • To import subtypes (modeled or soft) of a part, you must specify the subtype in the Part Type column of the input spreadsheet. You can use additional columns to specify attributes of each subtype.
  • When importing a BOM, you can include reference designators in the input spreadsheet under the Reference Designators column. An import error occurs if the values in the Reference Designators column do not match the numbers in the Quantity column (Ref Figure. 3).

Performing a “Validation” prior to the Import provides a Validation Message (Succeed or Fail) and a validation log to aid troubleshooting.

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