Watermarks can be used effectively to easily show drawings that are not yet released or under change. This visual indicator helps prevent mistakes when viewing and printing unapproved revisions. SolidWorks and Enterprise PDM work together to keep the watermark up-to-date at all stages in the design process. There are a number of ways to implement watermarking and the process below shows one simple approach.
First we start with the SolidWorks drawing template. This example shows the template maintained outside the EPDM vault – it can easily be integrated into a template maintained within the vault.
Add a custom property to the drawing – called Watermark, and then add an annotation and link it to this property. Let’s default it to PRELIMINARY so that initial drawings are tagged that way.
Next we need to make sure there is a variable set up in EPDM that maps to the Watermark custom property and is present on the data card that manages drawing files. There is no need to put a label next to the field, but it is preferred that it is read-only to prevent someone from changing it outside the workflow process.
Now everything is set up to allow new drawings to be added to the vault with a preliminary watermark that is prominently displayed on the preview, data card, and drawing itself.
Now that the Watermark variable is integrated with the drawing, we can manage what it says based on where we are in the design process / workflow. We can simply keep it as PRELIMINARY until the drawing is approved at which time we can set it to be blank, thereby clearing it upon release.
Now, after approval, the initial Rev A is set and the watermark is removed.
Another typical area for managing the watermark is when the drawing is under change. In order to go from Rev A to Rev B for example, a change request may be initiated, and while under change we want to be sure the drawing is marked as such. In this example we update the watermark once the state is Under Change, and keep it that way until the change is approved, where the watermark is again removed as the drawing is released as Rev B.