We have a constant need to talk to GM (the Biggest UG User). The only succecful sure fire war is to use a STEP translator (AP214 preferred). We have Solidworks with a native UG reader plugin and tried varous third paty plugins ourselves, all were pretty average with the results. The only way to ensure a high level of sucsess is to aks the suplier/customer for step files. Or buy/hire a seat of UG and charge the customer lost of money $$$$.
We didn't swing it. I had to go and learn how to UG. But there is some good news (at a cost).
First off, there is now way to avoid using Unigraphics (and it's not such a bad product - Your general CAD skills can only improve from the exposure to more CAD sotware).
We still model all our parts in Pro/e and manage the parts data base with Intralink. But when we want to give parts to GM (Astralia and America), we translate the parts with step to UG.
Here comes the important part. In order for GM to be happy the part file must pass the GM TOOLKIT file checker. This basicaly looks for corect layer stuctures and Catagorys (A Catogry is a UG way of grouping layers together). The part file names maust adhere to the GM standards - ie 12345678.mldes.0001.prt is a typical part number and bunch of other technical PDM type stuff. If you only get one seat of UG you wont need to run Iman (the ug equivalent to Intralink). But you will ned to purchase the GM TOOLKIT as well as your seat of UG (it runs sweet on Win2K so you won't need to falk out huge bucks for UNIX hardware).
The best bit is when you read the step file into into UG is that you only need to create a part file (not a whole bunch of messy assemblies and components). This is because GM won't issue part numbers for every thing in your assy, they are only interested in the parts the have the 8 digit GM number.
Talk to your contact at GM for all the details but I it is quite a painless procces to supply UG data to GM that meets their needs.
But as you can see it is more complex than just reading and out putting as UG readable file. The GMtool kit is needed and it needs UG to Run...
Lots of luck and have fun Learnig how to use UG.
PS: if you want to supply to Ford or Chrysler you can also look forward to learnig how to Use IDEAS and CATIA as well, the Pro/E CATIA readers are just not good enogh to deal with the the full range of CATIA files.
Mike, Iman or UG/Manager is the Unigraphics version of Intralink. It's not hard to set up you just need to know a few outside programs like Oracle and/or Java. I don't mean to scare you, because you'd need to know about the same to set up Intralink. Now, having said all this, you don't have to have it to run Unigraphics as you need Intralink to run Pro/E. UG has some enteral code that would allow you to set up revision rules so that when you opened an assembly, the software would search for the latest revision (not version) of the components.
The revsion rules would be for their parts or ours?
The biggest problem we have is when platform updates components and they dont notify release engineer who in turn has no idea his parts will no longer fit. So I thought maybe IMAN was some sort of link between their system and ours.
I would never ever want that.
Most times they have no clue what the most current revision level is.
Well, if you're not using Iman (think of Iman just like you would think of Intralink, just a little more powerful) to interface with your car guys, then the revision rules would mostly be for your company. If, however, you are required to be on Iman so that you will get the latest information about the parts you have described, then the revision rules will not apply. I know that GM can be pretty particular when it comes to CAD standards, so I would think just as long as you saved a part for them in their naming conventions, it would fit into their Iman system.
When you say that 'Most times they have no clue' are you talking about the GM guys have no clue about what revisions your parts are at, or are you saying that GM changes parts and you have no clue that parts have changed?