Data Management Capabilities > Managing Part Structures > Windchill Options and Variants Capabilities > Overview of Product Configuration Strategies > Additional Features Provided with the Platform Structures Module
Additional Features Provided with the Platform Structures Module
Platform Structures is an add-on module to Windchill PDMLink that enables you to more efficiently manage platform-based products across your enterprise for design and manufacturing planning. These features can also be applied with Windchill MPMLink and other PTC solutions to manage other platform-based deliverables.
With the Platform Structures module, you can take advantage of additional capabilities in the following areas of the platform management:
Expanded Rule Management:
Conditional rules — You can create enhanced conditional rules that define the business conditions for selecting other choices. These conditional rules use the compound IF and THEN statements to specify when certain option choices should be included, enabled, required, or disabled based on the choice selections that the user specifies when filtering an overloaded product structure. For information on conditional rules, go to Conditional Rules.
Options and choices with numeric values – Adding numeric values to choices enables you to more efficiently read, create, and maintain complex rules and assigned expressions by capturing the intent of the rule. With these enhancements, you can use numeric values for choices and operators such as “>”, “<”, “>=”, “<=” to simplify rule writing.
Expanded Configurable Product Structure Management:
Advanced expressions – You can assign more complex expressions to parts, part usage links, and occurrences to increase the control and flexibility of these selections. The advanced expressions can use several subexpressions and functions to describe more than one condition when a module variant should be included in the product structure. For more information on the advanced expressions, go to Defining Advanced Expressions. Advanced expressions are evaluated during the filtering of the product structure to determine the applicability of module variants. For information on filtering using expressions, go to Option Filtering Using Expressions.
Expressions on part occurrences – You can now assign choices to select specific occurrences of a module variant to expand the flexibility of this selection and enable more flexibility in order quantity.
Functions in advanced expressions – You can use functions in advanced expressions to provide a more sophisticated logic for including items in the product structure. For more information on using functions, go to Using Functions in Advanced Expressions.
Aliases – Aliases allow you to more efficiently manage reusable segments of logic. Typically, there are some common logic definitions that are reused in many places of the configuration of the product. When distributing responsibility for writing assigned expressions to large teams, it is important for these expressions to be simple to read and write. You can capture these common definitions more easily as aliases, and manage them globally for the product. For more information, go to Working with Aliases.
Advanced logic feature – Advanced logic is a method of generating product variants in Windchill based on the guided user input. Advanced logic can be created for a configurable module, which represents a configurable component in the Windchill product structure. Capabilities of the advanced logic feature include the following:
Assign and manage parameters defined for advanced configurable parts from the Parameters tab in PSB
Assign and manage constraints defined for advanced configurable parts from the Constraints tab in PSB
View or edit Inclusion Option, Quantity Option and Reference ID attribute values defined for advanced configurable child parts from the Uses tab in PSB
Generate reports to verify the logic specified for configurable modules
For more information, see Developing Advanced Selection Logic for Configurable Modules.
Spreadsheet-based Module Variant Creation and Management – Creating and maintaining multiple module variants can be cumbersome. With the spreadsheet import and export capabilities, designers can easily create the Bill of Materials for one or more module variants, and load it into the system. For more information, go to BOM Table Worksheets.
Expanded Product Structure Filtering Flexibility – Sometimes it is difficult to find the assigned expressions that are incompletely described in the configurable structure. With a new filter type - Standard and Alternate filter, you can select Alternate filter to view incompletely defined logic in the configurable structure. For more information, see Standard and Alternate Option Filter. You can also customize the out-of-the-box methods by defining your own logic for filtering the structure. For more information, see Configuring Standard and Alternate Behaviors.
Expanded Platform Change Management:
Local and Global rule effectivity management – You can revise global and local rules. You can also manage local rules independently of the option set, so the option set does not get iterated when a local rule is revised. For more information, see Revising Local Rules.
Assigned Expression Change Management – Assigned expressions can be managed independently of the item to which they are assigned (a part, part usage link, or occurrence). This enables you to modify or revise expressions without iterating the object to which is assigned. For more information, see Independent Assigned Expressions.
Expanded Administrative Variant Creation and Management flexibility:
Load variant specifications – New administrative capability to create or update one or more variant specifications in the system using a spreadsheet file or API. Use these variant specifications to filter the configurable structure based on the specified options and choices criteria.
Create or update product variants – When the variant specification is created or updated in the system, you can also choose to create or update product variant structures based on these option and choice criteria.
For more information, see Loading Variant Specifications.
To use the Platform Structures capabilities:
The site must purchase and install the Platform Structures module.
A user must be a member of the Platform Structures module to use these enhanced capabilities. For more information, see Adding Users to the PTC Platform Structures License Group.