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Juan Auces explores how to effectively manage and plot files by employing the use of logical names. What's so cool about his methods is that the design file names don't need to follow any standard. This is a must read for any company who deals with multiple vendors and lots of file naming standards.
Juan Auces explores how to effectivly manage and plot files by employing the use of logical names. What's so cool about his methods is that the design file names don't need to follow any standard. This is a must read for any company who deals with multiple vendors and lots of file naming standards.
To provide an efficient means of managing and plotting files with different file naming standards by employing the use of logical names.
Bridging the Gap
When working with multiple companies on a common project and each uses their own file naming conventions you may have difficulty exchanging data and managing the wealth of files. You can bridge this gap by using what we call a Project Index File or PIF for short. This PIF file is simply a design file that has each companies master design data attached as references. The variations of file names are not an issue since you can drive everything by standardizing the reference logical name.
The use of logical names is the key to this set up since MicroStation monitors logical name usage and will not allow duplicates. Thus with each logical name being unique it’s the ideal design file management tool.
The following lists the key benefits of using a Project Index File:
A Working Example
The following information is a brief example of how you could employ the use of a PIF file to manage your design data. Our sample project is of a four mile roadway reconstruction and there are four companies involved. Each company is responsible for a one mile section and will be producing the following types of drawings: Horizontal Alignments, Vertical Alignments, Drainage, Pavement Striping, and Traffic Control.
Each of the four companies will create a PIF file using a project compliant seed file and to this PIF file they attach the other companies design files as references. Each reference will be assigned a unique logical name to help identify the file and follows this standard: CompanyNumber_DrawingType_DrawingNumber
For example, the table below lists the logical names that will be used for the various files produced by each company.
Although there is a character limit for logical names, there's plenty of space to be flexibile and to clearly identify each attachment and the scope of work. You can also add a description to each attachment based on design effort such as Phase 1, Phase 2, or 30% Complete, 60% Complete and 90% Complete.
Customized Pen Tables
At this point the PIF file will look cluttered with all the files attached and you may think that it's an impossible task to plot specific drawings. Not really as long as you are using a well-designed pen table that searches and plots based on the logical names.
For example, to plot the pavement files from Company 1, you could incorporate the following logical name search in a pen table:
Similarily, if you are required to plot all the horizontal alignments, your pentable would have the following search in it:
The PIF file reinforces the data exchange effort and provides an avenue to customize pen tables. Notice that I never mention master design file names....that is what makes this system work.
On the surface it seems like too much work for the documentation effort. The reality is that we are simply creating one file that has a systematic method of attaching reference files.
Pen tables are already part of the plotting process we are simply customizing them to plot data on the fly. The power of customized pen tables is evident and it becomes a possibility because we attach reference files by using a Logical Name protocol. For more information on how to drive a pentable by using logicals please refer to the following article Bringing More to the Table by Vince Passalacqua.
I hope you have found this article informative and can envision implementing it in your workplace.