Replacing a Component

The first task, Replacing a Component by another one in Session, involves in replacing a component and showing the impacts of this action. Using the Replacement Component command means replacing one component with another.

The second task, The Impacts of the Replace Command, explains what can be the impacts of replacing a component whose Part Number is same as the replaced element, and what can be done to solve the conflict.

The third task Replacing a Specific Instance or All Instances of a Reference, shows you that you can replace several instances. The process is the same but when a component dialog box is displayed, you select the component of your choice and tick the MultiInstances box in order to replace all instances.

See also next task Replacing on a Specific Instance or All Instances.
Within an assembly, two components can have the same Part Number and be the Instances (1 and 2, in our example below) of two References only if their References are inserted in two different documents (in different assembly levels,  Local References). For instance:
  • occurrence 1 is an Instance of CARBODY Reference in Landing_Gear document.
  • occurrence 2 is an Instance of CARBODY Reference in PartNumberConflicts1 document.

A Local Reference is a Reference that can only be used in its own document. This is what we call an embedded Reference in a CATProduct. For more information about Local References, please refer to Naming or Renaming a product.
Therefore, if the Replace All Instances functionality is applied to one of these instances (1), it will not replace both Instances and the behavior will be the same like the common Replace:

For more information about this example, please refer to Inserting Existing Components.

A V4 model is not a Product, therefore it is considered as a Representation, a CATShape.
A model is inserted in a product structure by means of a local Reference created in this particular case. The model is a representation attached to this Reference. For more information, please refer to Managing Representations.

  • Replacing a component means that you are replacing a Reference by another Reference and you are also keeping the same Instance. The Instance Name is the data of an Instance. It is not changed after the Replace operation, so that links (External References) are not broken. You are allowed to reconnect the links with the new Reference.
    For more information about modifying Instance Name, please refer to Naming or Renaming a product (Instance or Reference).
  • Actions performed after replacing components cannot be undone. The history of actions is cleared and the Undo icon is grayed out.

Replacing a Component by another one in Session

If you want to replace your CATIA documents by downloaded ones, you need to activate the following option, in Tools > Options > General > Document > Document Environments - Loaded document: Allowed.

Open the AnalyzingAssembly02.CATProduct.

  1. Right-click CRIC_SCREW (CRIC_SCREW.1) and the Replace Component contextual command. The following windows are displayed:

  2. Click Cancel in the file Selection window. The Browse window is still available.

  3. Click the Loaded document icon. A Session document window appears:

  4. Select one of the downloaded documents, for instance: Subset1.CATProduct. An Impacts on Replace window is displayed, showing you what can interfere with the other downloaded documents. For more information about the impacts on replace, please refer to the following section.

  5. In the Impacts on Replace window, select Yes radio button and click OK if all the replacing impacts have resolved. And you obtain:


The Impacts of the Replace Command

Open the ReplaceImpacts.CATProduct document.

Note: depending on the document environments you have allowed in the Document settings, an additional window may appear simultaneously to let you access your documents using an alternate method. For detailed information, refer to Opening Existing Documents Using the Browse Window.

  1. Select PartWithImpacts (PartWithImpacts.1) and click the Replace Component icon . You can also right-click on PartWithImpacts (PartWithImpacts.1) and go to Components > Replace Component.

    The File Selection and Browse windows are displayed:

To have the Browse window opened, go to Tools > Options > General. In the Document tab, select Loaded document in the Document Environments panel and click Allowed.
  1. Click Cancel in the File Selection window; the Browse window becomes activated.

    Or if you select Support1.CATPart for instance, in the File Selection window, and click Open, the Browse window disappears and, An Impacts on Replace window appears:

    Therefore, you do not need to follow the steps 3 and 4.

  2. Click the File icon and another File Selection window appears.

  3. Select Support1.CATPart for instance in the File Selection window and click Open.
    An Impacts on Replace window appears:

This window shows you the impacts of the Replace command on PartWithImpacts.CATPart. You can see the impacted objects (2 Publications, 1 External Reference and 1 Constraint) that can be re-connected or not. You have access to the following information:
  • Type of the impacted objects (Publication, Contextual Design Connection)
  • Name of the impacted objects (which is connected to PartWithImpacts.CATPart)
  • Source or path of the impacted objects

You can interrupt the Replace operation by clicking the Cancel button.

  1. There is a question in the window:

    By default, the YES option is checked. It means that all the instances will be replaced (and the Part number conflict window does not appear because it is no longer needed).

    If you click NO, only the selected instance will be replaced but, in the case of a Part Number conflict, the Part Number Conflict dialog box appears. For more information about Part Number Conflict, please refer to the following scenario.

  2. Click OK and the Impacts on Replace dialog box disappears. You can visualize the impacts in the Geometry and in the Specification Tree.

  3. Update your document and the following warning points out the impacted objects: Surface.1 no longer has its External Reference.

You can however use the replace command on the objects that may be impacted. The links can be modified but not necessarily broken.
  1. Click Close. The symbol next to the External Reference means that the part is not connected with the correct External Reference. The other Publications with a broken link are represented with this yellow exclamation mark meaning that the link with the root document has been lost.

  • When you replace a Product by another Product, the Instance path is broken (all links under this instance are broken), because you are destroying a Product and re-instantiating a different one. Therefore, you cannot map the Instance's links anymore.
    When you replace a Product by another Product, note that only the Part Number is modified, but the Instance Name never changes:

  • When you replace a Product by a copy of this Product, the process is successful because the Instance links are not modified, only the Reference is changing (all links are kept), because the Reference of the Copy of the Product belongs to the same family and Instance links can be re-mapped.

  • About Reference / Reference link: If the replaced Reference is pointed by a Reference / Reference link, this link is not impacted nor broken, as a consequence the replaced Reference will not be unloaded.

Replacing a Specific Instance or All Instances of a Reference


This task consists in replacing All Instances of a reference and a Specific Instance.
As it was described in the previous section the user activates the Replacement Component icon to replace one component with another. This command automatically chooses the first instance of the object that is going to be replaced.
Open the 16cubes.CATProduct document:
This document contains two identical CATProducts: 8 cubes (8 cubes.1) and 8 cubes (8 cubes.2). Both CATProducts have the same CATParts: Cube (Cube.1) and Cube (Cube.2).
  1. First of all, select Cube (Cube.1) and click the Replace Component icon . The File Selection dialog box is displayed, select Cube2.CATPart and click Open:

  2. Click Open and the Impacts on Replace dialog box appears, with the following message:

If you choose to replace Cube(Cube1.1) with Cube2(Cube1.1), there is a Part Number conflict because both entities have the same Part Number (Cube). Therefore, if you click:
  • YES, all the instances will be replaced (and the Part Number conflict window does not appear because there is no longer any conflict).
  • NO, only the selected instance will be replaced but, in the case of a Part Number conflict, the following dialog box appears:
  1. Select Yes. There is no Part Number conflicts window (no impact on Cube (Cube.1)) because the replacing component, Cube2.CATPart, does not create any conflict since all the "cube" Part Numbers have been replaced:

    Wherever the element's instance is in the product, it is replaced by the new component. In our example, the Multi-Instances functionality looks for all the instances of the reference Cube (Cube.1) in the product and replaces them in the whole document.
  2. Close 16cubes.CATProduct without saving it. Re-open it.

  3. Repeat the same operation: select Cube (Cube.1) in 2cubes (2 cubes.1) and click the Replace Component icon .

  4. In the File Selection window, select Cube2.CATPart and click Open: the Impacts on Replace dialog box appears.

  5. Click No to replace only one instance:

  6. Click OK button. And two windows appear:

    • the Incident Report: it is a warning telling you that the component you are inserting is read-only. Click Close.

    • the Part number conflict window; you can Rename (or use the Automatic rename option) the new instance Cube2.CATPart so that there is no longer conflict with the other Part Numbers (you do not replace):

  1. Select this line (Cube) and click the Rename button. The (New) Part Number window appears: enter a new Part Number (CubeBis).

  2. Click OK. In the Part number conflicts, you can see that the name of the Part Number is now CubeBis instead of Cube (for Cube2.CATPart).

  3. Click OK and you obtain:

    As a consequence, only a Specific Instance, Cube (Cube.1), is replaced by Cube2.CATPart (whose Part Number is different from the one of Cube (Cube.1)) in the Specification Tree and in the Geometry area.

    Note that the last entity of Cube (Cube.1) has not been replaced by Cube2.CATPart because the entity's instance is not at the same level:

For more information about Part Number conflict, please refer to Insert Existing Component.