Table of contents:
- No common database
- Picture gallery
- Classic folder structures are unsuitable
- Store documents according to the system structure
- Dynamic views of a database
- Product data backbone as the basis for document control
Video: Why Project Documents Do Not Belong In The File System
Do all employees work with current data, including the field service? Is every machine correctly documented and are the supplier documents part of the documentation? Have the mechanics, electronics and software been coordinated? If so, then machine and system builders do not have to worry about the processes.
No common database
But this is exactly not common practice in most companies. There are several systems for document filing. There is no common database for M-CAD and E-CAD, there is no structure for data and documents. The consequences: no transparency, lost time due to searches, wrong decisions and lack of document control.
Mechanical and plant engineering companies should therefore expand the term of document management: Using the approach of a DMS-Tec, as offered by the software manufacturer Procad, it is possible to map structures and, based on this, support in process and project management. Because such solutions can be used both as a DMS (document management system) and as a PDM system, companies can use them to provide a consistent product data backbone - which in turn forms the basis for mapping PLM processes.
Manage documents correctly in mechanical engineering
Classic folder structures are unsuitable
The structural information for a component is usually created in development and is used in production and sales. The component thus runs through various systems - E-CAD, PDM, ERP, CRM - which, however, rarely work in consistently managed structures. If you continue to look at the storage in classic file systems such as the Windows Explorer structure and the associated amount of unstructured data, it quickly becomes clear: Versions, releases and collaboration can hardly be controlled sufficiently on such a basis. Classic folder structures are simply not suitable for providing a structured product data backbone.
If, for example, a pump was installed in different places in a system, the associated specification is also stored in different places within the folder structure of the file system. Changes to the specification must then be synchronized at all points. By storing and indexing classic DMS, documents can be related using the same keywords. However, a clear connection cannot be established in this way. Real transparency can only be obtained from the structure of the system, since it is independent of the document.
Store documents according to the system structure
In DMS-Tec, a product structure, a plant or an infrastructure object is therefore managed in a form that is detached from the document. Structures - in practice also called project, machine or life cycle files - are created by the technical characteristics of the system / product or its location. They can exist multiple times and independently of one another. All documents created in the curriculum vitae from the specification and the CAD model in development to circuit diagrams and parts lists in production to offers, orders and order confirmations are filed or assigned to the technical structures. In this DMS-Tec structure, the various departments work from development to service with different views of the same thing.
If there is a pump several times, there are no copies in the structure, but always only the references to the original documents or data. This ensures that the same information is only available and processed once. For the pump in the cooling system, for example, there may still be information from the life cycle of the system that does not apply to the pump in the feed water system (see figure).
Dynamic views of a database
This makes it clear that project documents do not belong in the file system, but each document is only stored once in the system with certain information and linked in a structure with a logical connection. Regardless of this, a folder structure is now built up as a dynamic view of it. The document is not in a specified folder, but the folder structure is only a view of the document. This enables the design department, for example, to have a different view of drawings and CAD models of a component than production, which is interested in assembly and production reports. The service in turn requires all damage reports belonging to the system. Because each document is only stored once in DMS-Tec, everyone always has access to the correct and current document versions.
Product data backbone as the basis for document control
Under these conditions, the DMS-Tec represents the company's comprehensive product data backbone. On this basis, all product data and documents can be processed across departments: CAD models, drawings, construction parts lists for mechanical development, circuit diagrams, parts lists, external data sheets for electrical engineering, Specifications, customer drawings, e-mail traffic, production data sheets for the project planning and acceptance reports for quality assurance. After delivery, documents from the service (service reports) are added. That means consistent document control.
The complex structures in mechanical and plant engineering, in infrastructure or chemical companies are difficult to map with conventional strain gauges. DMS-Tec describes the special form of a DMS that allows such structures to be mapped and can be used both as a PDM system and as a DMS. This enables the provision of a continuous product data backbone, which in turn forms the basis for the mapping of PLM processes. Companies in the target groups concerned must be aware of these relationships when introducing DMS or PDM systems. (mz)
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