Vault, a Product Data Management (PDM) solution, helps reduce re-work from incorrect data. No one likes to do things twice. Or even worse; multiple times. Re-work like this is caused by not having the right information. Having your engineering data stored in multiple places creates confusion and, in many cases can result in data loss.
How to reduce re-work from incorrect data
Some common scenarios include:
- Which one is the latest? They both say Revision C, which one do I send to production?
- Production is working from a document that is incomplete and not ready, how did they get this?
- My hard drive failed and the all the work I’ve completed on my current project is lost.
- Two engineers have been working on the same files at the same. The last one to save wins. The other loses their work.
I’ve experienced these issues firsthand working in the manufacturing sector. And I continue to witness these issues in my work with our manufacturing customers today.
Saving time from finding data
One of the first symptoms of a problem with managing your design is how long it takes to find the data. Sometimes I’ll work with an engineer/designer, and he or she decides they need to show me something they’ve been working on (a drawing, a 3D model, a specification document, etc.). Five or ten minutes later they’ve found multiple versions of the document. By the fifteen-minute mark, they determine which one is correct, but I can tell they’re not quite positive.
Does it always take this long to find data? Multiply that time by the number of people who need access it. You might be surprised how much time in a week is spent to simply find the right information. It will certainly help reduce the re-work in your company.
Having a single source of truth in a centralized location is the answer. This is one of the basic things a proper PDM solution provides. I’ve experienced this firsthand too, and I can tell you that the change immediately allowed me to focus more on the things that matter. Things like making a better product vs finding files and our customers see this as well.
In addition, PDM provides a way to control your data so that stakeholders and consumers of the data see the right information at the right time.
For Example: You Might Have an Upcoming New Product Release
As an example; you may have a new product to introduce and production wants to prep and tool for it, while purchasing is ready to buy materials and sales is ready take orders.
It’s similar in many ways to an existing product so you shouldn’t be starting from scratch. So, an engineer begins by searching for and quickly finding a similar existing product. He/ she then utilizes tools that allow him or her to immediately create a new design from the existing product. Allowing them to easily specify which components will be new and which components you will reuse.
While engineers and designers work on the design, only designated users can access the design (remember it’s not done yet). The work is done on local copies of the design and only one user can work on a file at a time. The PDM system contains a copy of the design as well is regularly backed up.
At some point, someone working on the design realizes that one of the components you are reusing needs to be modified to work for the new design. Do we simply modify it? How will that affect the other designs that use it? Or do we create a new component?
Some users will err on the side of caution, and create a new component. They do not realize that this it is usually a lot more costly to create a new part than to use existing parts when possible. Tools within the PDM system allows users to answer these questions quickly by giving them visibility into where you use this components. It will empower users to make these decisions.
PDM Helps you Manage Successfully
PDM is a strategy to propel you and your efficiency, quality, and goals. And when it comes to PDM, Autodesk Vault is the solution of choice to help companies organize, manage, and track data creation, simulation, and documentation processes for design, engineering, and construction teams.
For more information on Vault as a PDM strategy, Contact Us
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About Javier Chavez:
Javier has trained hundreds of users on Inventor, AutoCAD, Vault and Simulation and has consulted with customers, helping them adapt and integrate these tools into their organization. Exposure to various customers, and their industries has given him a broad perspective on how manufacturers and build leverage their engineering data.